Joe Skipper, an exceptional Lowestoft cyclist and triathlete, and other stories

Last Tuesday’s Godric CC 10-mile time trial at Earsham was won by Joe Skipper of Strada Sport in 21:03, with his club-mate Stuart Pryce second in 21:53. 

There were two tandems.  Stuart Scott and Jim Burgess of Anglia Velo had prepared a machine and were riding it for their first time trial together and the Velo Club Baracchi veteran pair of John Swanbury and Ali Banks brought out the pre-war Claud Butler tandem again. 

The Anglia Velo tandem team zoomed round the course in 20:40 and the VCB pair were a little outside their best in 23:23. 

Skipper went on to an impressive performance on Sunday to take the bronze medal in the Ironman UK triathlon in a total time of 8-51:49, which included a 112-mile bike course, completed by him in 5-00:59.  His sponsors, headed by MailBigFile, will share his delight at this showing. 

Skipper started his cycling with VCB and retains second-claim membership, so the members will be very proud of his latest achievement. 

In Thursday’s Gt Yarmouth CC club 10 at Somerleyton, VCB’s Chris Womack achieved 25:03, a great time on this sporting course for a rider of his age (66) and he would have done ten seconds or so better if he had not been held up by a Land Rover and trailer on theBlocka Roadfrom Ashby. 

VCB’s other times were Steve Summons 25:36, Mark Womack 27:01, Richard Allen 29:11 and second-claim member Jenny Anderson (GYCC) 27:42.  James Trenchard of Godric CC won in 22:29 from second-placed Mark Westrup of Strada Sport 23:23 and the rest of the field.

Steve Summons


Sunday’s Stowmarket & District CC open 10 attracted two VCB entries. The course on the A12 was from the Campsea Ashe slip road along Wickham Market Bypass turning in 5.2 miles at Melton roundabout and the south-east wind made the first leg a very hard slog, though there was a fast return for the remaining 4.8 miles. 

Chris Womack achieved 24:26 and Ali Banks, who was hampered by his tri-bars having worked loose by the time he reached the turn, finished in 25:31.  Brian Davies (Anglia Velo) of Carlton Colville achieved 24:48.

The winner was Paul Jay of in 21:31 from his team-mate Geoff Frost 21:59, Martin Reynolds of Cambridge CC 22:03 and Simon Bloy of Stowmarket & District CC 22:16.  The fastest lady was Amanda Mallett of Plomesgate CC in 29:10. 

John Thompson rode the Finsbury Park CC 25-mile time trial, staged on the so-called F1 course based on the A1 road from Tempsford and turning just south ofSandy.  Because of changes in the road and course, this is no longer the one to go to for a really fast time.  It was a windy day and Thompson achieved 1-13:47, with which he was content. 

He added, “Many riders were well down on their usual sort of times, even many fast-men two minutes slower than in an event on the same course two weeks ago. That means that Michael Hutchinson’s (Team Pedal winning time of 49:42 leaves you speechless!” 

Richard Allen and Nicki Hawkes who were marshalling at the Strada Sport road race were pleased to see Strada Sport rider James Moore from Lowestoft (formerly of VCB) ride hard in support of a team-mate who came fifth, with Moore finishing in the bunch.

James Moore (left) with Mike Bretton