Result: UEA Last Chance Points Grab

Joe Skipper winner of the category 3/4 UEA Last Chance Points Grab at Norwich on Sunday

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Result: UEA Last Chance Points Grab

UEA Velo Last Chance Points Grab – 46 Miles, Shotesham Circuit, Norfolk | From Fergus Muir

UEA Velo’s first-ever road race promotion, their “Last Chance Points Grab” on the Shotesham circuit, just south of Norwich, was blasted by rain and very strong winds but proved to be arguably the most action-packed race for third and fourth cat riders in the East this season

Triathlete Skipper nurses his flat tyre over the line

Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC) was already off the front as the race passed my viewpoint in the bar window of Shotesham Globe, two miles after the start, with the field strung out in pursuit. Next lap (seven miles) Fuller’s lead was 35 seconds.

A lap later – viewed at Shotesham Church Corner, the rain having stopped – four chasers were in pursuit, reduced to three as King’s Lynn Road Race winner Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich) slid off under the giant chestnut tree that guards – and drops its leaves on – the corner. By the next lap the three – Tom Heal (Strada Sport), Joe Skipper (unattached) and Kyle Harper of Norwich cafe club Artel Racing, had joined Fuller to form a leading quartet, about a minute ahead of a group of 13 riders. Another minute later a further group of six was stretching the commissaire team’s forces.

L-R Kyle Harper, Stephen Fuller, Tom Heal

At around half distance (23 miles) Skipper – a current European triathlon champion, but only occasional road racer – rode, apparently effortlessly, off the front of the break on Skeets Hill. Heal, Harper and Fuller continued to chase, while Robin Hawes (Chelmer CC) and several VC Norwich members tried to animate the first of the two halves of the bunch.

Towards the end of the 46 miles, the whole field began to scatter, with Harper giving best, while Heal rode Fuller off his wheel…..only to be re-caught in the last mile. Skipper took the win at the top of Skeets Hill, his snatched victory salute proving to be due to his front tyre being completely flat – but he kept the bike straight despite the 25 knot crosswind gusting across the line.

Fuller took second spot at 2:59, Heal was third at 3:40 and Hawes fourth at 3:59. Adam Hole (8th) was top VC Norwich finisher, Ben Skaife (11th) was first from Artel, Louis Julian (12th) was first from DAP while Caolan Stowe (17=) made sure the promoting University of East Anglia’s colours were represented in the result.

It has just been announced that Strada Sport will promote the 2018 Eastern Regional Road race Championship on this same 4.8 mile Shotesham Circuit on the third weekend in August – 15 or more climbs of Skeets hill, plus the lesser climbs out of Saxlingham and Shotesham, should ensure a worthy winner.

1 Joe Skipper (Unattached)
2 Stephen Fuller Cambridge CC +2:59
3 Thomas Heal Strada-Sport + 3:40
4 Robin Hawes Chelmer CC +3:59
5 James Sale Pro Cycle Hire UK Racing Team + 4:20
6 Lubomir Belak St Ives CC +4:22
7 Oliver Wood Strada-Sport +4:26
8 Adam Hole VC Norwich
9 Ashley Strowger VC Norwich
10 Ben Nicholson Velo Club Baracchi
11 Benjamin Skaife Artel Racing
12 Louis Julian DAP Cycling Club + 4:38
13 Jamie Roberts
14 Jack Ibbotson VC Norwich
15 Matthew Baker VC Norwich
16 Bradley Nelson Bloodwise QSW
17 William Cunningham Stowmarket & District CC
17 Steve Sach Southend Wheelers
17 Caolan Stowe UEA Velo
17 Scott Williams West Suffolk Wheelers





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