George Wood wins Regional Road Race title
PUBLISHED: 14:42 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:42 23 August 2018
George Wood of south Essex team Richardsons/Trek won a hard-fought Regional Championship Road Race on the tight, scenic and hilly Shotesham circuit just south of Norwich, writes Fergus Muir.
Organisers Strada Sport put on a well-organised race in which constant attacks meant the field was more often strung-out, eyeballs-out rather than in a bunch.
After the 15th and final ascent of Skeets Hill, Wood, third last year, took the win from Sam Woodfield (Active Edge) with Wood’s teammate Matt Clements third.
With the race just over an hour old Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich) and Clements were breaking away – hotly chased by Andy Taylor (VC Norwich) and Gary Freeman (Fast Test).
Later breaks featured Harley Matthews (DAP CC), James Jenkins (Richardsons/Trek) and Jim Bradford (Cambridge CC) among others.
The move that decided the race went with a dozen miles remaining when teammates Wood and Clements plus Woodfield and Fawcett broke clear at the front and were never caught.
Up Skeets Hill with five miles to go Wood got clear. Woodfield , from Peterborough, gave his all in a chase to get back on the Richardsons/Trek man’s wheel.
Woodfield did close the gap, but had nothing left when Wood put the hammer down again. Wood, who started racing as an Under 12 cyclo-cross rider more than a decade ago, powered away to win by 11 seconds.
Matt Clements – from near Harlow – took third spot ahead of Fawcett. Simon Alexander and Richardsons/Trek teammate James Jenkins, released from blocking duties, came home next, but it was nearly three minutes before the remains of the bunch settled who would take the minor ranking points.
Former pro Russell Hampton was the winner of the CC Sudbury Road Race on the Bulmer Tye circuit after getting clear of the field in the company of Harry Wood (Maldon & District) with about ten miles to go..
Earlier a break by Chris Starr (Strada Sport) and Owen Geeson (Fast Test) had opened the action, with Starr taking the mid-race prime.
In the fourth round of the Honington evening races, a hard chase by Dale Johnson (VC Norwich) got him across to a leading break which included Stowmarket rider Gary Freeman. The group worked hard to stay clear and Johnson won the dash to the line from Morris Bacon (DAP) and Charlie Wright (Strada).
Frankie Hall (DAP CC) bounced back from injury to win the Women’s race from Sophie Holmes (Velo Schils) and an improved women’s field of 12.
Mandy Bunn of CC Sudbury was ladies’ winner in the VC Baracchi 50 on the Harleston-based version of the Waveney Valley 50 course. Her 2:12:03 beating second-placed Jan Smith’s 2:15:49.
I’m told one word sums up the conditions: “Windy.”
So it is all the more remarkable that men’s winner Matt Senter beat Joe Skipper’s existing course record to set a new mark at 1:45:27. Senter’s VeloVelocity team also took the team prize and provided the best Veteran on age standard in David Procter (1:54:12)
Established Rendlesham rider Stuart Fairweather won the VC Norwich 10 in 19:18, but his nearest challengers come from the up-and-coming generation.
Second was Joe Spaulding (Ipswich BC, 19:47), third Jorge Vieira (PedalRevolution, 20:17) while fourth was Stuart Weatherley (TPH Racing, 20:30).
The last of Maglia Rosso’s Summer CX series took place on Tuesday, with 50 riders taking part. The main race was won by Kieran Jarvis (Team OnForm), with Callum Riley second and army rider Danny Preece third.
Top three in the other races were: Gemma Melton, Kim Charlton and Amy Johnson in the womens race, Dan Hall, Charlie Johnson and Joe Smith in the U16s with Tommy Dickson, Harry Smith and Sam Brook in the U12s.
The official Eastern League cyclo-cross season opens with the Push Sport events at Langdon Hills, Essex on Saturday 8th September. There is a wealth of information on this fine way into cycle sport on the League website at www.easterncross.org.uk
1 George Wood (Richardsons-Trek), 2 Sam Woodfield (ActiveEdge RT), 3 Matt Clements (Richardsons-Trek), 4 Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Cycles Ipswich), 5 Simon Alexander (Richardsons-Trek), 6 James Jenkins (Richardsons-Trek), 7 Charlie Wright (Strada-Sport), 8 Liam Fenner (API-Metrow), 9 Mark Richards (DAP CC), 10 Harley Matthews DAP CC), 11 Laurence Kirby (ActiveEdge), 12 Jim Bradford (Cambridge CC).
CC Sudbury Road Race, Bulmer Tye:
1 Russell Hampton (MG Cycling Team), 2 Harry Wood (Maldon & District CC) 4 Alan Slatter (Imperial College CC), 5 Jake Towler (Strada-Sport), 6 Connor Rumbles (Strada-Sport), 7 Justin Fisk (Stowmarket & District), 8 Steven Hubbard (CC Sudbury), 9 Colin Peck (Chelmer CC), 10 Matthew Watts (Push Sport).
VC NORWICH 10, Morley:
1 Stuart Fairweather (VeloVelocity) 19:18, 2 Joe Spaulding (Ipswich BC) 19:47, 3 Jorge Vieira (PedalRevolution) 20:17, 4 Stuart Weatherley (TPH Racing) 20:30,, 5 Steve Gorbutt (Diss & District) 20:39, 6 Keith Dorling (Team Bottrill) 20:41, 7 Andrew Grant (Cambridge CC) 20:52, 8 Damon Day (CC Sudbury) 20:58, 9 Steve Cave (Plomesgate CC) 21:02.10 Nick Partridge (Plomesgate CC) 21:10.
Women: 1 Sally Withey (Team Swift) 25:31, 2 Karen Dennett (Bishop’s Stortford CC) 25:40, 3 Gillian Reynolds (Willesden CC) 25:42, 4 Louise Marsden (VC Norwich) 25:47.