Piper’s run of form ends at Colchester as Muchmore wins
Richard Muchmore’s win in the Amis Velo Vets 50-plus cyclo-cross at Colchester, brought to an end Jimmy Piper’s splendid run of 18 Eastern League wins in the category.
Piper (MS Society) was leading when he lost pressure in both his tyres. As is his custom, he was racing with just one bike, but had a pump in the pits which he energetically used. He rejoined the race in second place but now found that his tubeless tyres held pressure perfectly and consequently on the mainly firm surfaces he was shaken to bits for the rest of the race.
With Muchmore famous for getting faster towards the end of his races, the Honington man’s 40 second lead never looked in danger.
There was another win for Renvale RT when Steve James won the Senior Men’s race.
Like Muchmore, he usually lets others contest the sometimes hairy sprint away from the start – and in this case it was Jules Birks (VC Londres), Lloyd Chapman (XRT/Elmy Cycles) and Sean Dunlea (Bloodwise/QSW) who set the pace. Soon, however James took command and with young James Madgwick (Bloodwise/QSW) chasing, the pair drew away from rest of the field.
James never lost the lead, but nor could he relax, with the young pretender always close, and afterwards James declared it his hardest race of the season.
The course made much use of the bank between the two main levels of Hillyfields and these climbs were not immediately followed by a descent – so there was no rest after the big efforts. And there was a lot of loose-going on leaf-mould in the wooded section
Senior league leader Seb Herrod (Strada Sport) recovered well from being caught out by sudden start-whistle to outsprint Jules Birks for third place.
Stowmarket rider Freddie Grover (Fast Test) took his first win in the Junior category ending a run of seven Junior wins by Cam Hurst (XRT/Elmy).
Lauren Higham from Stevenage was clear winner of the Women’s race ahead of Alison Hogg (Push Sport) and Jo Newstead (XRT/Elmy) while Becky Ridge of Manningtree BC put in her best ride of the season to take sixth place.
Forest Side Riders again dominated the Vets race for riders aged 40-49 with another one-two-three win. Glenn Davey (Stowmarket and District, sixth) was again top local finisher, just ahead of Ant Birt (Ipswich BC) and Adam Chamberlin of Hadleigh team TPH Racing.
These 40-49 Vets races are about 20 minutes shorter than the Senior events, but the speed in only slightly slower – 40-49 winner Ben Lewis covered his five laps in 38:50, while Senior winner James covered his first five laps in 37:35 in very similar conditions.
Harrison Powell led Lee Valley Youth club-mates Alex Dale and Max Bolton on the first lap of the Youth event, but Adam Lightfoot soon carried the blue colours of village club CC Ashwell to the front. Jake Crossley (Colchester Rovers, sixth) was top local finisher, while just eight seconds behind Crossley, Charlie Johnson (Ipswich CSC) scored his highest placing of the season.
In the Under 12s, Dylan Starkey won after a close race with U12 league leader Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Wheelers), the pair leaving the rest of the field nearly a minute behind.
Cyclists have said their final goodbyes to Halesworth clubman Dave Hatcher who served the Godric CC as treasurer for over 40 years. Though never a fast rider – his times of 1:09:36 (1968 Norfolk RC 25) and 5:24:16 (1970 NCA 100) were not untypical - he was voted the Member Doing Most for the Club on numerous occasions
Timekeepers Pete and Pam Milner were Guests of Honour at the VC Baracchi Presentation Night where young member Lucas He was acclaimed as Rider of the Year while the other end of the age-spectrum 70 year-old Chris Womack was top veteran. The Charles Grimmer Trophy for Service to the sport went to Mark Richards.
AMIS VELO CYCLO-CROSS Leading and local riders: SENIOR/JUNIORS: 1 Stephen James (Renvale RT) 8 laps in 1:00:34, 2 James Madgwick (Bloodwise) +0;18, 3 Seb Herrod (Strada Sport), 7 F Grover (Fast Test, 1st Junior) + 3:40, 8 L Chapman (XRT/Elmy Cycles)+ 4:21, 10 C Hurst (XRT/Elmy) +4:42. WOMEN: 1 Lauren Higham (LIV AWOL) 5 in 45:47, 2 Alison Hogg (Push Sport) +1:45, 3 Jo Newstead (XRT/Elmy) +2:08, 7 Becky Ridge (Manningtree BC). VETS 40-49: 1 Ben Lewis (Forest Side Riders) 5 in 38:50, 2 Roger Maidment (Forest Side) +0:01, 3 Matthew Webber (Forest Side) +0:04, 6 G Davey (Stowmarket & District) +0:51, 7 A Birt (Ipswich BC) :0:54, 8 A Chamberlin (TPH) +2:38, 10 A Hurst (Colchester Rovers) +2:41. VETS 50+: 1 Richard Muchmore (Renvale RT) 5 in 40:33, 2 Jimmy Piper (MS Society) +0:48, 3 Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) +1:38, 7 M Bowen (West Suffolk Whs) +2:15, 8 P Watson (West Suffolk Whs) +2:26.