The warm conditions attracted a record entry to Cycle Club Sudbury’s fourth Mad March Hilly Open Time Trial in Lavenham on Sunday.
There were 73 competitors from teams across the region, twice the size of their previous events, competing for prize money of nearly £350, thanks to sponsorship from two local businesses; LifeCycle UK in Bildeston and Long Meford insurance company Robins Row.
The other reason to explain the bumper entry was that it also doubled, for the first time, as a qualifying round of the popular south-eastern SPOCO Series, which is for Sporting Courses events.
Winner Mark Arnold’s (CC Desiragear) time of 48 minutes eight seconds set a new course record by more than one-and-a-half minutes, which earned him an extra £100 for his efforts and was even more remarkable in that he rode the event on a fixed single gear.
Daniel Bloy (Bury-based Velovelocity.co.uk) came back second fastest in 49.42 (to equal the existing record) with third spot going to Steve Gorbutt (Diss and District CC) with a time of 50.24.
Hayley Simmond’s (Cambridge University CC) came in in a quick time of 52.52, easily winning the ladies’ equalised prize and was good enough for seventh place overall, and more impressively to break the ladies’ record by nearly seven-and-a-half minutes.
With 19 Cylce Club Sudbury (CCS) riders competing, Simon Daw came back quickest in ninth place in 53.01 with Darren Rule in 16th place at 54.38.
Jamie Howe managed to crash during his warm-up, but gamely started, and despite leg injuries and further dramas on the course, still managed to complete the event in a time of 57.11 for 30th place.
The other local club, Boxford Cycle Club, had 11 riders out and fastest of these was John Bradbury with a very good 14th place with a 54.21 followed by Matthew Shinn in 57.38.
CCS rider Charlie Pratt claimed the junior prize with an excellent one hour, five minutes and 23 second ride.
The winning Team Prize was won by Velovelocity, whose riders Daniel Bloy, Paul Jay and David Staff had a combined time of 2.36.07.