Robert makes his local knowledge count at Redgrave
Local boy Robert Hunt won a rain-swept Redgrave road race, rounding the final corner second in line and overhauling Mat Shotbolt (CC Sudbury) to cross the line in Redgrave village centre, a bikes length ahead of Diss CC's Trevor Banham who had rightly judged that Hunt's wheel was a good one to follow.
Local knowledge of this short, narrow circuit certainly helped – especially when a shower of torrential rain hit the race and sunglasses and flying spray combined to make it hard to see anything but the wheel in front. Attacks did not last long – though VC Norwich's Peter Hargreaves made two attempts.
Starting in the dry and with narrow sections not far ahead and, the race field flew out of the blocks, hitting over 37mph with a tailwind and dropping eight riders before the first descent of Slade Lane.
At corner at the bottom Jack Clark (VCN) departed the race horizontally – though he declined medical assistance and got back on his bike. Local knowledge certainly counts on Slade Lane Hunt, brought up at nearby Yaxley and winner here in 2002, got to the front at one stage by riding the grass strip down the middle.
Upholding the short (35-mile) race's reputation as a first stepping stone on the road to success, third place went to Horsford rider James Browne (VC Norwich), who was riding only his third mass-start race, while clubmate Peter Hargreaves, making a comeback (aged 21) took fifth spot.
The same heavy rain showers hit the Shaftesbury Middlemarkers 25-mile time trial where David Moore (Norwich Amateur BC) was the winner in 57 minutes three seconds.
Starting in sunshine Moore got a soaking two miles into the race and, faced with bow waves from passing lorries, considered abandoning the event.
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But there was nowhere to exit the Newmarket bypass course and he continued and – flying back from the turn with a strong tailwind, finished with 1.41 off his personal best.
'I enjoyed it in a way,' said the Wymondham postman. Second, taking 1.43 off his best, was Great Yarmouth livewire Neil Turner who took his time down to 57.34, while other highly placed local finishers included Rob London (NABC, 58.38) and Ian Doe 58.45.
Doe, a Diss and District member, not to be confused with his namesake and Lotus organiser who belongs to VC Norwich.
• Nino Picolli (Pedal Revolution) ignored a flapping valve cover brushing against his frame to win the East Anglian CC evening 10 on the Wymondham bypass in 19.37 from Anglia Velo's Lowestoft rider Jim Burgess (20.48).
Afternoon rain cleared before the start but a rising headwind on the return leg was unhelpful.
Nevertheless there were several personal bests – notably from third-placed Gary Rushmore (King's Lynn CC, 20.52), ladies' winner Rebecca Taylor (Wisbech Wheelers, 23.07) and 13-year-old Declan Davis (CC Breckland, 22.08).
Alan Trolove of West Suffolk Wheelers took a remarkable first senior victory in the second Ipswich Criterium at the Suffolk Showground.
Peter Hargreaves of VC Norwich was fourth in a race in which the star riders, handicapped to make up three minutes on the main field, did not succeed in doing so.
Anthony Stapleton (Chelmer CC) survived a hailstorm to win the Plomesgate 25 in 57.37.
Third category Finchley RT rider Simon Hime slipped off the front of the XRT/Elmy Cycles road race at Gosbeck in north Suffolk to take a solo win.
Best placed Norfolk rider was Mike Auger (VC Norwich) in fourth place.