Matthews rides a sound 50-mile time trial

Gary Matthews, who joined Velo Club Baracchi during this season, was the club’s fastest rider in the CC Breckland 50-mile time trial with 2-10:40.

He has come from a triathlon background and cycling is clearly one of his strong suits.

Mike Rainton achieved 2-21:49 and John Thompson 2-27:24.  Both are reliable riders and happy at this distance, but would not expect to achieve the quickest times.  Nick Esser did not finish.

The course was up and down the A11 several times between Besthorpe and the Eccles slip road and the wind rose a little during the event, but not so that it was a problem.  Indeed, it was clearly a good day, as the course record fell.

The new record was taken by Andy Bason of Team Pedal with his winning 1-43:46 ride, beating his club-mate Nik Bowdler by one second (who also beat his own previous record of 1-45:11).

With a few weeks of the season left to ride,  some of the club’s time trial riders have signed up for the last few open event, ever hopeful of another good day.

On the road racing scene, three club members have rather larger plans.  Following in the tradition established by Joe Skipper, who was the first to race for one club and ride time trials for VC Baracchi, they have jumped ship for road racing.

The point of this venture is that in a recently-formed team, Liam Gentry, Esser and Mark Westrup, with five other riders of established reputation and potential, will be able to give a good account of themselves in regional and national events.

They will ride for the sponsored Strada Sport RT with former VC Norwich riders Mike Auger, Dieter Rowe and Peter Hargreaves, Notts Clarion rider Stuart Pryce and Steve Hurrell, who has been riding for the team already, which is managed by his father.

As Strada Sport RT is not registered with the national body for time trials, the way is clear for Gentry, Esser and Westrup to continue to represent and support VCB in that discipline.  Gentry has shone against the clock this year and Esser also has shown a very quick pair of heels.

In the same theme, though for different reasons, Ben McCluskey, who moved down the road to Ipswich and has been training with Ipswich BC riders, has taken the opportunity to join that club for next year’s competition.

VCB members will wish all four of them well and look forward to hearing how they fare in their new colours.

Last week’s prediction in this column that Mark Cavendish might win the Tour of Britain stage 7 at Sandringham proved wide of the mark, as it failed to anticipate that a break of six riders would make a successful day-long break, leaving him to dominate the bunch sprint for seventh.  He did, however win the opening and closing stages in Dumfries and London.

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