Holmes Cup destined for Gt Yarmouth after reliability trial – VCB concedes


The end of season Holmes Cup reliability trial ended the competition between Lowestoft’s Velo Club Baracchi and Gt Yarmouth CC without overturning Yarmouth’s lead.

The Velo Club Baracchi riders

The 50-mile group ride from the Blundeston Plough was very well attended but VCB could muster no more than sixteen or so souls to Yarmouth’s thirty-one.

As most riders finished this was a Yarmouth win by weight of numbers.  However, the VCB team was boosted by half a dozen riders who joined the club within the last few months and it was great to see them taking part.

In the May Day 10-mile time trial VCB had established a lead by 14 points to 7.  However, in the Good Friday 10 which was decided on handicap all the points went to Yarmouth, leaving the balance at 28 to 14 in favour of Yarmouth.

The 25-mile event fell by the wayside because of road works, but even if another that had taken place were substituted it would be unlikely to make a significant difference, so it is agreed to be a Gt Yarmouth CC win with score of approximately 59 to 30.

The open road - the riders set off from Blundeston

The riders enjoyed the ride on a route that took in St Olaves, Haddiscoe, Thurlton, Loddon, Bungay, various parts of the Saints, Rumburgh, Redisham and Brampton before returning with the wind through Stoven, Sotterley, Mutford and Oulton Broad to Blundeston.

Some riders came in well under three hours, others just under that time, and yet more followed, nearly everyone having found a group to ride in at their preferred pace. The riders did encounter two heavy showers on their route.

On the road through Sotterley

Tucking in after the ride - a VCB stalwart keeps up energy levels

Pat Harbord of VCB had an excellent weekend’s mountain biking in Shropshire taking in the Long Mynd route near Church Stretton on the Saturday and a quick blast round the very popular Monkey Trail at Cannock Forest on the Sunday.

Harbord’s party comprised former VCB members Phil Swanbury (the organiser) and Adam Bedford (assistant manager of Evans Cycles Sheffield) and Swanbury’s Cambridgeshire friends Cottenham Phil, Wilburton Dick and Scouse Mark.

The weather on both days was mild and dry and the challenging terrain made the trip west well worth the effort.  Harbord had last tackled the infamous Long Mynd climb as part of the Wild Edric sportive a couple of years back and, even with mountain bike gears, some riders went for the “get off and walk” option. The descent of Minton Batch more than repaid the effort though.

The Monkey Trail at Cannock features technical rock gardens, boardwalks, jumps and drops and a single-track mountain bike trail containing technical trail features and several black graded options.
Harbord said, “After regaining a bit of single-track confidence, it produced plenty of adrenaline-fuelled smiles having safely completed each section.  A modern day baggy short wearing, full face-helmeted rider amusingly called the party ‘Old School Whippets’ and with the exception of Bedford who charged round with the youthful exuberance of a young pup and threw himself down the black sections with reckless abandon he wasn’t far wrong.”

  • The VCB hill climb is this Sunday at Dove Hill near Wortwell and the club run from the Colville Road roundabout will head out to the venue.