Mildenhall Cycling Festival hit by rain on Sunday but weather improves on Monday
This year’s Mildenhall Cycling Festival was blighted by bad weather on Sunday, but it did not stop those on site from staying and taking advantage of the improved weather on Monday.
Mark Burchett, chairman of the organisers Mildenhall Cycling Club, said: “It is something beyond our control, but it is terribly disappointing that all the hard work put in by club members and the organisations, sponsors and traders we work with reaped very little reward on the day.
“The weather forecasts before the weekend predicted rain with wind of up to 40mph and, although we were not hit by the strong winds like other events further south, the forecast and the rain on the day was enough to deter all but the hardiest of souls to venture out.
“The grass-track still went ahead but using the fun alternative programme that ironically had been planned when we were in the middle of the drought, to reduce the risk of accidents for the riders racing on a track that would have been more like riding on an ice-sheet with no grip. Instead, it was used because the conditions were too wet!”
The one race which was not cancelled was the 8km Mini-Milk Race, as it was the penultimate round of British Cycling’s National Grass-Track Endurance Series.
Laurence Lisher (Green Arrow CRT), one of the pre-race favourites, was the winner, overhauling David Mitchinson (Contour Cycles RT) in the closing laps.
The Mini-Milk Race was sponsored by local cricketer and cyclist Ken Lucas, from Worlington, in memory of his brother Robert, who died recently. Mr Lucas has been cycling with the Mildenhall club since the 1960s.
Laurence’s brother Phil Lisher (Hemel Hempstead CC) won the Men’s Parsramps and JKH Drainage Omnium events, while Jennifer Andrews (CC Ashwell) won the Women’s A&A Motors, JKH Drainage and Mark’s Fruit & Veg stall Omnium.
On Saturday, 29 intrepid riders completed the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) Suffolk Festival Roving 300km Audax ride, with 148 riders completing the timed touring routes over 57, 100, 160, 200 and 300km distances.
Paul Moss, from local club Stowmarket & District CC, was the fastest around the mixed and unique Fenland 23km course, which formed the first official On & Off-Road Time Trial, with David Robb, from the host club, missing out on second place by just three seconds from Andy Bell (Selby CC).
The Children’s Duathlon, supported by SJ Parr & Sons, managed to miss the rain on Sunday morning, with nearly 50 children competing in the different age categories.
Two-year-old Anwyn Wienloch_South, from Fenland Clarion CC, took part in the 5 & Under Section, while five-year-old Ivy Adams competed in the Duathlon, the Barry Atkin Children’s Sports and the Balanceability Bike Sessions, quite an achievement for a brave girl who only has half a heart and all the associated problems that that brings. On the final day, Cyclo-Cross provided an interesting and testing course, with William Holland-Leader winning the Under-9s ahead of local riders Caris Gregory, Emily Mistsenico and Eila Ward.
Host club rider Colin Mantle finished sixth in the Under-16s race ahead of Matthew Waller, while Mildenhall’s traditional Mad Madison was won by the father and son team of Kevin and Tom Payton.
A further minute down was Mitch Powell and Laurence Lisher, while Mildenhall’s own father and son team of David and Alex Robb finished in a respectable seventh place.