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Mark Richards battles to seventh for Velo Club Baracchi at Ely race

PUBLISHED: 10:03 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:03 15 February 2017

Mark Richards who finished in seventh place for VCB.

Mark Richards who finished in seventh place for VCB.

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Two of the Velo Club Baracchi riders in the Ely & District CC Hardriders 25-mile time trial in the Cambridgeshire Fens featured in the top 10 on the results sheet.

Liam Gentry who finished in ninth placeLiam Gentry who finished in ninth place

Mark Richards took seventh with 1-00:18, having taken special care on the first section where last year a number of riders came off their bikes.

Liam Gentry was nearly a minute slower with 1-01:43 to take ninth and clubmate Paul Hayward took 18th in 1-05:41. Nick Esser was to have been in the frame and had travelled to the event but was unable to start, having damaged a muscle in his preparation to ride.

It was no surprise that only 48 riders took part, as the conditions were very cold, with a wind across the Fens and a temperature of just two degrees.

The course, from Little Downham, included a technical section of sweeping bends with a slick surface after overnight rain and sleet, a section of the A10 road and a very straight but poorly surfaced section beside the Hundred Foot Drain.

At times there was a cold drizzle and the first part of the course held some big puddles, so all-in-all the event did deserve its “hardriders” description.

The Lowestoft contingent did well not to be put off by snow they encountered en route, which was so thick for a time that only one lane of dual carriageway was in use.

It would have been easy to turn back in those conditions but, as so often happens, the roads at the event itself were at least free of snow.

The winner was Cambridge University CC rider Felix Barker in 56:27 and his team-mates Harold Bradbury (58.27) and Alistair Goldby (59.17) in third and fourth places ensured that their team won the team prize.

Second was Sebastian Dickson of Thanet RC in 57:41 and the top five was rounded off by Ben Beynon (Team PedalRevolution.co.uk) in 59.40, the only other rider under the hour.

Chris Hopkinson (CC Desiragear) was top veteran with +4.47 from his 1-03:03 and the women’s winner was Cindy Berry (BowlPhish Racing) in 1:09.14.

John Thompson cancelled his VCB reliability trial that had been postponed to February 26 as it would clash with the similar Godric CC 50-mile event.

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