By Charles Butcher
Small but enthusiastic crowds gathered in Reepham on Sunday 30 June to watch cyclists in the HSBC UK National Road Championships and a 100-mile recreational ride.
The men’s and women’s races brought out the cream of British road riders plus a host of police motorcycles and support vehicles.
With rolling road closures in force, several motorists had to alter course at the last minute as they were overtaken by honking police bikes.
For the 1,000-plus riders in the British Cycling Challenge 100 Sportive arriving after the men’s race, a giant refreshment stand in Reepham’s Market Place provided fuel for the last leg of their journey back to Norwich.
The day was warm and competitors had already faced energy-sapping headwinds as they travelled westwards from Cromer to Wells-next-the-Sea.
Earlier, local police officers lent willing hands to help set up the “pit stop” when support staff were delayed.
For a while it seemed the riders would have to do without their sausage rolls, but in the end all the supplies arrived safely.
Spectators included Reepham residents, riders’ friends and families, local cyclists and racing fans, some of whom had travelled from outside Norfolk.
Mainstream media coverage was thin, the experts said, and the lack of reliable 4G signals on the inland parts of the route spoiled the video live-streamed by British Cycling.
You can watch the men’s race (try starting at 3:27:00 as they leave Themelthorpe) and the women’s race (2:38:00), but in each case the signal drops frustratingly as the riders approach Reepham.
The race winners were Ben Swift (Team Ineos) and Alice Barnes (Canyon–Sram Racing). Swift’s cousin Connor Swift won the men’s race last year. The full list is here.
See our earlier story: