Tricky weather conditions do little to hamper Wheelers’ West Stow event
The dreadful weather on Saturday did not deter the organisers or participants in the West Suffolk Wheelers cyclo-cross event at West Stow Country Park.
This was Round Seven of the Eastern League, with riders across the wide age categories descending on the venue from far and wide.
Event organiser Giles Prime and his team, together with good support from the park’s staff, had laid out a challenging course of approximately 1.5 miles per lap, incorporating all the key features of a cyclo-cross course, including undulating grassland, sand, tarmac, woodland, gravel, two tricky uphill sections and dismounts over a felled tree and immaculate new hurdle planks in the club’s livery.
The winner of the Under-8 race was Bailey Groombridge, with Logan Ayres pipping series leader Daniel Elliott in the Under-10s. There was a great battle amongst the West Suffolk riders; Ella Stewart finishing 13th, Logan Marsh 14th, Matt Blackwell 15th and Poppy Moore 23rd.
Runaway victor in the U12 race was Oliver Beale, whose sister Isabel won the girls’ section of this race, with local riders Sam Brook 6th, Sam Blackwell 8th and Tommy Dickson 13th.
The U16/14 race was very closely-contested with Iceni team-mates Joe Smith and Callum Laborde neck and neck until the last lap when Laborde came to grief in the sand, but remounted to hold second place.
West Suffolk’s Harley Gregory came 9th and won the U14 section of this race, with the other local rider Oliver Griggs 13th.
A separate race is now on the programme for women, with Ffion James the overall winner from Ipswich-based Gemma Melton in second. Best local riders were Martha Lebentz in 6th, with Laura Brown 10th and Megan Free 26th.
The race for males over-50 saw Jimmy Piper challenged by Diss rider Ian Newby, who was not quite able to maintain Piper’s pace, with local rider Richard Muchmore returning to form after a delayed start to his season in third.
Lots of local riders took part in this well supported race with their finishing places as follows: Mike Bowen 6th, Karl Hale 30th, Ian Mortlock 34th, Adi Grimwood 40th, Dave Griggs 41st, Nick Rush 44th and Paul Sawyer 56th.
Stuart Pryce was the surprise winner of the 40-49 race, with Norfolk’s Shaun Aldous second just ahead of Robert Purcell and Stowmarket’s Glen Davey, while locally-based Army rider Matt Waters was 15th.
In the one-hour race for Senior and Junior riders, Jack Parish from Ipswich just got the better of series leader James Madgwick, who had ridden in a World Cup race in Belgium the previous day, with Oscar Woodward the only local rider in 19th and 4th best Junior.
The next event in the series, which is at Redgrave near Diss, is on Saturday, November 23.