Slackers get their skates on for Dusk-til-Dawn night race in Thetford Forest

Darren Evans (Team CCN) right, on the podium of the Dusk-til-Dawn MTB race in Thetford Forest. Pictu

Darren Evans (Team CCN) right, on the podium of the Dusk-til-Dawn MTB race in Thetford Forest. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

They may call themselves the Fen Boy Slackers, but the Ashby family MTB team were the fastest of all in the Dusk-til-Dawn night race in Thetford Forest.

Dad Paul Ashby and sons Shane and James were 20 minutes clear of the best pair and 43 minutes clear of the leading team of four. And soon after the 8am finish, James hurried off to compete in – and win – a speed skating marathon.

The 'Slackers' covered 18 of the nine-mile laps on a course that Paul praised for bringing back into use some interesting single-track routes, including a fearsome descent that was hard on the wrists.

Rain before the start luckily firmed up the trails, but the race itself was dry and cold – during the night temperatures dropped below freezing in the Breckland frost-pockets, making the lively encouragement of Army Cadets deep in the forest doubly welcome: they form part of the race communication system.

There were 92 riders who tackled the race solo, with the winner being Madison/Genesis pro and Tour Series race-winner Tom Stewart, 16 laps in 11hrs 24 mins. Top Norwich rider, in third, was Darren Evans (Team CCN), part of the pairs winning team for each of the past four years but this time going solo to cover 15 laps (132.7 miles) in 11:28:07.

Among the many relay teams was Jodie Cole from Norwich, half of the winning Female Pairs team with Karen Aldis, and producing an astonishingly consistent set of lap times.

Unsung star of the Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club's 10 and 25-mile time trials in the Waveney Valley was timekeeper Mike Johnson who was completing his 50th year holding the watch. Trained by NABC chairman and president Ernie Howes, Johnson can still remember his first event alone in charge and in particular a moment of panic as the first rider bore down on the finish line – especially as the rider happened to be Mick Gambling, well known for his magazine articles portraying the humorous mishaps in the cycling world.

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In the NABC 25 on Sunday, Johnson timed a dead tie for second place both James Trenchard (Godric CC) and Steve Gorbutt (Diss CC) finishing in 55:48, Gorbutt also being best veteran on age standard. Winner, on a cold morning was Daniel Bloy (VeloVelocity) in 54:40.

• On Sunday, Geoff Mayne (01986 893653) is organising a combined clubs hill climb at Stoke Holy Cross Church Hall, first rider off at 11am. Entries on the day are welcome – allow time to sign on.