National champion Mitch Powell honoured at British Cycling Awards
PUBLISHED: 14:48 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 15 February 2018
Chelmsford teenager Mitch Powell was at the British Cycling Awards Ceremony in Birmingham at the weekend to receive the splendid trophy for winning the National Short Distance Grass Track Series.
Despite breaking his collarbone in the Alps in the middle of the racing season, the 19-year-old was back racing within three weeks, just in time to clinch the series in the very last counting race at Mildenhall Festival of Cycling.
Push Sport’s entry level mountain bike race series was rounded off at the Phoenix Cycleworks facility at Kentford near Newmarket with plenty of riders getting racing experience in time for the first round of the Mud Sweat and Gears Series at the end of the month.
At the front of the races there were some old hands showing the way round. On a cold morning with heavy going in prospect James Murphy of King’s Lynn MTB led off the race for senior, junior and youth competitors but it was West Suffolk Wheelers veteran Paul Watson who prevailed in the end. Watson was followed by Glen Stanford, Nick Salter and Richard Dickson.
These names cropped up again in the Under 12s where Alex Stanford (Epic Orange), Tommy Dickson (West Suffolk Wheelers) and Stanley Salter (Cambridge Junior CC) took the top three places, ahead of Charlie Payne (Newmarket C&TC), and Samuel Brook (West Suffolk Wheelers).
Phoenix Cycles own Lucy Drummond was top Under 12 Girl, while Epic Orange’s Jodie Cole was first woman among the Seniors.
The Ely and District Hardriders time trial fully lived up to its fearsome reputation, despite sunshine and temperatures just above freezing giving a semblance of normality.
Suffolk entrants do not seem to have been deceived, however, judging by the large number listed as “Did Not Start”.
The wind was the chief problem – recorded by Cambridge Digital Technology as gusting to 30 mph - though avoiding potholes, hard-packed mud and agricultural vehicles all demanded a high standard of concentration from competitors.
Despite all this the women’s course record fell twice during the day. First Jess Atkinson of Cambridge University CC recorded 1:07:56, beating Cindy Berry’s 2017 record for the Little Downham based course by 1:20.
Then a few minutes later Lucy Charles – second in the 2017 World Ironman Championships – completely revised the record to 1:05:43.
Men’s winner was John Mulvey (57:13) – one of twelve starters from Cambridge University CC. Second was last year’s winner Felix Barker (Cambridge University) whose 57:47 included an off-course excursion.
Soham rider Kieran Brady was top local finisher taking seventh place in 1:00:10. Brady, now riding for the KTM semi-pro team, managed to control his time trial bike, though said he was “blown about a bit.”
Broadly the twisting lane sections of the course were this year head and sidewind legs, while the mid-section on the A142 and A10 were incredibly fast top gear tailwind dashes.
As for the wind, VC Baracchi rider Paul Hayward (1:08:54) commented: “It’s the first time I’ve had my lid trying to lift off in the wind”
CC Sudbury sent a mixed team with James Rush the fastest in 1:08:02, Mandy Bunn (1:12:05) while Stewart Kirk finished in 1:14:13.
In addition to the single day of racing at Lotus on March 17th, mentioned last week, the regular Lotus Evening Series, now in its 13th season, starts on Tuesday 1st May.
The format will be the same as in recent years with Youth races from 19-00 to 19-30 and all Junior / Senior Cats at 19-30 for 1 hour.
Other events are 8th, 15th and 22nd May, plus 5th, 12th & 19th June. Note Tuesday 29th May is not included in case Lotus need the track that evening for commercial reasons.
This Sunday the Maglia Rosso cycling cafe at Hawstead (IP29 5NR) is the base for the Mille Maglia CX Sportive. Starting at 9am, there are mainly off-road routes of 55, 70 or, for the brave, 100 kilometres.
RESULTS – ELY & DISTRICT HARDRIDERS 25 – Leading and local riders:
1 John Mulvey (Cambridge University CC) 57:13, 2 Felix Barker (CUCC) 57:47, 3 Sebastian Dickson (Thanet RC) 57:50, 6 Mark Williams (RAFCA) 59:42, 7 Kieran Brady (Team KTM UK) 1:00:10, 13 David Procter (VeloVelocity) 1:03:44, 22 (1st Woman) Lucy Charles (Hoddesdon Tri) 1:05:43, 24 David Halliday (Newmarket C&TC) 1:06:46, 26 Geoff Frost (VeloVelocity)1:07:21, 27 (2nd W) Jess Atkinson CUCC) 1:07:56, 28 James Rush (CC Sudbury) 1:08:02,, 31 Paul Hayward (VC Baracchi) 1:08:54, 36 Dan Bromilow (Ely & District) 1:10:34, 38 (3rd W) Helen Gravatt (London Women’s Racing CC) 1:11:35 39 (4th W) Mandy Bunn (CC Sudbury) 1:12:05, 40 Stewart Kirk (CCS) 1:14:13, 42 John Manlow (Ely & District CC) 1:14:30.