Steve Summons tops the first rise

Pat Harbord and former VC Baracchi rider Phil Swanbury win their Polaris Challenge

Velo Club Baracchi secretary Pat Harbord and former member Phil Swanbury won their section of the Polaris Challenge mountain biking orienteering event on the high moors in Askrigg, North Yorkshire.

It was the B class in the two-day event, camping overnight at the base.  With a total riding time of just over nine hours over the weekend they amassed 1090 points, thirty-one more than the second team.

(The team are anxious to point out that this is not infereior to the A section, but more sporting.  The A section riders set off with loads of camping kit and stay out on the course.  The B section are not in competition with them and make daily forays, more lightly loaded.)

Points were earned at checkpoints and they had to choose their route and navigate to these, avoiding any penalty for returning late.  There were fifty entries in this section.

Phil Swanbury said, “There was ice on the tent both nights, -2°C Friday night, and a balmy -1°C Saturday!  But the rain stopped when we got to Yorkshire on Friday and started again when we left, so the weather gods dealt us a pretty fair hand.”

In the East Anglian CC 10-mile event at Earsham on Saturday Steve Summons achieved 25:02 but Paul Dennington went even better and tied with Chris Womack on 24:30.

Steve Summons tops the first rise

Other VCB times were John Swanbury 25:22, Richard Allen 28:16 and John Thompson 29:03.

The Mick Groves Memorial Trophy was on offer to the winner and Liam Gentry of Strada Sport, who won this two years ago when with VCB, beat off the favourite Daniel Bloy of King’s Lynn CC to win this with 21:01 to Bloy’s 21:08. Nick Esser of Strada Sport (also a former VCB rider) achieved 23:12.

Gentry receives the Mick Groves trophy

On Sunday in the CC Breckland 25-mile event on two circuits of the Bungay by-pass Womack achieved 1-04:28 and  Paul Dennington 1-06:21, suffering a bit from a cough.

The weather was dry but with the increasing wind during the race it made it pushy, slightly better towards the west leg.

Gentry had to settle for third place with 55:28.  The winner was Bloy with 54:57 and Mark Arnold (Team Pedal Revolution) was second in 54:49. Esser’s time on this occasion was 1-00:52.

The 25-mile 2-up time trial for the Baracchi Trophy is this Sunday at 9.30am at Market Lane, Somerleyton.  Timed to avoid a clash with other events, it nevertheless clashes with the re-scheduled EDCA Championship 10, rained off on June 3 and open to those who previously entered.

Next Sunday October 7 those riders not entered in the last local open time trial of the season can take part in the duathlon for the Keith Stephens Memorial Trophy at 09.00 from outside Carlton Colville Primary School (where Gisleham Middle School used to be).

It is a very relaxed and informal event with all comers welcome and relay teams are permitted. The course is approximately 5km run – 25km bike – 5km run.

John Thompson

John Thompson has recently returned from a cycling tour in Italy, mostly in Campagnia and Basilicata. It started and finished in Naples. It included the Gargano National Park and then into Umbria Forest, which he said “was a cracking ride both for the scenery and the glorious decent at the end to the coast.”

Most days he rode 70 to 80 miles, with some flat riding, some climbing and the inevitable headwinds and he visited the Vesuvius national park as well.