Richards sixth at Hog Hill racing; Godric reliability

Mark Richards of VC Baracchi took a trip with Harley Matthews of DAP CC took a trip to make an early start to his racing season in a 2/3/4 race on Saturday on the road cycle circuit at Redbridge Cycling Centre, known as Hog Hill.

The 1.5-hour race, run in a clockwise direction, was very quick.  It worked out at 24 laps.

Richards said, “Each lap saw one or two riders shelled from the pack after the steep climbs to the finish line. A few attempts were made to break away by many of the other riders. None of these were successful until 45 minutes in when Harley Matthews and one other managed to break away.”

“Unfortunately I was a wheel or two back and was unable to bridge the gap. Those two stayed away and the pack continue to work fairly well together until there was only a few laps left. At this point the pace picked up a little bit and see a few more riders go off the back.”

“I managed to hang on and was contemplating my worst finishing position within the group as it was so tough. But on the climb of the penultimate hill I positioned myself mid pack and as the guys kicked I stayed in contact.”

Richards continued, “At the crest I passed a few riders then a few more to the base of the finishing hill.  To my surprise I’d see off a couple more in the sprint to the line which put me in sixth place in the end. Harley took second place in the break up the road.”

Nine VCB riders took part in the Godric CC 50-mile reliability rides on Sunday.  In the 3hr group were Liam Gentry, Nick Esser, Mark Richards, James Moore, Charles Jones, Alex and Lucas He, Rory French and also from Lowestoft, Lee Cook.

VCB at Broome

VCB at Broome

They rode out and arrived at Broome in time despite a puncture just after setting out.  Esser said, “After going through Bungay and Flixton it was clear this was going to be quicker.  VC Norwich, Diss CC and Godric faster riders joined in and we rode “through and off” all the way to Harleston.

“On the road to Halesworth through Metfield it all split up with really tough crosswinds and the front group consisted of Liam, Mark, Lee, Lewis Pendle from VCN, a rider from Exeter CC and me.”

From there, Gentry and Richards set the pace and the rest helped where they could through to Blythburgh and back through Beccles.  Eventually the Exeter rider was dropped and Esser said there were some “race-like” attacks to shake off non-VCB riders.

The fast group completed the ride in just two hours and ten minutes despite the headwind from Haddiscoe to the finish.  They were five minutes ahead of the next small group, with others coming in singly or in small groups after that.

John Thompson, in the 4hr group, came inside 3.5hrs.  He had company for most of the ride with three Godric members, including Paul Vergette and someone called Ian, aged 75, who in his younger day was a pretty accomplished racing man and was still going well.

Thompson said, “Realising I could just about get inside three-and-a-half hours I gave it everything I had for the last few-hundred yards!”

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