Dad and son take cycling honours

Paul and James Ashby take the chequered flag together. Paul and James Ashby take the chequered flag together.

Fergus Muir
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
3:25 PM

It was a moment to remember when the Ashbys – father Paul and younger son James – crossed the line together in Thetford Forest to win the veteran and senior men’s four-hour enduros respectively.

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As if that wasn’t enough, the family had older son Shane (UEA Cycling Club) ‘in reserve’ in seventh place.

This third round of the Bike Art Winter Series demonstrated the astonishing drying qualities of Thetford Forest MTB courses. Laid out in snow, then raced over barely 24 hours later in sunshine the course was deemed “grippy” and certainly included some very wet spots, but was by no means a mudbath.

No doubt the wind played a part – it was blowing strongly in riders’ faces on a long uphill fireroad towards the end of the clockwise lap in the Brandon Park sector of the forest.

There must have been tailwind legs, but they were not much noticed – indeed with snow in mind more of the course than usual had been laid under the protective fronds of the pine forest.

Two hour men’s winner was Ben Roff (Orange Monkey) with top local finishers including Glenn Stanford (Team CCN, 4th) and Elliot Lawrence (Fakenham Gas Centre, 9th).

Helen Coote (Thetford MTB) who lives in Brandon, was 4th in the women’s two-hour, just ahead clubmate Deborah Mallett.

Team CCN’s Andy Manning won the Veteran’s two-hour, 2;20 up on Gipping Racing Team’s Adrian Healey. Gipping’s Laura Sampson took the women’s four-hour with Anita Buxton of Thetford MTB in third place. Details of how all the 376 riders fared can be seen at www.timelaps.co.uk

A tough wind helped riders in the East District CA reliability trial work up an appetite before the annual Prize Presentation get-together at Carbrooke. In what he announced as his 40th and final performance as Master of Ceremonies Mick Gambling introduced prizewinners from across the region, several of whom had ridden to the event.

• CTC Norfolk – the local members group of the Cyclists’ Touring Club – held their annual lunch at The Cottage in Thorpe, where the Shield for Service to the group was awarded jointly to Davis Fearn and long-serving Registration Officer John Waller. Awards for clubrun attendance went to Rita Murrell and Bryan Walker, while the new Mid-Week Trophy went to Dave Anness while Cyclist of the Year was Richard Dunnett.

• On Sunday North Norfolk Wheelers have a reliability trial starting from Weybourne Village Hall. Full distance is 100kms (62 miles) but there are optional cut-offs reducing the distance to 80 kms or 60 kms if preferred. Signing on is from 9am, first group leaves 9.30. Hot drinks will be available beforehand, hot snacks afterwards. Also on Sunday there is the first Norfolk Cycle Show at The Forum, Norwich, 10am-3pm. There are further details at www.thenorfolkcycleshow.co.uk

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