Team CCN mountain biker Alex Nichol shows her rivals a clean pair of heels
Norwich mountain biker Alex Nichol raced through the night to win the solo female class at the Dusk 'til Dawn race in Thetford Forest, the Team CCN star covering more than 100 miles of off-road tracks in 12 hours.
At the finish she had more than a full lap (10.5 miles) in hand over second female Clare Allen of Team Cambridge.
This year no rain fell during the event, but the course was soggy at first from storms the previous night and evolved as the race went on. To start with it was slippery on forest singletrack, becoming quicker later, while the reverse happened on the open fire roads – which became more sticky and draggy as time went on.
Darren Evans and Jason Smith from Norwich-based Team CCN were second in the pairs, the event they won in the rain last year. In the male teams of three Thetford man Ian Mockett, Stephen James from Diss and Callum Riley won with 17 laps, a distance no other team matched except the four-man Fenboy Slackers (the Ashby family plus Nigel Scott) who went one better with 18 laps (189 miles). Not entirely without incident as dad Ashby crashed on the last lap and finished riding rather awkwardly with half a handlebar tucked up among the brake cables.
Among the solo men Watton 18 year-old Adam Cross rode further in this night off-road event than he had ever done in one go before - on or off-road. Riding a simple single-speed MTB he covered 115 miles. He 'Hit the wall' at dawn, but CC Breckland clubmate Matt Carter talked him into continuing. 'Hugely satisfying' was Cross's final verdict.
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Iceni Velo's Simon Millard escaped in the final miles to win the Maldon & District road race for third and fourth category riders. The view from the bunch seems to have been that he had gone too early and would soon be back. Millard proved them wrong. One of several misjudgements in a race that was wryly described as 'a good learning experience' and featured a pile-up which caused some expensive damage but fortunately no serious injuries. In the accompanying race for higher category riders the top local finisher was Liam Gentry (Strada Sport) in eighth place.
The Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club had an outstandingly successful day for their ten mile time trial where member Jason Turner was the winner in 22:11 and led the club to the team win backed by Ryan Pell (23:32) and Rob London (23:33). There was an outstanding ride by junior Ed Slater (Strada Sport) who took fifth place overall in 22:54 while many will have been especially pleased to see Martin Pyne (Anglia Velo) back as a winner - best veteran on standard with 22:56, (plus 4:03). Top Lady was Sally Withey (VC Norwich, 26:09). Conditions on the Wortwell to Bungay and back course were pleasantly autumnal with sun and a tail crosswind - or rather breeze on the outward leg.
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Next day the weather became too autumnal – fog causing the cancellation of the NABC 25.
Ian Chatten (Iceni Velo) made the long trek to Welwyn Garden City to gain experience in the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League and coped well with the daunting climbs and descents of the Stanborough Park course, finishing 17th out of 49 in a hot morning race for veterans.
Top Norfolk finishers included Phil Buick (Iceni), third in the Vets, Angus Toms second in the Under 12s and Anna Buick second in the women. The latter much saddened at having to return from Pakistan without racing, after the Tour of the Himalayas was cancelled due to political unrest. 'An amazing country' said the Wymondham racer.
Finally a reminder that the Stoke Holy Cross hill climb (11am Sunday) is a 'Come and Try It' event and budding Bradleys are welcome to have a go. Details: Geoff Mayne 01986 893653.