Wind hits cyclists in Norfolk Nips Audax-style ride from Norwich to half-way check at Syderstone

The wind is what everybody who rode the third Norfolk Nips Audax-style ride will remember most – except perhaps for those who were caught in the hailstorm.

The wind made it hard going from Norwich to the half-way check at Syderstone – inland from Burnham Market.

It brought rapid changes of weather from sunshine to hail. And it blew riders over the final 30 miles at a speed that helped induce glowing memories around the refreshments tables at the finish.

The route took riders from Hellesdon to Attlebridge and then through Fustyweed – a tiny hamlet that proclaims its unusual name in a very large sign. On to Horningtoft where the hedges seemed to run out and riders felt the full force of the wind.

Soon, though, a fine rainbow ushered in sunshine. The scenery was at its best as riders passed the ruins of Coxford Priory and skirted Syderstone Common, though there was barely a leaf left on any tree.

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All of a sudden the sky darkened and a storm swept through. Some were soaked, others were lucky enough to be tucking in to refreshments in the Amy Robsart Hall at Syderstone.

With the wind behind, the return journey through Great Ryburgh and Reepham was plain sailing for most of the 115 riders. Total distance was 103 km – 64 miles. I am reminded that this was a Brevet Populaire – not a proper Audax. The real thing starts at 200 kms minimum – for short ones.

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Definitely a real Audax is the National 400 (kilometres), an event which the Norfolk 'n Good team which has made such a success of the Norfolk Nips series are reviving for 2012 after a lapse of several years. It will be on June 16th, based at Hempnall in South Norfolk.

• Phil Buick (Iceni Velo) finished his League cyclo-cross season in style, winning the final round of the Elmy Cycles veterans' series at Mistley in Essex and confirming his place at the top of the league table. In a frenetic starting sprint rival Bruce Robinson fell approaching – rather than on – the first corner and Buick was soon well clear on the roller-coaster valley-side course. He won by one minute 44 seconds.

A determined effort from Norwich veteran Patrick Stokes lifted him from 11th up to seventh spot in the league. Stokes punctured on the penultimate lap and, needing a result to complete a full card of counting rides, picked up his bike and was carrying it to the finish, before eventually being lent a machine for the final half lap.

Andy Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) flew up the climbs to win the senior race by 1:53. Greg Simcock now riding for Scott UK, won a private battle with Hayden Wood to take second place. Fourth place went to Iceni Velo's Tim Guy, who takes the bronze medal in the senior league in his first full season of cyclo-cross

A good ride by Norwich postman David Scotter (VC Norwich) lifted him up a place to take ninth spot in the senior league

• Riders in Sunday's VC Norwich 100 kilometre reliability ride faced a tough headwind climb out of Cromer, and hard ride all the way to Thursford. However conditions were not quite so difficult over the final miles to the finish in Horsford.

• VC Norwich hold a second reliability ride on Sunday, February 19, starting from the layby on the A140 Cromer Road near Norwich Airport between 8.30 and 9.30am. Distance for this one 65 miles.

• This coming Sunday a short – 50km, – ride will precede the East Distict time trial prize presentation at Carbrooke, near Watton. Start times are 10 -10.30am.

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