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Wright and Piper carry the flag in National Series event

PUBLISHED: 17:13 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:13 12 June 2018

The Women’s Elite/Expert podium, with Sophie Wright centre Picture: Fergus Muir

The Women’s Elite/Expert podium, with Sophie Wright centre Picture: Fergus Muir

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Wins for Sophie Wright and Jimmy Piper were local highlights when National Series cross-country mountain bike racing came to the Phoenix Bikes course at Kentford near Newmarket.

A celebratory wheelie as Sophie Wright crosses the finish line at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus MuirA celebratory wheelie as Sophie Wright crosses the finish line at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus Muir

Wright is now back living in Horsford and racing off-road for Renvale RT and for north-west team Torelli on the road.

“I am a pro cyclist now,” she proudly said after her win.

Wright headed the race in company of series leader Kerry Macphee. Both were dramatically overtaken by Harriet Harnden, who was riding the shorter Junior race, but Wright carried on to win the seven-lap Elite/Expert race.

The course, partly in a former gravel pit squeezed between the railway and the A14 road, featured some spectacular drop-offs that had viable alternative ‘B’ lines for the less adventurous. In the Vets race, two of Jimmy Piper’s immediate rivals were taking the safer options at the cost of about five seconds a time. However, Piper (Renvale RT) made no mistakes and took the V50-59 race by 12 seconds.

Sophie Wright (Renvale RT) riding high at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus MuirSophie Wright (Renvale RT) riding high at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus Muir

Beccles rider Nigel Herrod took second place in the Vets 60+.

Matthew Senter won the East District CA 10-mile time trial championship in 20:45, 61 seconds ahead of Ben Stancombe, while Veteran David Procter made it a remarkable one-two-three for the VeloVelocity team with his 20:20 for third place.

Norwich rider Cindy Berry took the women’s championship on the same horseshoe-shaped course just south of King’s Lynn. Her 23:17 put her 38 seconds clear of second-placed Becky Murley (Wisbech Wheelers).

The Videre RT road races on a short triangular road circuit at Croxton near Thetford were welcome additions to the local programme. An early break of five got away in the senior race and were never caught. Oliver Maxwell won while Tom Fitzpatrick was top local finisher in third.

A happy Nigel Herrod from Beccles takes his 60-plus age award at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus MuirA happy Nigel Herrod from Beccles takes his 60-plus age award at the National Series races at Kentford Picture: Fergus Muir

The race for lower categories came down to a big bunch sprint won by Callan Swanson (Cambridge CC) with Norwich riders Jack Bracey (Strada Sport) and Spencer Laborde (Iceni Velo) were second and third.

In the Eagle road race at Elmdon Tom Heal (Strada Sport) was second and Mark Richards (DAP CC) third.

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