Thrilling finale to top race of season

East Anglia's biggest cyclo-cross of the season reached a thrilling climax when Liam Killeen and Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) sprinted side by side to the finish of the senior men's race in Chantry Park, Ipswich.

Both riders knew there was a smooth side and a bumpy side to the finishing straight and at the last corner Killeen, the 2006 Commonwealth Games MTB champion, claimed the smooth and the win was his.

It had been a war of attrition. With 35 minutes remaining six riders had formed a leading group – Killeen, Oldham, Jody Crawford (Hargroves Cycles) and three visitors from Belgium. With seven minutes to go it was down to Killeen and Oldham.

This year the course was slightly simplified, with high planks to vault, but the real sorting out occurring on reverse-camber grass bends, which got tighter towards the exit.

Best Norfolk finisher in the senior men's race was Tim Guy of the Streetlife-based Extreme Sports Therapy team who looked smooth and fast but was placed 43rd in this international company.


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North Suffolk schoolboy Hugo Robinson (XRT/Elmy Cycles), probably the youngest rider in the junior race, put up a grand fight but had to be content with second place to Alistair Slater (Hargroves Cycles).

This was not difficult given the news that he has been selected to represent Great Britain in the European Championships in Frankfurt this Sunday.

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The Wymondham family Buick had good results in three races — Anna was sixth in the women's race, Imogen seventh in the Under-16 girls and dad Phil 14th in the Over-50 Veterans.

• Mark Arnold of the Norwich bike shop-sponsored Team Pedal Revolution took 28th place, out of 148 finishers, in the National Championship Hill Climb near Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.

His time was 4-24.4, 53 seconds down on winner Dan Fleeman. Will Bamber, from Denton near Bungay was 53rd in 4:43.8. In the British Universities Championship Andrew Knowles, Cromer-based but riding for Aberystwyth University, was 61st out of 134 who reached the top of the Curbar Edge climb in Derbyshire.

• On Sunday the City of Norwich Cycling and Triathlon Club have an afternoon of Go-Ride racing at St Williams Primary School in Norwich for age groups seven to 16. Details can be found on the club's website at http://contriathlonclub.co.uk.

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