Thetford test brings back memories for the old hands at new mountain bike Winter Series

Kings Lynn riders Russell Rout and Adie Harris lead this string. Photos: FERGUS MUIR

Kings Lynn riders Russell Rout and Adie Harris lead this string. Photos: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Emily Quantrill (Pedal Addiction) and Paul Ashby (King's Lynn MTB) were the fastest Norfolk riders in the opening event of a new mountain bike Winter Series, organised by King's Lynn MTB and sponsored by Bury St Edmunds bike shop Revel Outdoors.

The course in Thetford Forest, just north of Brandon, put the emphasis on wide, undulating single-track, bringing back into use some trails which hadn't been raced over recently and which evoked nostalgia in some forest old hands. On a still morning the autumn leaves dropped vertically.

At the front of the Senior Men's three-hour, eventual winner Tom Scott-Collins (Wellingborough Cycles) and Andrew Cockburn (Newdales Cycles) were never parted. Next came Ashby, undisputed leader of the Veterans' field, with, in the later stages, young Tom Wragg (Morvelo Test Team) gasping on his wheel. Among the younger 'Vets' Andy Sampson (Sussed Out Suspension) was fastest, finally getting the better of Kenninghall rider Chris Hunter in the last two laps.

Quantrill, riding in the cheerful colours of Norwich shop Pedal Addiction, had just one second in hand over Mel Paddington (Newdales), although neither of these could get near veteran women's winner Laura Sampson (Sussed Out Suspension) from Stowmarket.

Shorter races, with later starts, were also on offer, with Callum Riley (Newdales) taking the 90 Minute Men's despite Rob Smithers (KLMTB) visibly saving every second as he chased. The corresponding women's race went to Elvita Branch (Sussed Out) ahead of Jodie Cole (HKR) while James Pickering (Push Sport) topped the Junior list.

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Grafham Water emerged from a foggy dawn to provide a fine venue for the 10th round of the Eastern League cyclo-cross, with competitors finding a narrow strip of rideable sand on the very edge of the great reservoir, between deep water on the left and loose sand on the right.

Norwich rider Jimmy Piper overhauled early leader Roy Chamberlain to wear his MS Society vest to a sixth win this season in the Vets 50+ race. Kieran Jarvis (Strada Sport) and Michael Parry (Welwyn Whs) battled for the Junior prize, with Parry finally giving best.

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Full use was made of the planks – one for the Under-10s, two for the Under-12s and fairly massive three for everyone older – which did not stop James Madgwick bunny-hopping them astride his bike in his unsuccessful quest to beat winner Grant Martin. In the end Martin (XRT/Elmy) won the Senior race from James Hyde (Renvale RT) with Madgwick third.

Revel Outdoors/King's Lynn MTB Winter Series Round One

Three Hour Races:

Men (eight laps): 1 Tom Scott-Collins (Wellingborough Cycles) 3:12:10, 2 A Cockburn (Newdales Cycles) 3:12:16, 3 P Ashby (King's Lynn MTB) 3:23:23, 4 T Wragg (Morvelo Test) 3:23:24, 5 A Sampson (Sussed Out) 3:23:59, 6 C Hunter (HKR) 3:27:25.

Women (seven 7 laps): 1 Laura Sampson (Sussed Out) 3:10:24, 2 Emily Quantrill (Pedal Addiction) 3:20:05, 3 M Paddington (Newdales Cycles) 3:20:06.

Ninety Minute Races:

Men (four laps): 1 Callum Riley (Newdales Cycles) 4 in 1:33:27, 2 R Smithers (KLMTB) 1:36:23, 3 S Bishop (Strada Sport) 1:38:14, 4 J Murphy (Pedal Addiction) 1:40:06, 5 J McAndrew (Ely & Dist) 1:40:31.

Women (four laps): 1 Elvita Branch (Sussed Out)1:55:20, 2 J Cole (HKR) 2:00:30.

Junior Men over 4 laps: 1 James Pickering (Push Sport) 1:43:37, 2 J Shailes (KLMTB) 1:43:39, 3 A Kings (Flitch Bikes) 1:52:16.

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