Tim blown away in race

IPSWICH: Cycle champion Tim Snook is used to putting the wind up the opposition – but at the weekend the former British champion was blown away during a race...literally.

He was competing in a grass track championship at Brentwood in Essex on Sunday when he was hit by a mini-tornado which tore through the field.

Tim said: “It was quite extraordinary. I’ve never come across anything like this at all.

“It was a very hot day and very, very still. Then suddenly there was this disturbance at the side of the track and it came right across.

“The wind hit me at the side lifted me and the bike right up into the air and smashed me down beside the track. I was left with cuts and bruises, but nothing more.

“Everyone who was there saw what happened and said it was an act of God so they re-ran the race. It was the semi-final of the event and I won it and got into the final – but I was left feeling a bit sore.”

The cyclist behind Tim was also blown off by the tornado, which disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

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“It was a good job that it was a grass track event. It meant that I only suffered minor injuries. If it had been a hard track I fear I could have been hurt much more,” he said.

He had read of a rider taking part in the Tour of Italy being blown off during a time trial and suffering a broken collar bone.

“When I read that, I though ‘Oh yes, he must have just fallen over,’ but now I know exactly how it can happen.”

But Tim – who was British cycle speedway champion in the 1990s – is made of stern stuff and after competing in the event, he returned to work as normal at the borough council on Monday where he is manages its sports facilities.

“I was a bit sore immediately afterwards and when I had a bath later – but I’m used to getting these kind of bumps and bruises so it didn’t worry me much,” he said.

n. Have you fallen victim to freak weather? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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