Eleventh place for Richards at incident packed Chelmer race

Mark Richards and Liam Gentry of Velo Club Baracchi took part in the Chelmer CC road race for categories 2/3/4 and as soon as the flag was dropped on reaching the main road it was a very quick race.

Gentry and Richards (at centre of photo)

Gentry and Richards (at centre of photo)

Many attempts were made to get away from the bunch, but none stayed away for much more than a couple of minutes as the pace was so high.

Richards said, “Some poor riding led to the chief commissaire shouting at the peloton a lot!  The race stayed together until just before the final lap, when Alex Richardson of Pedal Heaven Academy attacked solo on the only real hill on a mainly flat and fast course.”

This rider went on to win, one minute and twenty seconds ahead of the pack, where he was certainly in the safest place. There were no less than three notable crashes in the final kilometres, two behind the front twenty or so riders and one in front of the bunch sprint, which caused by someone riding off the road and losing control.

These crashes broke the sprint up allowing Richards to work up the left side of the road to take 11th place. Unfortunately Gentry missed out on a top twenty place after covering long range sprints in those final kilometres.

Riding in the Stowmarket and District CC open 20-mile time trial, Velo Club Baracchi’s Chris Womack achieved 53:02, a better time than last year by 55 seconds.

The course from Winstone through Debenham, Pettaugh, Kemton, Bedington, Occold and back to Debenham was a difficult one.

Womack said, “I forgot just how hard this race is, particularly the first five miles with long hills to climb on this undulating and sporting course with fast downhill “S” bends making for careful riding. The middle ten miles with a back wind helped but bad road surfaces in places just added to the pain.

The winner was Mark Arnold of CC Desiragear in 42:55, from Joe Skipper who had entered for Rock Estate and achieved 43:00, with David McGaw of Cambridge CC third in 43:19.

Womack also said, “I should have been able to get a better time if my GPS Garmin watch hadn’t packed  up two miles into the race so I was riding blind, so to speak not knowing my time, average speed or distance covered.”

John Thompson rode the “Start of Summertime” 207km audax on Sunday, organised by Stevenage CTC section.

The route started in Stevenage and included Thaxted twice, Lavenham, Castle Hedingham, Great Hormead and Dane End.

He said, “After some very tough rides in previous weeks it was sweet relief to not have much wind.  It was a particular relief for the tough hilly stretch between Sible Hedingham and Thaxted, which previously has often been against a brute of a headwind.”

It is a hilly route in its entirety so Thompson was happy getting round in about 11 hours 45 minutes, enjoying lovely sunshine throughout and happy to escape a downpour that followed the finish.

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