VCB reliability ride a big success; Titch Richards in Fritton Lake XC Duathlon

Velo Club Baracchi’s 50-mile reliability ride organised by John Thompson on Sunday was a very successful occasion and a near-record number of 27 riders took part.

Three riders chose the 8.30am start time that would potentially have allowed them four hours to complete the course, but they did not need all that time.

They were Steve Summons, Mark Womack and John Thompson himself.

Womack said he and Summons started early because both were carrying injuries but, “We surprised ourselves by completing it in 2 hours 55 minutes.”

The three-and-a half hours riders at 9am numbered 13 riders, eight of whom were VCB members, a Gt Yarmouth CC member and four others.

The fast group who had allowed themselves three hours set off at 8.30am and included five or six GYCC members, Louis Julian and Nick Esser from Strada Sport and Liam Gentry riding again for VCB.

Ray Skipper was on hand to see the riders off and greet them on their return with warm drinks and cakes, a welcome sight.

On the road

On the road

There was a strong headwind on the first part of the route to Hulver, Stoven, Uggeshall, Holton and Halesworth and it was more on the side as the riders went via Wissett, Rumburgh and part of the Saints to Homersfield, with a nice tailwind to follow to Flixton and Bungay.

Bungay Market Cross

Bungay Market Cross

The tailwind helped the riders on the A143 to Stockton and Gillingham, still giving some help past Toft Monks to Haddiscoe.

After passing through St Olaves the route turned back through Somerleyton to Oulton, with some help from the wind in places.

Other VCB riders in the event included Chris Womack, Karl Brady, Paul Dennington, Shaun Davey, John Swanbury, Nicki Hawkes and George Kerridge.

Hawkes and Kerridge in The Saints

Hawkes and Kerridge in The Saints

The only one known to have suffered a puncture was Swanbury, who finished within the time, but by then very much in need of the “double chocolate muffins” and teas on offer.

Thompson has arranged a 100km version for February 1.

Mark Richards (known as Titch) of VCB took ninth place in the second race in the Fritton Lake XC Duathlon series, in which there were 88 finishers. His position in the first race in mid-December had been twelfth.

The course is entirely off-road, and each stage is based around the trails and surrounding woodland of Fritton Lake Country Park, (3km run – 10km bike – 1.5km run).

Richards, position after the first run was ninth. He dropped two places on the bike and made them up again on the last run, finishing in 57:05. The winner was John O’Neil in 52:38, who had moved up from fifth to first place on the bike leg and held this position on the last run.

Richards said, “The cycle course was run in reverse this week, making it more technical at the end.” There is one more race in the series.

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