King’s Lynn cyclists make their mark in mud, glorious mud

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Lynn Cycling Club members made their mark in the eighth round of the Eastern Cyclocross League despite being greeted with mud, glorious, mud on their arrival.

The trio of Florence Barnett, Bethany Barnett, Glyn Smith and Ray Barnett bravely battled the heavy rain in the latest offering of action at Bury St Edmunds.

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Florence was first up in the under-12 race, a series that she is currently leading for the girls and is fifth overall.

This was possibly the most exciting race of the day to watch, with the top three riders staying close together and swapping the lead a number of times during the race.

Florence was gridded first but dropped to third into the first corner after a lightning start by the boys.

Coming into the second lap, she moved up to second place and then overtook on the line to take the race lead before disappearing from view.

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She re-appeared shortly afterwards with a big lead on her rivals before disaster struck.

Dismounting to cross the log she stumbled and fell in the mud, allowing the two boys to catch her and regain the lead.

Undeterred she chased them down and passed them to once again retake the lead and start to put a significant distance between her and second place.

On the penultimate corner of the race she crashed and had to get back on and a determined sprint to the line saw her finish second.

Bethany was next, racing in the 80-strong youth category.

A fast start saw her gain some places on her usual rivals, and she remained strong for the entire race, dealing with the hurdles and log in her usual smooth style.

A slip by a rider in front of her cost her time as she was forced to dismount and run part of the wooded section.

Despite taking nearly 15 seconds a lap out of the second-placed rider ahead of her, there weren’t quite enough laps – leaving her to finish in a very solid third place, ten places ahead of the next girl and 22nd overall.

More rain meant that by the time Smith and Ray Barnett got to race in the Vet 40, conditions were a proper mud bath and very slippery in places.

Some riders chose to run sections as it was quicker than trying to find traction.

It was tricky to call it a clean race, given their bikes weighed nearly double their original weight by the end of the race, mud coating the bikes so thickly that it was impossible to see the components.

It also left Smith with only a handful of usable gears.

They finished 24th and 68th overall, in a race where just finishing was an achievement – eight other riders were forced to retire.

As a team, Lynn Cycling Club has dropped back to 17th out of 44 – mainly due to the inability to field the minimum three riders at events that clash with National Trophy dates.

On points average, though, they’re potentially in with the chance of a top-10 finish by the end of the season, particularly if they get a few more riders competing to help them win points.

Lynn Clycling Club is hosting the first round of the Muddy Monsters Series tomorrow.

Aimed at children who’ve not done much or any riding before, this will be a fun morning of introductory races, with medals.

Sign on at 9.30am for 10am races at Springwood High School. Call Ray Barnett for more details on 07711 903935.