Weather forces late changes for Cycling Club Breckland race

Roger Graham during the CC Breckland 50-mile event. Picture: Fergus Muir

Roger Graham during the CC Breckland 50-mile event. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Fergus Muir

Cycling Club Breckland riders had to make difficult judgements about whether to ride this weekend, due to changeable weather conditions and organiser having to make last-minute course changes caused by flooding.

Chris Nudds during the CC Breckland 50-mile event. Picture: Fergus Muir

Chris Nudds during the CC Breckland 50-mile event. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Fergus Muir

On Saturday a healthy Breckland contingent travelled to Newmarket to race on the poplar fast A11 course running from Six Mile Bottom to Four Wentways and back.

On an overcast day there was always a risk of rain, the rain came just before the event started making riding conditions more difficult.

The event started in light rain but this increased to a steady heavier shower causing many early starting riders to abandon there rides, with two Breckland riders taking the option not to start, Nick Paravanni and Nick Standley.

First off for Breckland was Mark Fairhead who decided to give the conditions a go with it in mind to pull off at the first slip road if they were too bad. He decided to continue and found the conditions improved as his ride progressed, finishing in a season’s best time of 22:42.

Next up was Mick Wood starting 10 minutes later then Mark, finishing with a time of 22:43 in ever improving conditions.

The next Breckland rider was 19-year-old Emily Davis riding on this course for the first time this season and hoping to record a good time. She wasn’t disappointed as she finished in a PB time of 26:41, beating her PB by 40 seconds.

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This left three more Brecklanders to race – Declan Davis, Don Saunders and Harvey Hall. Davis posted a time of 21:19, Saunders finished with 23:20 and Hall finished in 21:50, who also recorded a 10-mile PB time.

Other local riders were Diss & District CC rider Steve Gorbutt who continued his fine run of form with a time of 20:10 and Anglia Velo’s Simon Warren who also rode to a personal best of 21:19. The event was won by Cambridge CC Rider David McGaw in 19:30.

On Sunday CC Breckland’s own event the had problems with the rain. Late on Saturday evening event secretary Martin Badham discovered the part of the course was still flooded from the heavy rain that hit patches of Norfolk on Friday, which meant a hectic course revision and re-measure on Sunday morning by Breckland course measurer Don Saunders.

The 50-mile event had to be run on a 10-mile circuit running up and down a stretch of the A11 between Morley and the roundabouts at Browick road near Wymondham, making the course quite technical and challenging in damp conditions.

This did not deter fast times with Team VeloVelocity rider Jason Bouttell flying round in an awesome time of 1-42:23 averaging 29mph.

In second place was CC Desiragear rider Mark Arnold, riding a fixed gear bike his ride of 1-43:40 was probably the most impressive considering one of the turns was almost a dead stop turn.

Rounding off the podium was Team VeloVelocity’s Daniel Bloy in 1-46:46. Riding for CC Breckland were Chris Nudds (1-58:30), Roger Graham (2-09:15), Mark Fairhead (2-11:59) and Nick Paravanni (2-17:49).

Other local riders were Danny Watkins (2-02:41), Geoff Frost (1-54:27) Scott Davidson (1-49:58 – Team VeloVelocity) and Patrick Ellis (2-03:36 – Diss & Dist).