Paul Jay falls short of record as Barnes fine-tunes his PB in Godric CC 25

Mark Arnold riding the CC Breckland 50 last week. Picture: Fergus Muir

Mark Arnold riding the CC Breckland 50 last week. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

VeloVelocity boss Paul Jay came within eight seconds of beating Nino Piccoli's course record for the Wortwell-based 25-mile Waveney Valley course with a 54:16 ride in the Godric CC 25.

On a warm morning with the air just drifting towards Harleston, Jay had eight seconds in hand over Steve Gorbutt (Diss CC) and 21 on James Trenchard of the promoting club. Arguably the ride of the day by a Godric CC member came from Bungay garage owner John Barnes, who rode himself into the ground to improve his personal best to 1:06:38, topping the handicap list ahead of TV announcer Bob Carter (VC Norwich, 1:08:39).

Also awarded in relation to previous best times was the Ladies' prize, which went to Louise Marsden (VC Norwich, 1:08:36). Harvey Hall (59:47), who was the handicap winner in this event last year, was no less than five minutes quicker in the 2014 edition, but a frustrating two seconds off beating his personal best. This weekend he faces a contrasting challenge – racing for 12 hours through the night in the Dusk-til-Dawn MTB race in Thetford Forest.

Daniel Bloy retained the Mick Groves Trophy with a 20:39 ride on a still afternoon in the East Anglian CC's 10-miler based this time at Earsham. Emma Beard (28:08) beat Emily Davis (28:31) to the Ladies Prize while first junior was Myles Higby (King's Lynn CC) with a personal best 24:04.

On the very last counting day for the 2014 Best British All-Rounder competition, Red Lodge rider Mark Arnold carried the colours of Norwich bike shop Pedal Revolution to a 1:41:56 in the Manchester Wheelers event to seize second place in the season-long contest over 50 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours time trialling. Also competing on the A50 dual-carriageway near Stoke-on-Trent was VC Norwich rider Sally Withey who improved her PB to 2:12:09 despite the course's 19 roundabouts and 'concrete mountain' climb near the finish.

The final Mud, Sweat and Gears MTB round was about as far from Norfolk as possible in the region – at Langdon Hills with fine views of the Thames Gateway for anyone with time to look. However, the start – straight up a big hill in near to bottom gear – soon concentrated minds, which was just as well as the following descents were technical and hair raising. Jason Bouttell left the pack trailing to win the Elite/Experts, with Team CCN man Richard Dunnett runner-up on a hot, dusty afternoon.

Lee Woodcock (EHF, Swaffham) won the Sport class with Richard's brother Martyn Dunnett (CCN) fourth, while Norwich rider Patrick Stokes was second in the Grand (50+) Vets and Thetford rider Melanie Paddington second in the Expert/Elite women.

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In the Richardsons/Trek Road Race, two breakaway groups of four joined forces to work together to such effect that the bunch was left far behind. So far, in fact, that the commisaires could no longer expect traffic in Thaxted to wait for them and they were given early sprints for the minor points – won by Tom Neale (Corley) and Martin Ruepp and finished a lap early.

Meanwhile, at the sharp end, 44 year-old Andy Lyons, trying to set things up for team-mate Luke Ryan, found himself alone and took the win. Incidentally Ruepp, a Fenland factory manager and Swiss national, is now racing for Strada Sport with a brief as sprint coach to the younger riders.