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Cycling: Ipswich racer Manser springs upset in win at Grafham Water

PUBLISHED: 16:06 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:06 31 October 2019

Ipswich rider Liam Manser (Renvale RT) tales the Senior win at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Ipswich rider Liam Manser (Renvale RT) tales the Senior win at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

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Ipswich rider Liam Manser sprung a surprise at the Grafham Water cyclo-cross when he came from behind to win the Senior men's event - in his first race since the summer.

Gemma Melton (XRT/Elmy Cycles) wins the Women’s race at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIRGemma Melton (XRT/Elmy Cycles) wins the Women’s race at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

As the field charged through the hectic first lap it was Angus Toms who led. The Norwich rider was crouched low over his bars and clearly giving it his all and held a never-more-than-slender lead for the first quarter of the one-hour race.

Manser, a Renvale technician as well as a member of their bike race team, then hit the front and stayed there to the flag while behind him the order constantly reshuffled.

A super-quick eighth lap by Seb Herrod moved him up behind Manser, while Toms and Kieran Jarvis fell back and eventually retired.

Also moving up was St Albans Junior Louis Sutton who managed to pip Herrod for second place, while William Wetherall (Hope Factory Racing) overhauled Sean Dunlea and Ross Tricker to secure fourth.

Mid-race battles were won by Troy Wingar (GRT) who eventually prevailed over Cam Hall, though both scored their best-yet results, and Ryan Gooderham (TPH) who lost a place to Roy Rowland (Velo Schils), but regained it on the very last lap.

Ipswich rider Troy Wingar leads Cam Hall in the private battle at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIRIpswich rider Troy Wingar leads Cam Hall in the private battle at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

On a largely sunny day the sparkling waters of the huge reservoir made a fine backdrop to a course that included new woodland sections and two stretches of very loose beach where bikes did not always go in the direction their riders intended.

Other challenges around the Grafham course included a water-filled ditch ingeniously placed between a pair of hurdles and a finish straight which looked fast but proved to be tough - bumpy and with a headwind blowing straight off the lake.

At the start of the Women's race it was Katie Simcock who sprung into the lead. Simcock who lives locally in St Neots and has won three Central League races already this season, opened a small gap on Gemma Melton (XRT/Elmy).

Then Melton began to close and matters were settled when Simcock found a tubular tyre rolling off the rim of a wheel, and was forced to pick up her bike and run.

At the flag it was an all-Suffolk top five with Melton winning from Elvita Branch (Sussed Out), Katie Scotter, Martha Lebentz, who was also first Junior, and Laura Brown (West Suffolk Wheelers).

Boxford rider Ryan Gooderham (TPH) climbs off the beach at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIRBoxford rider Ryan Gooderham (TPH) climbs off the beach at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Joseph Smith (Iceni Velo) took the Youth race by a country mile, despite it being less than 24 hours after he had achieved an outstanding third place in the National Trophy race in Scotland.

This from a field of nearly 90 boys aged 15 and 16 on a course at Irvine Beach Park that will certainly have sharpened skills for Grafham beaches.

In the Grafham race there were season's best performances by two Bury St Edmunds riders - Oliver Griggs (Hub Velo) who was sixth overall and Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Whs) fifth overall and best Under 14.

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Girls winners were Phoebe Roche (WXC World Racing 1st U16) and Mia Rutterford (Iceni Velo U14).

Top Suffolk veteran Glenn Davey flies over a hurdle at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIRTop Suffolk veteran Glenn Davey flies over a hurdle at Grafham Water. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

In the Veterans 40-49 race Ben Lewis (Forest Side) returned to winning ways after last week's abrupt interruption, with Shaun Aldous second and Glenn Davey top Suffolk finisher in fifth place.

Perhaps with next week's racing at West Stow in their sights, several Bury area competitors put in their season's best points scores - including Stephen Brook and Karl Hale of West Suffolk Wheelers and Richard Still from Rattlesden.

Ian Newby won the Vets 50-plus comfortably, Clive Harrison (Ford CC) coming through to claim second ahead od Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) and Bruce Mackie.

Gary Smith reminds time-trialists that claims need to be made for the East District Short Distance Competition.

Only "B" course Open (as opposed to Association) events count. Men need four 10 mile events and three 25s. For the women it is three 10s and two 25s.

Claims need to be with Gary at abcccoachgary@gmail.com by mid-November.

RESULTS: St Ives CC Grafham Water cyclo-cross:

WOMEN: 1 Gemma Melton (XRT-Elmy Cycles), 2 Elvita Branch (Sussed Out / Mondraker) 3 Katie Scotter (ViCiOUS VELO), 4 Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC), 5 Laura Brown (West Suffolk Wheelers), 6 Lillie Swan (CC Ashwell)

SENIOR & JUNIOR MEN: 1 Liam Manser (Renvale RT) 11 laps in 1:02:17, 2 Louis Sutton (Flamme Rouge Cycling Team) +0:38, 3 Seb Herrod (Strada-Sport) +0:39, 4 William Weatherill (Hope Factory Racing) +1:07, 5 Sean Dunlea (Bloodwise QSW) +1:11, 6 Ross Tricker (ViCiOUS VELO) +1:29.

VETERAN MEN 40-49: 1 Benjamin Lewis (Forest Side Riders) 7 laps in 40:09,2 Shaun Aldous (Renvale RT) +0:58, 3 Ian Russell (Moda RT) +1:40, 4 Robert Purcell (NVCC)+1:52,5 Greg Simcock +1:57, 6 Glenn Davey (Stowmarket & District CC) +2:23.

VETERAN MEN 50+: 1 Ian Newby (Diss & District CC)7 laps in 43:39, 2 Clive Harrison (Ford CC0 +0:31,

3 Dave Copland (Ipswich Bicycle Club) +0:39, 4 Bruce Mackie (Lee Valley Youth CC0+1:07 5 Simon Hime (Finchley RT) +2:05, 6 Adrian Healey (Stowmarket & District CC) +2:13.

YOUTH: 1 Joseph Smith (Iceni Velo) 5 laps in 29:23, 2 Toby Brown (Welwyn Wheelers CC) +1:50, 3 Ralf Falkner (St Ives CC) +2:02, 4 Thomas Bardill (CC Hackney) +2:03 5 Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Whs, 1st U14 Boy) +2:45, 6 Oliver Griggs (Hub Vélo) +3:57, 11 Phoebe Roche (WXC World Racing 1st U16 Girl ) +5:45, 29 Mia Rutterford (Iceni Velo), 1st U14 Girl.

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