Gentry takes Keith Stephens Duathlon win

Velo Club Baracchi staged a low-key duathlon for members and friends to remember former club treasurer Keith Stephens, who died in a cycling accident in 2002.

There were five competitors for the memorial trophy and interest centred on a tussle between Liam Gentry, whose cycling is stronger than his running and Carl Prewer, whose abilities are in the other order.

The competitors set off

Prewer easily established an early lead in the first 5km run but in the 25km cycling leg Gentry overhauled him and eventually hung onto a lead of just over two minutes.

Carl Prewer floating along

Chris Scott initially kept pace with Gentry and held onto third place. The last two places were contested by Paul Hayward and Paul Dennington, who eventually emerged the quicker.

Gentry leads Scott on the bike

Full results were Liam Gentry (Dap CC, VCB and Rock Estate) 1-22:09, Carl Prewer (Lowestoft Road Runners) 1-24:26, Chris Scott (Rock Estate) 1-27:27, Paul Dennington  (VCB) 1-30:08, Paul Hayward (VCB and Rock Estate) 1-31:31.

Ben Nicholson rode for VCB in the last road race of the season, the UEA-Streetlife Last Chance Points-grabber at Stoke Holy Cross, where he duly grabbed the point available for tenth place.

Ben Nicholson in the bunch (photo: Fergus Muir)

Joe Skipper (unattached) took the win.  Second was Stephen Fuller of Cambridge CC and Thomas Heal of Strada Sport completed the podium.

Richard Allen of VCB who was at the event as an accredited marshal to safeguard the riders said it was “a little wet, and in particular, windy.”

Around a third of the field finished, as riders suffered from punctures and the conditions, with many early abandons.

Approaching the bell for the last lap there were three riders well-spaced in front of him as the sole VCB rider, Nicholson, rode strongly up Skeet’s Hill to get clear of the bunch.  He preserved his advantage for a while before securing his tenth place.

Allen said, describing Nicholson, “He was happy.  I saw muddy grin-and-bear-it look each lap.”

John Thompson rode the Cambridge Autumnal audax and settled for the shorter 110km distance in view of the strength of the wind on Saturday.

Setting off from Girton pavilion, just north-west of Cambridge, the riders passed through Great Thurlow, Thaxted, Saffron Walden and Balsham.

Thompson, who fortified himself with a healthy helping of lasagne and chips at Thaxted said, “I completed it in 7 hours 3 minutes.  There were of course some slow bits against the wind but overall the nature of the route meant it wasn’t too bad.  The final 30 miles from Thaxted were with a roaring tail wind, which is helpful.”

This Sunday the VCB riders taking part in the annual hill events will set out at 9am from Cotmer Road roundabout.



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