West Suffolk Wheelers host ninth round of the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League at West Stow Country Park's Anglo Saxon Village
Battles were fought out at the gates of the Anglo Saxon Village at West Stow Country Park when cyclists from all over the region contested the ninth round of the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League.
Members of Bury cycling club West Suffolk Wheelers, led by Giles Prime and working with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, opened up new routes and mowed and rolled them into a cyclo-cross course to be proud of.
A difficult-to-negotiate sandpit tested the skills of riders and proved an interesting spectator attraction.
Racing opened with short events for riders under-8, U10 and U12 children. Then youth competitors attacked the full-length course with Stowmarket rider Charlie Johnson coming within three seconds of repeating his U16 win at Grafham Water last week.
Bethany Barnett (LIV AWOL) was top U16 girl, ahead of Martha Lebentz, who lives in Bury but rides for Hadleigh Cycling Club.
In the Vets 50-plus race Richard Muchmore from Honington was nearest challenger to winner Jimmy Piper, while Paul Driver from Elmswell was sixth – this from a field of 99 riders.
Glenn Davey (Stowmarket & District CC, fourth) was the top local finisher in the Vets 40-49 race won by Matt Webber of Forest Side Riders.
In the final race of the day a fast start from James Madgwick set the Bloodwise/QSH rider up for clear run to win. A chasing group including Cam Hurst (XRT), Max Bolton (Lee Valley Youth), and Dickleburgh rider Kieran Jarvis , later replaced by Seb Herrod (Strada) made no impression and broke up towards the end. Herrod overhauled Parrish to take second overall, but Parrish was first Junior home, ahead of Bolton and last week’s Junior winner Angus Toms (Iceni).
Another new course was opened up when Thetford Racing began their Winter Series mountain bike races in the forest based at the St Helen’s picnic area across the river from Santon Downham.
Laura Sampson from Stowmarket was the 40-plus women’s winner, while Martha Lebentz was top Youth Girl.
In the shorter 90-minute race Paul Groombridge (Push Sport) won the 40-plus race by 37 seconds from Kenninghall rider Chris Hunter, with a fifth spot for Haverhill rider Nick Ainsworth. The new course was widely praised.
“Technical in a good way, not technical dangerous,” said Matthew Mantle of Mildenhall CC.
“The newly-created tracks were bumpy and hard on arms and backs, but more use will cure that.”
West Suffolk Wheelers had four riders competing in the three-hour veteran category with Paul Watson seventh, Paul Vickers 12th, Mark McCormack 21st and Malcolm Borg 39th.
Club members also took part in the winter cross-country series at Framlingham Castle with some good performances.