Titch Richards bursts onto the time trial scene


Velo Club Baracchi’s new time trial rider, 28-year-old Mark “Titch” Richards, startled everyone with the best VCB time in his first event.

Titch Richards, cheerful after his successful novice ride

Richards tackled Gt Yarmouth CC’s open 25-mile time trial around the Somerleyton course on Sunday and was timed in at 1-05:50 for a lucky 13th place.

It was a wonderful clear sunny morning that warmed up well but the wind was ever-present.  Fortunately it was from a fairly benign direction and not too hostile on the undulating course.

Chris Womack was the next-fastest VCB rider with 1-06:04 for 15th together also with a prize for fourth-fastest veteran on standard.  He just beat Mark Newnham, who rode for the club for some years before switching to Anglia Velo this year and achieved 1-06:30.

Chris Womack still with plenty to be cheerful about!

Three other VCB riders took part.  John Swanbury achieved 1-10:30 and Mark Womack 1-12:23.  Steve Summons ended up with a short walk and a lift instead of a recorded time, having punctured somewhere near Browston.

The event was notable for a course record time, 55:09, ridden by Mark Arnold of CC Desiragear.  He beat the previous record of 55:19, set in 2003 by the late Zak Carr.  Barry Charlton of Swinnerton Cycles took second with 57:46 and James Trenchard of Godric CC third with 58:02 and Richard Hancock of St Neots CC fourth in 59:41.

Charlton was also first veteran with +9:52 (i.e. 9:52 under the veteran standard time for his age) so he will presumably take that prize rather than the second place on scratch which is worth a few pounds less.  Jenny Anderson of Gt Yarmouth CC won the ladies’ prize with 1-12:36 and the team prize went to VC Norwich.

The event was also notable for good organisation and marshalling and some magnificent refreshments at the St Olaves headquarters.

John Thompson rode the Shaftesbury CC 162 km audax on Saturday.  He said it didn’t go too well, as he threw in the towel at the event HQ at Ugley at 105 kms.

The sheer strength of the headwind meant he made the cut-off time with just 20 minutes in hand and was concerned that it wouldn’t take much to go wrong on the final leg for him to be over time.

The consolation was a pleasant ride on Sunday through Gt Dunmow to the tea rooms at the former railway station at Rayne. 

  • The bike draw sponsor of Beccles Cycle for Life on May 11, Norfolk & Suffolk Financial Services Ltd, has announced extra sponsorship.  To celebrate the company’s 40th year the 40-mile distance has been renamed the “Norfolk & Suffolk 40 mile anniversary ride.”One rider drawn at random will receive a £40 voucher for Life Cycles and a further £40 voucher will be won at random by a child who has ridden any of the distances.  This is in addition to the usual prize bike draw.Distances are 7, 15, 25, 40 and 50 miles and entries are open.  Details, entry forms and entry on line through Virgin Money Giving is available through www.becclescycleforlife.org.