Report – Mildenhall Cycling Rally


Despite the very best and worst of the English weather over the Bank-Holiday weekend, the Mildenhall Cycling Rally hailed another fantastic success by Mildenhall CC

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Report – Mildenhall Cycling Rally

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The club’s chairman Mark Burchett said “The attendances on Saturday and Sunday were the best we’ve ever seen at the Rally, with spectators bathed in sunshine lining the whole of the grass-track arena on both days. It was noticeable and very pleasing to see more local people attending, as the event is as much for them as it is the dedicated cyclists from across the UK. With the Rally able to attract the very best track riders to Mildenhall, it means visitors get to see probably the best grass-track racing in the country, which includes some promising stars of the future.“

Testimony to the growing popularity of cycling, the racing on Saturday saw a record number of 90 children competing in the Youth Omnium events. Max Pendleton, who organises the grass-track racing at the Rally and father of Olympic & World Champion Track Cyclist Victoria, said afterwards “When Victoria was racing here at Mildenhall as a Youth, we would have been lucky if we had 15 competing.”

Not only that, but the quality of the racing was of a very high standard too and who knows, anyone of those could be the next Victoria Pendleton CBE, Nicole Cooke MBE, Emma Trott, Laura Trott OBE, Jason Kenny OBE or Steven Burke MBE, who all regularly raced at Mildenhall as they were growing up!

For the host club, it was very encouraging to see their distinctive colours once again in the Omnium events on the Saturday. Colin Mantle finished 10th in the Group C section (10-11 year olds) and Alex Robb was 15th in the Group B (12-13 year olds). Barry Bonnett was flying the flag for the Mildenhall Club in the senior events, picking up a second in the ‘B’ riders Unknown Distance race and a third in 40-plus Devil-take-the-Hindmost.

Jo Smith, a regular winner at Mildenhall, returned to the UK from her base in Spain where she rides for Team Feminin Languedoc to win the Ladies Omnium, ahead of Hannah Payton who races for the Windymilla Reynolds outfit.

Martin Smith (Chesterfield Couriers) enjoyed the most success of the seniors on the grass, claiming four first’s including the 8km Mini-Milk Race. Little did he and the other riders realise when they began what they thought was five gruelling miles on the grass that that would be the last event of the 2014 Rally. As the rain got heavier and heavier the organisers took the very hard decision to shorten the distance to 4km’s and call it a day for all the other events and attractions.

“In spite of the wet and miserable end to what was otherwise an outstanding festival of cycling, none of many visitors that called into the Rally Information Centre before beginning their journeys home early were downbeat at all. They were all full of praise about the Mildenhall Cycling Rally,” said Mark Burchett.

“One of our newer members John Williamson, could not get over how complimentary everyone leaving were about the Rally and their experiences, “ added the Club’s chairman.

While one of the thousands of campers staying on site Spencer Harradine from Orpington, Kent said if he had to describe the Rally in just word, it would be “laughter”. The reason he explained, “As everywhere you go on the campsite all you can hear is people enjoying themselves and ‘laughing’”.

There were many more staying in the fully booked campsites, B&B’s, hotels and guesthouses not only in Mildenhall but the surrounding areas too. “Such is the demand for a table in any of the local eating places I know of a couple of groups who book their table at The Ghandi Indian Restaurant several months in advance of the Rally to make sure they can get in. That particular restaurant did over 100 covers alone on the Sunday.”

“This is a story repeated across the town and Mildenhall Cycling Club are very pleased that local businesses can enjoy this success too. A survey carried out in conjunction with Forest Heath District Council in 2012, concluded that the economic impact of the Rally to the local area amounted to over £240,000,” added Mr Burchett.

Whilst the 30 organisations and companies in the Trade Show, not surprisingly, had limited interest and sales on the Monday, they were very pleased with their trading on the Sunday. Everything from inner tubes and tyres to complete bikes were on sale and at bargain prices.

Over the whole Rally weekend, there were in excess of 750 entrants across the individual events. The Children’s Duathlon was over-subscribed with a full field of 75, aged between 3 and 16 years.

Mildenhall were represented in the 6-8 age category with James Carrington finishing 13th, in the 9-10 category with Francis Robb and Lucia Carrington finishing 9th and 10th respectively, in the 11-12 category Colin Mantle was 7th, Millie Flack 9th, Alexander Robb 11th and Aimee Flack 16th, while in the 13-16 category Josh Murad finished 4th.

Monday’s Cyclo-Cross events were contested by nearly as many, with the youngest two-year-old Verity Gardner from xxxx. From the Mildenhall Club’s perspective, James Carrington was 8th in the Under 9’s race, in the Under 12’s Colin Mantle was fourth, Millie Flack 14th, Francis Robb 15th, Aimee Flack 19th and in the Under 16’s Josh Murad was 20th and Alexander Robb 28th.

In addition to all those competing, there were many more out on their bikes exploring the surrounding countryside, either using the route sheets sold by Mildenhall Cycling Club with distances ranging from 14 – 60 miles, or just out meandering under their own steam. Churches in Isleham and Worlington provide afternoon teas, which were very popular destinations for the cyclists attending the Rally.

Continuing the relaxing theme, the Cycle Jumble on Saturday evening was very well attended with hundred’s squeezing into the marquees to view and buy the many bargains on offer and the Quiz Sunday night saw thirteen teams pit their wits against regular quiz-master Dave Sennitt.

Mildenhall Cycling Club would like to place on record their thanks to Safer Neighbourhood Team of Suffolk Police in Mildenhall who they worked closely with before the Rally and whose planning resulted in no known thefts after the shocking thefts of cycles at the previous year’s Rally.

A complete round up of all the results can be seen on

Go-Ride Skilful Riding

Under 5 Years
1 Caris Gregory 89.25 1 90.25 36.69 126.94

6 & 7 Years
1 Sterling Smith 52.93 52.93 25.63 78.56

8 & 9 Years
1 Harley Gregory 49.23 1 50.23 27.27 77.5

10 & 11 Years
1 Colin Mantle 37.23 37.23 27.82 65.05

12 & 13 Years
1 Sophie Lewis 42.22 42.22 30.06 72.28

14 + Years
1 Megan Kendall 49 49 35.03 84.03

Children’s Sports
Under 7 Boys
1 Calum Letchford

Under 7 Girls
1 Lily Cullen

8 – 9 Boys
1 Harley Gregory

8 – 9 Girls
1 Emily Richhards

10-11 Boys
1 Harrison Barber

10-11 Girls
1 Jodie Taylor

12+ Girls
1 Sophie Lewis

Grass-Track Racing
Juvenile Omnium ‘E’ – Under 8 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Harley Gregson

Juvenile Omnium ‘D’ – Boys Under 10 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Caelan Miller

Juvenile Omnium ‘D’ – Girls Under 10 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Jodie Taylor Colchester Rovers

Juvenile Omnium ‘C’ – Boys Under 12 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Matti Egglestone Beacon Wheelers

Juvenile Omnium ‘C’ – Girls Under 12 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Sophie Lewis CC Ashwell

Juvenile Omnium ‘B’ – Boys Under 14 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Will Raymond Welwyn Wheelers

Juvenile Omnium ‘B’ – Girls Under 14 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Lauren Higham

Juvenile Omnium ‘A’ – Under 16 Sponsored by Gem Estate Management
1. Mitchel Power Team Terminator

Mildenhall CC Grass-Track Championship Over 16
1. Pete Clements

Mildenhall CC Grass-Track Championship Under 16
1. Josh Murad

Children’s Duathlon – Sponsored by SJ Parr & Sons Ltd

3 – 5 years
1. Eleanor Rose

6 – 8 years
1. Bobby Babbs Chelmer CC

9 – 10 years
1. Connor Marshall

11 –12 years
1. Aaron Freeman Chelmer CC

13 – 16 years
1. Matthew Ellis SRAM Race Team

Grass-Track Racing

Event 9. ‘B’ Riders 500m Sprint
1. Anthony Jones Featherstone CC

Event 11. ‘B’ Riders Unknown Distance
1. John Polak

Event 12. ‘A’ Riders Team Sprint
1. VC St Raphael A

Event 16. ‘A’ Riders 1500m
1. Martin Smith Chesterfield Couriers

Event 17. 40 plus Devil Take the hindmost
1. John Pollack

Event 18. Walkers 3000m Classic
1. Martin Smith Chesterfield Couriers

Event 21. Club Teams Team Pursuit (Tom Bray Trophy)
1. VC St Raphael

Ladies Omnium
1. Jo Smith Team Feminin Languedoc

Children’s Sports

5 & Under Boys
1 Callum Carr

5 & Under Girls
1 Alice Elliott

6 – 7 Boys
1 Isaac Smith

6 – 7 Girls
1 Lily Cullen

8 – 9 Boys
1 Oakley Denison

8 – 9 Girls
1 Daisy Letchford

10 – 11 Boys
1 Harrison Barber

10 – 11 Girls
1 Ellie Mae-Pledger

12+ Boys & Girls
1 Thomas Wright

1. Hainault Road Club 71 pts

Under 9’s
1 Archie Bracewell Welwyn Wheelers

Under 12’s
1 Matty Egglestone Beacon Wheelers
Under 16’s
1 Dougal Toms Iceni Velo
1 Tom Payton IslaBikes Kevin Payton Stourbridge CC



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