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Mildenhall Rally has been an essential part of the club’s annual itinerary for the past 20 years or so.

 There has always been a healthy attendance by club members, but this year was probably the best ever. With 16 camping pitches booked, almost 40 members camped over the entire weekend, plus another 20 or so day visitors made us one of the most highly represented clubs at the rally. What has changed more recently though is the high level of participation and contribution by club members. In the early years the rally was mostly seen as a social event. This aspect is still strong, but levels of participation have gone sky high in all events.

Racing on the grass in the track centre were George, Sue & Gary Wood, Neil Chapman, Rob Tyas, Lucy Harper and Samantha Parker.  All rode superbly with Neil picking up a few licence points and Sue winning the ladies category in the hoop race in addition to coming fourth in the National 800m Sprint Championship.  Uniquely, we were able to field a ladies team in Sunday’s team sprint and Monday’s team pursuit. Sue Wood, who only took up grass racing earlier this year joined up with Lucy Harper who had her first grass outing exactly a year ago, and Samantha Parker who only rode a fixed bike for the first time two months ago to give excellent showings , leaving us wondering what they will be capable of with another year of experience. George was riding strongly on Saturday until he was brought down by another rider switching across him in the devil take the hindmost event. A bruised knee resulted in him withdrawing from the final race of the day, but he was back in action again the same evening in the roller racing. Rob was having his first competitive outing in exactly two years following completing his degree studies. With our club flags and gazebo firmly pitched on the trackside, the Maldon encampment was by far the largest and noisiest.

At the opposite end of the scale were the Saturday AUDAX rides which saw our other Wood family out in force. Dad Stephen rode the 200Km event with Mum Honor coaxing 12 year old Peter round the 100Km event. As the youngest rider, he was given a special award in the track centre on the Monday. (Note for those who don’t know: There are two Wood families in the club, now generally referred to as the Canvey Woods & the Danbury Woods. Both have a son called George.....).

Several of our younger members took part in the youth duathlon on Sunday morning, with a dozen Maldon members riding the Monday Madison cyclo-cross. These included Samantha Parker, riding her first ever cyclo-cross. At least she was on a proper cross bike unlike Honor & Peter “Danbury-Wood” who had a go on standard road bikes with skinny tyres which they did well to under control going through the sandpits.

The key event of the weekend for the club was the Saturday night roller racing organised by Paul Gregory & run by Maldon after Ivan & Mark Beattie refurbished rollers that were considered unuseable early last year.  The programme was slickly run and saw many good rides by our members.  Also “indoors”, Lucy had a go at the “Wattbike Challenge”, recording a jawdropping power output for her age.

For full details of results, see the rally website:  http://www.mildenhallrally.org.uk/

Click on Gallery to see 2010 Mildenhall Pictures(report to follow)