Banks and Bretton win the 2013 Baracchi Trophy, English version.

Banks and Bretton after their win

A great ride by Ali Banks and comeback man Mike Bretton, one of Velo Club Baracchi’s original members, gave them victory in the hard-fought Baracchi Trophy two-up time trial.

Bretton and Banks

The Lowestoft club’s event, like the name of the club itself, was derived from a former professional two-up event last ridden in 1990 in northern Italy.  The club riders are anxious to keep the tradition alive here in England.

The local 25-mile club event took place on the Somerleyton 25-mile sporting course, on which Banks and Bretton recorded a time of 1-05:59.

Running them closest were the oldest veterans in the event, Chris Womack and John Swanbury, “Team 66,” who were six seconds slower in 1-06:05.  A little better luck with traffic and a slightly better match in abilities could perhaps have given them the win.

Team 66 sets off

Mark Womack and Steve Summons came third in 1-06:53, followed by new members Darren Newman and Nathan Ayers 1-10:38 and Joe Reynolds and Paul Knight 1-11:26.

Darren Newman and Nathan Ayers

Mark Womack and Steve Summons approach the Somerleyton bends

Knight said, “I really did enjoy this morning for my first time trial ever. Not sure the body did!”

Joe Reynolds leads team-mate Paul Knight into the finish road

Not very far adrift were Paul Bedford and another name from the VCB past, Karl Brady, in 1-11:26.

Brady and Bedford approach Somerleyton

The mixed team of VCB’s George Kerridge and Nicki Hawkes who rides her time trials for Team achieved 1-08:12.

George Kerridge and Nicki Hawkes at the last junction

Joe Skipper

The fastest riders on the course did not qualify for the trophy as they both ride first claim for Strada Sport.  Joe Skipper and Liam Gentry scorched round the course in 55:08.

Gentry and Skipper set off

Also outside the trophy competition, Ben Mackett and Lewis Roberts of Gt Yarmouth CC were timed in at 1-05:00, while their club-mates Martine Palmer and Jacki  Manser looked cheerful at the finish in 1-44:40.  VCB members John Dupen and Duncan Lines rode one of the two laps but did not finish.

Duncan Lines and John Dupen

The riders were grateful to timekeeper and starter Ray Skipper and his assistant Martin Bellamy.

There was a triathlon going on as well and the VCB riders were glad to be cheered on generously by groups of spectators associated with it.

Local timekeeper Pete Milner, riding with “the Wrinklies” or “Over the Hill Gang” leisure ride on Friday had a brush with danger when he was knocked off his bike in collision with a muntjack deer in South Norfolk.

Riding in a group of seven, including a number of VCB riders, Milner had no time to react when the animal ran towards him from one side.  Fortunately for the other riders Milner was at the back at the time, or there could have been a pile-up.

Milner fell onto the verge, missing various small trees, and escaped all injury except for some bruising.  He struck the deer with such force that the front tyre was punctured and he later took a shorter route to the café to recover from the nasty surprise.

Milner said, “Don’t leave out the bit about how huge the deer was and how I wrestled it to the ground.  Also how much we enjoyed the venison!”

These rides of about 45 miles are usually less dramatic and take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9am, meeting outside Carlton Colville church.

Chris Womack leads into the turning