Sparks fly as Gentry celebrates with victory
Lowestoft power man Liam Gentry celebrated his birthday by winning his own club's road race on the Somerleyton circuit.
The strongly-built electrician outsprinted Lee Desborough (St Ives CC) after his VC Baracchi clubmate Ben McCluskey had helped him break away with about six miles of the 66-mile race remaining. It was Gentry's first mass-start win on the open road.
The middle miles of the race were dominated by a strong break containing mainly Essex riders, which was finally brought back by a determined chase in which Dieter Rowe (VC Norwich) was a prominent force.
The wind features in every account of the Diss & District 25-mile time trial on the Bressingham to Thetford and back course. One 21-minute 10-miler reports taking over 26 minutes to cover that distance from the start. Winner Mark Arnold, who usually rides a fixed gear, took to gears for his 56:40 winning ride. Jim Burgess (Anglia Velo) was second in 57:25, ahead of Gary Rushmore (King's Lynn CC, 57:56) and Geoff Frost (API, 59:05). Leading the promoting club's entry was Mark Solley, who was fifth in 59:25.
North Norfolk Wheeler Steve Rush started his open time trial season with a solid 382 miles in the Mersey Roads 24-hour time trial, while Mike Rainton (VC Baracchi) covered 321 miles. The wind was strong in the daylight hours and the temperature very low in the night.
There were difficult tyre choices to be made in the Danbury round of the Mud Sweat and Gears MTB series. Grass sections were really fast, but tucked away in the woods were muddy strips where knobbly tyres were needed. Team CCN's Glen Stanford won the seniors' race, covering eight laps in one hour 41 minutes – a few seconds behind veteran winner Lewis King (Beeline Bicycles). Team CCN's Andrew Manning was third in the vets. Thetford man Ian Mockett challenged early on, but fell back to eighth. The Buick family from Wymondham won the Grand Vets (Phil), senior women (Anna) and the Challenger Youth Female (Imogen).
Ben Nicholson (Iceni Velo) won the evening road race on the much-upgraded racing car circuit at Lotus after breaking away with just over a lap to go.
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Norwich Junior Josh Hannan (Glendene CC) took eighth place in the National Junior Series race in Buckinghamshire.
VC Baracchi Road Race, Somerleyton: 1 Liam Gentry (VC Baracchi) 2 L Desborough (St Ives CC) 3 S Griffiths (PCH UK) 4 J Sale (Eagle RC) 5 D Crawley (PCH UK).
Diss & District CC 25: 1 Mark Arnold (Team Pedal Revolution) 56:40, 2 J Burgess (Anglia Velo) 57:25, 3 G Rushmore (King's Lynn CC), 4 G Frost (API) 59:05, 5 M Solley (Diss & District), 6 N Vaughan (VC Norwich) 59:30, 7 S Daw (CC Sudbury) 59:42, 8 C Leggett (59:50).