VC Norwich's Asher times his charge to perfection

Fergus MuirSimon Asher of VC Norwich and young Extreme Sports Therapy rider Josh Hannan were the stars of the second round of the Lotus Cars Cycle Race League. After several others had tried and failed, Asher and Hannan attacked and never looked back.Fergus Muir

Simon Asher of VC Norwich and young Extreme Sports Therapy rider Josh Hannan were the stars of the second round of the Lotus Cars Cycle Race League.

After several others had tried and failed, Asher and Hannan attacked and never looked back. They made their break stick and rode a two-up to the finish, where Asher took the flag by yards.

Behind, a huge bunch charged round the final corner six abreast and Ipswich Bicycle Club sprint specialist Dan Zagni won the sprint for third.

Lotus engineer Dave Kane stayed at the track after work to win the Go-Race from Matt Smith.


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Meanwhile, the Eastern Region Road Race championship was long and hot - about 110 miles under cloudless skies on a rural course in north Essex.

Teamwork played an important part. Championship competitors must live in the Eastern Region and the strong, nine member Orbea team, firmly based in NE London and Essex, were able put at least one member in every break.

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Other powerful teams - Cambridge CC and Finchley RT - were less complete and less successful in this respect. Some of the 'big cats' like last year's champion Joe Skipper (Team Zappi's, 20th this year) and David Nichols (10th) and third-placed Dom Schils (both Wielerteam Van Eyke Sport) lacked mass team support as most team mates live far outside the region.

Attacks began as soon as the race left Saffron Walden. By mid race a lead of about a dozen riders were away.

As the distance and the heat took their toll, Orbea riders Andy Lyons and Dan Kogan went clear and Lyons took the chequered flag. Chelmsford rider Lyons is 40 and first won the old Essex Division Championship way back in 1989.

He has now won a regional championship in every decade since.

There were hot conditions in the national championship 10-mile time trial in Worcestershire where best of the local Pedal Revolution team was Mark Arnold, who was 12th in 20:17.

Other local riders were Nino Piccoli (Pedal Revolution), 26th in 20:35, and Jim Burgess (Anglia Velo), 67th in 21:22. Winner was Michael Hutchinson in 18:37. CC Breckland's Adam Cross was 47th in the junior championship in 23:44 and Pat Pepper Trophy winner Emilie Fisher (Orbea/For Goodness Shakes) was 21st in the in the women's championship in 23:20.

Riders in the Eastern Counties CA 50 at Newmarket found themselves exposed to the headwind - and perversely sheltered on the tailwind sections.

Second-placed Peter Balls (West Suffolk Whs) finished in 1:47:01, compared to his 1:43:37 in the same event last year. Unusually, this 50 was in the afternoon. The sun beat down from above and the heat was reflected back up by the tarmac, to neatly grill the riders all round.

Other local riders included Chris Nudds (CC Breckland, 1:55:56) and Patrick Ellis (Diss & District, 1:57:21).

CTC Norfolk's Dennis Smith Memorial ride on Sunday is an opportunity to take part in a 50 mile reliability ride.

There are two starting places - at Roydon Village Hall, near Diss and Eaton Village Hall near Norwich, and schedules ranging from five hours down to a 'Sportive' group aiming for two hours 45 minutes. Tony Clarke on 07811747890 can tell you more.

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