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RAF rider Ian Lee sprints to win in Honington criterium

PUBLISHED: 13:03 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:03 25 August 2017

Eventual winner Ian Lee (nearest camera) and Harley Matthews (DAP CC) lead the break. Picture: RAF

Eventual winner Ian Lee (nearest camera) and Harley Matthews (DAP CC) lead the break. Picture: RAF

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RAF teamwork put Ian Lee in a position to win the third round of the Honington Evening Criteriums and the Marham technician timed it perfectly to outsprint Harley Matthews at the line.

The senior men’s podium at Honington (L-R) Morris Bacon, Ian Lee, Harley Matthews. Photo: RAF The senior men’s podium at Honington (L-R) Morris Bacon, Ian Lee, Harley Matthews. Photo: RAF

The tailwind sprint on an airfield was far from ideal for Lee, who is best known as a climber, but RAF teammate Robert Willcocks made sure Lee was there and fresh as a break of eight bore down on the finish.

Matthews (DAP CC) opened up the sprint; Lee took station on his wheel and flew past to the win, while in a 39 mph effort Strada Sport’s Morris Bacon pipped Matthews to take second spot.

Earlier Lee had made the first attack in company of Nick Esser (DAP CC) and others had chipped across to make the successful break.

James Richards (Southampton University) won the race for Fourth Cat (entry-level) riders while Katie Ward took the women’s race, 24 seconds up on Lauren Gault (Army CU).

RAF competitors before the startat Honington – eventual winner Lee far left. Picture: RAF RAF competitors before the startat Honington – eventual winner Lee far left. Picture: RAF

Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson was top local finisher when Cycle Club Sudbury hosted the Regional Championship road races for women from the Eastern, Central, and South-East Regions of British Cycling.

A field of 50 set out from the HQ at AFC Sudbury to tackle four laps of the 13 mile Bulmer- Belchamp St Paul-Little Yeldham circuit.

The lumpy circuit and fierce tailwind through Gestingthorpe, where speeds topped 40mph, were not quite enough to split the field, but the pace of the front-runners saw to it that just 15 women were left to charge round the final left-hander to contest the finish.

Gemma Melton of Pedal Power Ipswich described how she took the inside line, got trapped behind two riders, but with a shout of “middle!” squeezed through to claim ninth overall and third Eastern Region finisher.

The bunch at the Women's Regional Championship with Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson (in blue) and Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich)  (green, white and black) at the front. Picture: ROGER RUSH The bunch at the Women's Regional Championship with Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson (in blue) and Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) (green, white and black) at the front. Picture: ROGER RUSH

First over the line was Joscelin Lowden (Aprire/HSS), while Eastern Champion was Elizabeth Hughes (CC London) who was third overall.

Team Wiggins pro Rhys Howells won the men’s Regional Championship at the end of a hard-fought 84 miles on a hilly circuit near Saffron Walden.

First attack came from Ipswich Junior Ollie Jones (Team OnForm) who had 30 seconds lead as the race entered Wendens Ambo for the first time. Stowmarket rider Rob Ormond was in the first group to bridge to the front while the next group included Ipswich men Lloyd Chapman and Josh Aiken

By half-distance a lead group of two dozen was drawing away. Junior riders with restricted top gears were finding it impossible to hold the speed on descents even though Howells mentioned occasionally pushing spun-out a junior back into contact.

The crucial moment came on the hill out of Littlebury with one lap to go when seven, including Essex men George Wood (Richardsons/Trek) and Matt Clements (Catford/Banks) broke clear and were never caught.

Howells, who came to prominence in 2011 when he won the Ipswich BC Spring Scramble, made his move with five miles to go. No one could match him, and he took the win by a comfortable margin from Antony Moye (Spirit Bikes) and Wood.

There were two new East District 50 mile Champions at the end of the VC Baracchi event near Harleston. Matthew Senter of Bury St Edmunds team VeloVelocity won in 1:47:23 on a day when all competitors were exposed to a tough and rising headwind over the final 10 miles to Redenhall.

The EDCA Women’s Championship went to Jen Smart (VC Norwich) in 2:13:48, 1:54 faster than defending champion Kay Burgess (King’s Lynn CC.

Ipswich veteran Dan Howe survived a challenge from come-back man Glen Stanford to win the 40-49 class at the MTB races Radical Bikes near Chelmsford.

Perhaps the closest finish came in the Youth 12-14s where Joe Kiely held off Fynn Hunter-Metcalfe by just two seconds.

Mildenhall Cycling Festival returns to a three day format this Bank Holiday weekend – all based at Beck Row Village Hall two miles north of Mildenhall.

RESULTS:

RAF Honington Round 3: 1 Ian Lee (RAF CA), 2 Morris Bacon (Strada Sport), 3 Harley Matthews (DAP CC), 4 Adam Colbert (Ipswich BC), 5 William Mapus-Smith (Clwb Beicio Egni), 6 Ben Beynon (Strada Sport), 7 Robert Willcocks (RAF CA), 8 Nick Esser (DAP CC) +00:09 secs, 9 Jack Hardwicke (Strada Sport) +1:41, 10 Zak Coleman (Strada Sport).

WOMENS REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROAD RACE, Bulmer, Essex. Eastern Riders: 1 Elizabeth Hughes (CC London), 2 Rebecca Johnson (Aprire /HSS), 3 Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich), 6 Polly Mason (Iceni Velo), 7 Alison Lilley (Fenland Clarion), 8 Sophie Lankford (Aprire/HSS), 9 Katie Ward, 10 Lauren Kirchel (Chelmer CC). Winner of combined event: Joscelin Lowden (Aprire/HSS), Hughes 3rd overall.

VC Baracchi 50, Wortwell: 1 Matthew Senter (VeloVelocity) 1:47:23, 2 Harley Matthews (DAP CC) 1:48:16, 3 Daniel Bloy (VeloVelocity) 1:48:39. Women 1 Jen Smart (VC Norwich) 2:13:48, 2 Kay Burgess (King’s Lynn CC) 2:15:42.Vets on Standard: 1 Chris Nudds (CC Breckland) +27:36, 2 David Procter (VeloVelocity) +26:38, 3 Dale Sturman (West Suffolk Whs) +22:47.

Men’s Regional Road Race Championship, Great Chesterford, 84 miles: 1 Rhys Howells (Team Wiggins), 2 Antony Moye (Spirit Bikes) +00:26 secs, 3 George Wood (Richardsons/Trek) +00:29, 4 Charlie Passfield (Spirit Bikes, 5 Matt Clements (Catford CC/Banks),6 Arlen Vartazarian (Regent Park Rouleurs), 7 Tommy Power (Strada Sport) +01:04, 8 Lloyd Chapman (Catford CC/Banks) +02:38, 9 Mark Richards (DAP CC) 03:11, 10 Clay Davies (Verulam-Really Moving) + 03:22.

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