Best for Hawkes – course it was!

Nicola “Nicki” Hawkes of Velo Club Baracchi overcame nausea to gain a prize and a personal course-best time in Saturday’s open time trial.

Nicki Hawkes

Riding in the Norwich ABC 10-mile event on the A143 from just west of the Redenhall roundabout to the Clay’s roundabout and back, Hawkes surprised herself with a 26:02 result, about thirty seconds faster than before on this course.

This was 2:50 inside her age-related standard time and won her the prize for first veteran lady on standard.

Laura Gambling of CC Breckland was the fastest lady with 24:32 but the “one rider, one prize” rule applied so Gambling, herself a veteran, went home with the better prize of £20, while Hawkes lifted £15 for the other category.

Mark Newnham of VCB had a ride that, for him, was less pleasing.  Some back trouble gave him an uncomfortable ride and resulted in a 24:24 result, for 24th place in the event, in which 69 riders finished.

Richard Allen made one of his few appearances in open events and will have been encouraged by his 26:42.  Tracy Prewer achieved 28:41.

Hawkes said, “The wind was a great help on the way out and didn’t hinder quite as much as I thought it would on the return.  The new surface [on part of the course] was very nice – but far too short!”

She added, “I got caught up with traffic following a very slow tractor as I approached the roundabout.  I also think it was the hottest day for racing this year – very humid.”

The result was close at the top of the leader board.  The winner was Will Bamber of Cult Racing with 21:11 from Gavin Moore of Stowmarket & District CC (21:14) and Daniel Bloy of King’s Lynn CC (21:23).

Gt Yarmouth CC’s team of three riders, Neil Turner, John Swindells and Chris Roberts, won the team prize on the Bidlake system (fastest third rider).

John Thompson, speaking of his racing on Sunday said in jest, “I think I deserve a prize for courage in reporting my time in the Eagle Road Club 50 today!”

In the open time trial on a sporting course near Ugley, which took in other quaintly-named landmarks such as Four Went Ways and Six Mile Bottom, Thompson came 34th out of 36 riders with a “personal worst by some margin” of 2-43:49, for which the strong wind took a lot of blame.

He was last to finish so he thanked the marshals and timekeepers for waiting for him.  One person took his address as, he said, “I took a really good photograph of you.”  Thompson observed that at his speed the cameraman had plenty of time to get it perfect.

The winner was Jim Moffat of Virgin Active in 1-54:27.

East Anglians have a chance to see some of their professional road racing heroes including, hopefully, Mark Cavendish, in the Tour of Britain which passes through Diss and Wymondham on its way to finish in Sandringham this Saturday.  This is surely an opportunity for a Cavendish sprint win.

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