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East Anglian cycling loses key figure in Derek Lusher

PUBLISHED: 15:28 05 February 2019

Derek Lusher setting out on a '10' near Newmarket in May 2015 Picture: Fergus Muir

Derek Lusher setting out on a '10' near Newmarket in May 2015 Picture: Fergus Muir

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The death of Norwich official and rider Derek Lusher robs East Anglian cycling of a lynch-pin of road race organisation and a considerable character.

Derek Lusher in Lowestoft in 2015 to receive the VC Baracchi�s Service to the Sport award Picture: JOHN SWANBURYDerek Lusher in Lowestoft in 2015 to receive the VC Baracchi�s Service to the Sport award Picture: JOHN SWANBURY

In the front line as a road race commissaire (referee), Derek made good use of his Norfolk voice and lorry driver’s no-nonsense approach to keep a fired-up road race bunch in line and safe.

Behind the scenes, he had been Regional Cycling Administrator for British Cycling since 2001. As such he was responsible for assessing and approving circuits, co-ordinating dates and liaising with the authorities – a job he continued, almost to the last, closely supported by his wife Jenny.

Derek and Jenny also formed a much sought-after time-keeping team. Earlier, their work together for the English Schools Cycling Association brought national championship time trials and the ESCA International race week to Norfolk.

Derek, who was 70, had been a club cyclist since 1964, but it was in the longest and loneliest disciplines that he achieved his best rides. His best 12-Hour ride was 237 miles, while in 1969, at the age of 21, he covered a personal best 419.8 miles in the North Road CC 24-Hour time trial. In 1978 he set the 175-mile East District CA Round Suffolk record at eight hours, 28 minutes, 33 seconds.

Derek started his club cycling with the East Anglian CC, but from 1970 he settled in the Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club whom he served successively as secretary, captain and finally president. He organised many events for them, notably their 100 and more recently their September ‘25’. Until recently he continued to ride shorter time trials – with a 1960s riding position and nothing so new-fangled as tri-bars – whenever he could fit them in among his commitments.

The funeral is at St Andrews Church, Eaton on February 8 at 1pm.

East Region Tricycle Association members gathered at Bradfield Combust for their annual lunch where Cycling Time Trials’ East District Chairman Don Saunders was the guest of honour.

Ben Benyon (Strada Sport) took a third place in racing at Hog Hill in the London borough of Redbridge.

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