Open time trial win by former VC Baracchi member Liam Gentry and the Tour of Britain comes by

On Saturday Velo Club Baracchi’s former member Liam Gentry of Strada Sport won the Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club’s 10-mile open time trial based at Wortwell.

Liam Gentry

His time of 20:45 showed that he had little regard for the light crosswind on the course, from  the end of Church Lane Harleston to Clays Roundabout and back to Wortwell on the A143.

It gave some help on the outward leg and some hindrance on the return but there was no real assistance to be had.

Gentry beat Gary Empson of Shorter Rochford (21:02), Mark Arnold of Team (21:04) and Geoff Frost of Team (21:52).

In fifth place, with a personal best, was VCB’s former member Mark Westrup (Strada Sport) whose 22:10 eclipsed his previous times, all ridden on the Somerleyton course.

The only VCB member in the event was John Swanbury, who achieved 25:10.  Gentry’s promise to him that it was so fast on the first leg that he would “spin out” in top gear and just cruise back a couple of gears down was not really fulfilled.

Nevertheless Swanbury was pleased to equal the time of one of his old rivals Phil Hollingsworth of CC Breckland, who often has the edge.

Velo Club Baracchi has now arranged to hold its Baracchi Trophy two-up time trial at 9.30am on September 30 at Somerleyton.

The club’s somewhat unusual name was derived from a major north Italian time trial last run as a two-up event for professional cyclists for more than forty years up to1990.

The Lowestoft club tries to maintain the spirit of that event, even though on the international stage, Mino Baracchi’s promotion in memory of his father Angelo has nearly faded from the collective cycling memory.

Teams of two from the club or from other clubs are welcome to this on-the-entry event and VCB’s massive version of the Trofeo Baracchi is available for the fastest pair from the home club.

The “Wiggins effect” will have drawn many non-cyclists to watch the Tour of Britain as it passed through Lowestoft on Sunday.  As many of the VCB club members as could be there were also glad to join the throng of spectators welcoming the riders to East Anglia.

Never before has a Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist in the time trial (Bradley Wiggins) and a world champion (Mark Cavendish) ridden through Lowestoft together in a professional race.

Luke Rowe of Sky Procycling

That they were both British is a huge bonus and an encouragement to all.  The only disappointment was that a crash put Cavendish out of contention at the end of the stage (though not in the race), with the consolation that fellow Brit, Luke Rowe of the Sky team, won the stage as his first professional victory.

The leading break of four riders - Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun), Kristian House (Rapha Condor) and Niels Wytinck (An Post Sean Kelly)