Sophie Wright is back with a bang as she takes victory at Shotesham

Sophie Wright (Strada Sport) wins the Women’s race

Sophie Wright (Strada Sport) wins the Womens race - Credit: Archant

Sophie Wright returned to racing with a carefully judged win in the first-ever Iceni Velo Women's Road Race held on the Shotesham circuit just south of Norwich.

This weekend she steps up to the UK round of the Junior World Cup mountain bike race at Hadleigh Park on Thameside.

Just six weeks after the operation to sort out the heart problem that has kept her out of the news since last autumn, Wright responded to an attack with two miles to go by Clover Murray (Team OnForm) who had earlier made a heroic six lap lone break.

Closely followed by Kent rider Jennifer Allum, Wright came through to take the flag on the top of Skeets Hill by a comfortable margin.

In the men's race the climbs of the Shotesham circuit failed to significantly break up the field until Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC) broke clear on the penultimate lap.

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Fuller just held on to win from former division champion Mike Auger (API).

The main race at the Ixworth village centre races was dominated by spectacular lead group of twelve with Pedal Power teammates Josh Aiken and Liam Manser and Ipswich full-time cyclist Oli Jones and Frank Moore (CC Hackney) most often driving the race along.

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After a hair-raising final corner into Ixworth High Street, Jones took the win from Matt Holmes (Arctic/Tacx).

A promising new generation of roadmen were on show in the Under 16s race Stowmarket rider Freddie Grover made an early bid but was eventually third behind winner Sam Asker from Bury St Edmunds and Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC).

Vincent Ellis (VC Norwich) took third in the 50+, while top local women were Gemma Melton (Pedal Power) fourth and Katie Scotter (Iceni Velo) fifth.

King's Lynn rider Matthew Senter had two wins over the weekend – taking the King's Lynn CC 10 at Tottenhill in 20:44 and then on the bank holiday morning on a draughty Bungay-Redenhall road taking the VC Baracchi 10 in 20:41.

Nearest challengers here were event organizer Mark Richards 13 seconds slower and Sean Taylor of RAF Honington, who record a time of 22:01.

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