Mountain biking at Mud Sweat and Gears

Six Velo Club Baracchi riders turned their attention on Sunday to mountain bike racing at the Mud Sweat and Gears Eastern Series round 2 at Henham and had a great time.

Francesca Dixon-Grant took third place in the open female race, having been in close contention for second but she was still pleased with her podium place.

Paul Wright was the best placed VCB rider with 30th place in the open male race in which there were eighty-odd starters, ten minutes down on the winner, Charles Wade.

Paul Hayward was fairly hot on his heels in 36th and Stephen Grant rode a very respectable performance in 53rd place.

In the youth male race Joshua Peck of VCB was placed 16th having completed all four laps. Twenty-four riders had started.

Paul Hayward’s daughter Ivy had to pull out of the under-9s after a crash, but all is well now.

VCB member Phil Johnston does his mountain biking with the ROTOR Race Team and in the grand vet category he took sixteenth pace in a field of thirty-seven.

John Thompson rode the Cambridge “Spring Dash” 108 km audax on Saturday, choosing this instead of another longer event because of the strength of the wind.

This event crosses the border from Cambridgeshire into Essex, so has plenty of good hills, including climbing to one of the highest points of Essex and Cambridgeshire.

From Girton pavilion near Cambridge, the ride passed through Meeden and Withersfield.

Thompson said, “The first leg to Meesden was directly against the wind, but to Withersfield was a flyer with a tail wind.”

After that there were stretches with some help and others with a side-wind, but Thompson particularly enjoyed nice 6- mile descent from Balsham to Fulbourn.

He took about 6 hours 55 minutes, which included negotiating some mixed traffic and a shared pedestrian area. 

Thompson followed this with a ride of about 25 miles, to the south-west of Cambridge along pleasant lanes in sunny weather, taking in the picturesque villages of Haslingfield, Little and Great Eversden to Toft, then returning via Comberton to Cambridge for the trains home.

The club run on Sunday set off with five riders, who included Lucas He in his Cambridge University CC colours.  A pleasant stop at the Earsham Street café in Bungay helped the riders on their way.

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