Parrish is first Junior home as Madgwick wins at West Stow Country Park
A fast start from James Madgwick set the Bloodwise/QSH rider up for clear run to win the Senior men's race at West Suffolk Wheelers' cyclo-cross, writes Fergus Muir.
A chasing group including Cam Hurst (XRT), Max Bolton (Lee Valley Youth), and originally Kieran Jarvis (OnForm), later replaced by Seb Herrod (Strada) made no impression and broke up towards the end.
Herrod overhauled Jack Parrish to take second overall, but Parrish was first Junior home, ahead of Max Bolton and last week’s Junior winner Angus Toms (Iceni)
West Suffolk Wheelers, working with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, opened up a new course at West Stow Country Park which included several climbs of the landscaped mound and a difficult-to-negotiate sandpit which tested the skills of riders and proved an interesting spectator attraction.
Racing commenced with short events for children Under eight, Under ten and Under 12.
Then Youth competitors attacked the full length course with Stowmarket rider Charlie Johnson coming within three seconds of repeating his Under 16 win at Grafham Water last week.
In the Women’s race Junior Lauren Higham made short work of the climbs of the mound and had a minute in hand over Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) and two on Alison Hogg (Push Sport). Ipswich rider Katie Scotter took fourth, ahead of V40 winner Donna Dale (Walden Velo), and XRT/Elmy pair Rebecca Johnson and Jo Newstead.
Two days earlier Jo had travelled to ‘S Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands for the World Masters Cyclo-Cross Championship where she was third out of six riders in Women’s 50-54 category.
Renvale RT riders Jimmy Piper and Richard Muchmore swept all before them in the Vets 50-plus, with Piper winning ahead of Honington rider Muchmore, with Bruce Mackie (Lea Valley) third.
Vets 60-plus winner was Geoff Bores (Ford CC), just ten seconds ahead of Peter Barton (Chelmer CC)
Beccles rider Stuart Pryce (Strada Sport) stirred up the Vets 40-49 race, getting between local challengers Glenn Davey (Stowmarket & District, fourth) and Shaun Aldous (Renvale), but Pryce was unable to rock the dominance of the (Epping) Forest Side Riders, led by winner Matt Webber.
Full results can be found at www.easterncross.org.uk
Another new course was opened up when Thetford Racing opened 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 40-plus women’s winner , while her Sussed-Out teammate Elvita Branch was top Senior finisher. Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC) won the Youth Girls from clubmate Mollie Bilner .
In the 90 minute race Paul Groombridge (Push Sport) won the 40-plus category by 37 seconds from Chris Hunter (HKR) , with fifth spot going to Haverhill rider Nick Ainsworth (Aerocycles)and seventh to another local rider, Andy Sampson of Sussed-Out.
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.
Vet 40 rider Paul Groombridge (Push Sport) and Will Dorsett (18-39 category) were the winners of the 90 minute race – the shorter of the two main options. The two were soon together at the front.
Groombridge largely set the pace and sometimes opened a gap in the long twisting singletrack sections through trees. However, Dorsett, a former North Norfolk Wheelers time trialist and runner, always closed the gap on the straight fire roads and the pair finished just one second apart.
Josh Boyer (Ipswich BC) scored an outstanding win in the one hour Youth race, where an attacking ride brought him home 1:45 up on Dean Sampson (Sussed Out)
In the longer three-hour races Andrew Cockburn carried his Giant/Newdales Cycles colours to the Senior win where Seb Herrod was second – a repeat of his position inthe cyclo-cross the previous afternoon. Dan Howe (Wolsey Road Club) was top Veteran and Sarah Hewitt (Rotor) the women’s winner