Howard’s way is best at Redbridge

HAINAULT Roads Club competed in the 32nd Eastern Counties Cycling Association Festival, a three-day gathering of road racing and time trials. This season saw the largest number of entrants for years, with many clubs targeting the event as their primary g

HAINAULT Roads Club competed in the 32nd Eastern Counties Cycling Association Festival, a three-day gathering of road racing and time trials.

This season saw the largest number of entrants for years, with many clubs targeting the event as their primary goal of the season.

The festival got underway on Saturday at the newly-built Redbridge Cycling Centre at Hog Hill and kicked off with a 10-mile time trial around the 2km traffic-free circuit.

Howard Staunton showed early strength with an excellent time of 26 minutes and eight seconds, club champion, Rob Dulson crossed the line in 26.39 and Paul Gee rode a creditable 32.19, while Andrew Griffiths, riding with the Belgian pro team New-Heebra/Lombarden, won the event in 22.04.


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Later that afternoon saw the first of the road races, also on the Redbridge course, and Hainault's Mark Steers took part in the Masters category and finished in the bunch after a 16-lap race.

Team-mate Paul Godfrey, in the Regional B race, was the last man across the line, but the next day, he and Godfrey embarked on the Regional B 3/4/J category road race.

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The course took in three undulating circuits, passing through Leaden Roding, Fyfield and Roxwell for a total of 52 miles.

Once again, Godfrey was disappointingly dropped by the bunch having managed to hang on for 20 miles and the next 30 miles were a lonely solo effort, as he finished just outside of the time limit.

Steers proved the stronger of the two, crossing the line in 18th place in a race won by Richard Norris of VC Revolution.

Dulson joined five more Hainault racers to compete in the afternoon's 25-mile time trial.

Hainault's time trial star, Ian Short, demonstrated his talent by slashing five and a half minutes from his ride last year to clock a superb 56.15, earning him sixth place overall.

Staunton showed no sign of slowing, edging just over the hour at 1.00.52 for 27th place and Dulson was 30th.

Chris Tomkins rode a fine race, recording 1.05.02 for 42nd, while 53rd of the 110 riders was former club champ Gee in 1.07.10.

Riding his first 25-mile event, Paul Emery was pleased with 1.15.32 for 72nd place, but the overall winner was Douglas Bradshaw of Cambridge CC.

In the two-up 25-mile team time trial, the duo of Roger Pimm and Brian Ward and new pairing of Dulson and Short impressed, Dulson and Short clocking 59.10 to secure eighth place and Pimm and Ward finishing 14th in 1.04.33.

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