Riders defy conditions as Elveden proves a hit

Elveden Estate Series Riders line up for the fourth category race.

Elveden Estate Series Riders line up for the fourth category race. - Credit: Archant

The first day of racing on the Elveden Estate circuit was voted an outstanding success – despite continuous rain which certainly lent an epic quality to the racing.

The climax of the day was two wins for the Wymondham-based Strada Sport team with Stuart Pryce from Beccles taking the senior race and Norwich rider Dieter Rowe that for third category riders.

St Ives CC riders made the first break in the 42 mile senior race with Pryce soon joining them – keen, he said, to get out of the mud, grit and spray in the bunch. Three more, including Iceni's Chris Guy formed a chasing group.

Tom Fitzpatrick (Strada) joined the leaders but punctured, leaving Pryce with the unenviable task of beating two St Ives riders – Felix Barker and Malcolm Smith. Barker made the first move, Pryce tracked him, kicked up the rise into the finish area and just held off Barker's counter-attack.

Rowe, Ben Nicholson (Iceni Velo) and Mark Botteley (Bourne) attacked early in the third cat race. Nicholson punctured, and the other two were over-whelmed by the bunch within sight of the finish, but Rowe found the sprint to take the win from bunch rider Lee Sturman (West Suffolk).

The women's event was won by Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel) while 90 riders set out in the race for fourth cats, which saw VC Norwich's Simon Lomax and David Moore (Norwich ABC) active at the front but Thomas Ward (Giant) winning. Dougal Toms (Iceni) attacked in the U14s but just lost out to Adam Botteley (Bourne) on the line. Yarmouth rider Zak Coleman was fourth and Matthew Baker (GYCC) fifth.

The cold wet weather continued for the opening races of the Norwich Cycling Academy's Spring Series at Norwich Airport Park & Ride. Their reward was a chance to meet Victoria Williamson – returning to Norfolk with the bronze medal won in the World Championships in Belarus.

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Eight riders turned out in the Diss CC Women-Only reliability trial, with a further 16 men divided between the two longer distance routes. The Diss club have now added on-road alternatives to their 50 and 100km off-road reliability rides this coming Sunday. All are based at World Horse Welfare, Snetterton. There are details at http://disscc.wordpress.com

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