Padfield wins sprint to the line to claim the honours in Fakenham
- Credit: Archant
Sheringham rider Mike Padfield won the Fourth Cats race at Fakenham Town Centre races after a chase that had spectators on their toes.
Graham Denny, of the promoting East Coast Riders club, attacked early, but soon John O'Neill, also of East Coast Riders, and Gavin Barron, of Iceni Velo, established leads. These seemed set to settle the win between them until Padfield (North Norfolk Wheelers) started to come up from behind, gaining a few seconds every lap. Soon after he joined up, O'Neill overcooked it entering Norwich Street and at the line Padfield out-sprinted Barron with O'Neill third.
Strength in numbers helped Catford CC launch Buauna Ball to a solo win in the final race for top categories. Dougal Toms and Liam Manser of PedalPower Ipswich worked hard, but Manser crashed, leaving Toms to take second place.
First to attack on a drizzly afternoon was Matthew Webster, Catford's Wisbech member who had earlier in the day taken sixth place in the Simon Hook Road Race in Essex.
However, a group of 11 soon established a lead of between 30 and 60 seconds with George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers), Dougal Toms and four Catford riders especially active. Considering the wet road surface and cobbles, crashes were remarkably few, and although Manser came down at the Oak Street hairpin he got back on again quickly enough to take 11th place.
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Strada's Ben Beynon took eighth while Bradwell man Harley Matthews (Dap CC, 12th) beat Kieran Jarvis (OnForm) as the chasing group finished.
Light drizzle made the circuit, some of it cobbled, tricky indeed and favoured solo efforts. Sian Botteley (OnForm) won the women's race after breaking away from a lead group of four. Botteley lapped the main field – who mistakenly continued for an extra lap, confusing the results system.
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Early excitement came from a race-long duel between Sam Asker from Bury St Edmunds and Freddie Grover from Stowmarket, with Asker getting the verdict.
Strada Sport's Jack Coates won the Under 14 Boys, followed by Alex Dale, Adam Allen and Callum Laborde. Girls' winners were Alice Standish (Empella) and Charlotte-Louise McGreevy (WXC).