VCB’s Richards settles for eighth place in Hackney CC road race

A great team effort by Velo Club Baracchi riders earned Mark Richards eighth place in the Hackney CC road race.

A last-minute course change took the HQ from Sudbury to the old Haverhill “Ed Taylor” Circuit – a 5-mile challenging circuit finishing on each of the twelve laps on a tough hill.

Hackney CC Road Race – photo by James Fletcher

Richards was accompanied by Liam Gentry and Nick Esser, who said, “As soon as the race de-neutralised two riders attacked and gained a lead between 60-90 seconds throughout the race.”

Hackney CC Road Race – photo by James Fletcher

Hackney CC Road Race – photo by James Fletcher

“Mark & Liam challenged the other riders by setting the pace at the front or by chasing down break attempts. But the nervousness of the peloton ensured that no more riders would leave the bunch.”

Esser lost contact with two laps to go.  The other two continued and with just over one lap to go Tom Elwood from CC London attacked and bridged across to the race-long duo a minute away.  He then attacked them both to win the race with 400 metres to go.

Hackney CC Road Race – photo by Fergus Muir

Approaching the finish Gentry strung the bunch out and set Richards up for the final climb. Richards held his own and managed to secure fifth place in the bunch sprint – eighth overall.

Hackney CC Road Race – the leadout – photo by Fergus Muir

Earlier in the week the Diss CC 10-mile time trial on a chilly Tuesday evening featured a repeat of the VCB one-two by Richards in 21:42 and Gentry in 22:16, with Simon Scott of Anglia Velo third again in 22:46.

VCB junior rider Lucas He set a personal best 22:54 that earned him fourth place and Paul Dennington was sixth equal in 23:39. John Swanbury recorded 26:45 and Alex He rode a personal best 27:25. Twenty-five rode.

Richards races for the Diss CC finish

Kate Churchill of VCB, now in full training mode for a London – Edinburgh – London ride, decided to ride to the “Seething All Over” 211 km Audax event and back again as well as riding the event, which John Thompson also rode. It was a VC Norwich promotion.

She left home at 5.45am to give her time and said. “The first leg took us through the lanes to Diss and then past Bury St Edmunds to Hawstead and the first check point at the Malia Rosso bike cafe. There was a fairly strong tail wind so this part was fast going.”

“The next stage was a long leg across to Southwold with a nagging cross-wind.  The exposed sections were hard but often the route was quite sheltered so the wind wasn’t too much of a problem.”

“The last stage from Southwold back to Seething Village Hall was mostly into what was now a strong head-wind so it was heads down and keep going!  I arrived back at the finish at 16.25 giving a time of 8 hrs and 55 mins for the 211 kilometres.  After tea, soup and a cheese roll I rode the 20 miles back home and was indoors at 18.20.”

Thompson said, “I finished in eleven and a half hours, inside my target.”  He resisted the temptation to make a bolt for home from Henstead during this long ride.

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