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Eighth for Skipper

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:03 05 July 2010

Joe Skipper, right, in action. Picture: MARK COZENS

Joe Skipper, right, in action. Picture: MARK COZENS

LOWESTOFT rider Joe Skipper of Lotto Olympia Team Interbike rode to eighth place in the Eastern Region Road Race Championships in Saffron Walden, though this gave him sixth place in the region, as two riders in the race were from elsewhere.

LOWESTOFT rider Joe Skipper of Lotto Olympia Team Interbike rode to eighth place in the Eastern Region Road Race Championships in Saffron Walden, though this gave him sixth place in the region, as two riders in the race were from elsewhere.

It was a hard course of 75 miles or so with a strong field, ridden in heavy winds and from the beginning attacks were going and being brought back, so the bunch was strung out for a long while with the weaker riders being shelled out.

Eventually a group of about five got a way.

Skipper attacked and took Dan Kogan of PCA Ciclos Uno across with him but this then sparked a reaction from the main field and after about half a mile the escapees were caught.

Kogan then attacked up a hill and this took Skipper by surprise.

Others got across and it built up to five riders, though some were dropped again and the lead group lost some advantage and reduced to two, allowing others to reach it, including Skipper, Phil Hetzel of Ipswich BC and James Ward of Cambridge CC.

The course was so hard that that though the lead group increased to nine, it was very fluid and riders were lost from it, so shortly before the finish, after further attacks and counter attacks five riders were away in front.

One of these, Hetzel, had to retire from exhaustion and another three, including Skipper, were clear of what remained of the bunch.

All seemed to arrive at the line well separated, with out-of-district Martin Smith of AW Cycles first, Kogan second, David Cook of Altura third and Digby Symons of Cambridge CC fourth.

Skipper took eighth and 19 riders finished.

Skipper observed: “I don't think I was 100 per cent, as two weeks before the race I had a very big week where I raced three times.

“I came third at Redbridge Road Race, second in the (Godric club) time trial at Bungay riding the 10 miles in a personal best of 22minutes 23 seconds on a road bike, and then winning the Double Iron Man UK Relay on the Saturday.”

“Training included cycling over 400 miles, running ten and swimming two.

“And I didn't eat enough before the event.

“I was a bit gutted as I was hoping to win this but at the end of the day gave all I could,” he added.

Skipper says he is looking for sponsorship to enable him to compete in the top racing in England, i.e. Premier Calendar racing and also racing abroad, so as to take his racing to the next level.

This may be a good opportunity to support an up-and coming rider.


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