Shaun’s the master at Fritton Lake
- Credit: Archant
Novices at the grassroots mountain bike racing at Fritton Lake were given a masterclass on how it should be done by experienced campaigner Shaun Aldous.
The Bungay racer took advantage of an event on his doorstep to take the first senior race of the Five by Three series by a comfortable margin.
Behind Aldous there was plenty of action, but it was Patrick Stokes who claimed second, with Matthew Mantle rounding off the podium. Fellow riders may be relieved to know that Aldous is unlikely to compete in the series again this season due to family commitments.
In the women's race Amy Cole beat Emily Orford, with Lynn Emmett third. The under-12 race, whose young riders carried on regardless despite a monsoonal downpour, was won by Josun Cole, while Oliver Riley took the U16 event from Zak Coleman and Sophie Wright.
Series organiser Sara Flatt will have been encouraged by the good number of newcomers to racing on the start line and by the number of younger riders.
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The short course at Fritton Lake rode well, despite the heavy showers, offering plenty of technical twists and turns and rooty sections mixed with open runs to allow either recovery or attack, depending on fitness levels.
The next event is likely to be at the UEA on November 24; see www.fivebythreemtb.com.
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In the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League Ross Tricker (XRT/Elmy Cycles), runner-up three times this season, took the Senior win at Thurrock. League leader Matt Webber looked to have the race sewn up, but felt his chain jumping as mud built up on the gears. He warned his pit helper to be ready for a quick bike change – but the gear choked and destroyed itself while Webber was at a distant corner of the course and the long run to his spare bike cost him the win.
The course, by the Mardyke river at Davy Down Country Park, included a tricky footbridge that floored several riders, but this year no-one ended in the river at the squeeze point where the course runs close to the bank – this time protected by lush vegetation.
Juniors Lewis Hardcastle (Great Yarmouth CC) and Henry Perium (Iceni Velo) battled for 58th place with such seriousness that both made their last lap their fastest of all – with Hardcastle getting the verdict on the line. Forty eight seconds back was former Norfolk RC roadman Richard Hall, whose son Cameron rode the Youth race where the winner was Callum Mackie (Lee Valley Youth CC). Ian Chatten (Iceni, 26th) was top local rider in the Veterans, but Diss & District's Stephen Dunnett improved to finish 1:46 behind Chatten.
While all this was going on, Victoria Williamson, whose family live at Hevingham, was taking ninth in the Women's Keirin at the European Track Championships in Holland.
Five by Three MTB, Fritton Lake (Provisional)
Senior/Junior Men: 1 Shaun Aldous, 2 Patrick Stokes, 3 Matthew Mantle, 4 Darren Rutterford, 5 Spencer Laborde, 6 Barney Horne, 7 James Murphy, 8 David Husband, 9 Wayne Barber, 10 Stuart French.
Women: 1 Amy Cole, 2 Emily Orford, 3 Lynn Emmett.
U16: 1 Oliver Riley, 2 Zak Coleman, 3 Sophie Wright.
U12: 1 Josun Cole, 2 Colin Mantle, 3 Ben Laflin.