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Joe's joy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:30 05 July 2010

Joe Skipper, right, on his way to victory. Picture: Mark Cozens

Joe Skipper, right, on his way to victory. Picture: Mark Cozens

LOWESTOFT lad Joe Skipper of Lotto Olympia Team Interbike struck top form on Sunday with a canny win in the Reg Cogman Memorial Road Race at Wicklewood.

Joe Skipper with his prize. Picture: Mark Cozens

LOWESTOFT lad Joe Skipper of Lotto Olympia Team Interbike struck top form on Sunday with a canny win in the Reg Cogman Memorial Road Race at Wicklewood.

It was his first win. Open to categories two, three and four, the 70-mile road race was hit by rain shortly after it started, but Skipper rode confidently in the conditions.

After a number of early unsuccessful attacks, a group of six escaped near the end of lap 2, gaining a lead of about 30 seconds and Mark Arnold of API bridged across to it about half a lap later.

Then towards the end of lap three, Skipper and a Maldon rider also managed to reach it.

About 30 seconds later there was a crash and one rider went down.

Skipper noted that everyone was weary and the group split to just four, staying away until they were caught at the end of lap three.

The race then stayed together for most of lap four until about three miles before the end of the penultimate lap when two riders got a lead on the bunch and finally about a mile before the finishing hill a group of three got away, to form what became the decisive break of the race.

This group contained Ben Nicholson, one of Skipper's team-mates, so as they went up the hill Skipper just followed the wheels of the attacking riders making sure he didn't chase his team-mate down.

After they crested the hill he looked back and saw he had a lead of five to ten seconds, giving him the chance to attack hard and catch the leaders within a mile.

Skipper commented: “The group then worked really well, with Ben getting dropped a couple of miles from the finish.

As we went up the hill the group just split with me taking first by a couple of metres.”

In last week's Godric CC 10-mile club time trial Skipper limbered up for his road race with the fastest time, riding a road bike.

His time was 22:58. Next was Mike Auger of VC Norwich in 23:33, with John Dupen of Velo Club Baracchi third in 23:42.

Other VCB riders were John Swanbury 25:45, Mike Rainton 26:39, John Thompson 27:30, Mark Carroll 27:39 and Mike Wood 29:21.

The Ipswich BC weekend 10 and 25-mile open time were held in the Tunstall area.

In the “10”, Jenny Anderson of Velo Club Baracchi recorded 27:51 and John Thompson 28:43.

In the “25” that took place in wind and rain the Baracchi times reflected the conditions. Jenny Anderson achieved 1-16:31, Tracy Prewer 1-17:42 and John Thompson 1-17:46.

The winner was again Lee Bark in 57:53.

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