Team Jewson M.I. Racing Thule’s star Cyclo Cross rider, Darren Atkins, (Kenilworth), produced a brilliant ride in the final round of the 2012/13 National Cyclo Cross series, at Derby, on Sunday.
Never headed he trashed a top class field, with ease, making the very slippery and muddy conditions look easy, and finishing with a massive lead over the 2nd rider to take the Overall Series victory, in what is his greatest ever season of racing. Atkins has ridden in 17 races since October he has won 15, and been 2nd once and 3rd once. Those 15 victories include, 5 National Trophy races, Midland Championship, Inter Regional Championship, and every one by 1 of the Midland Series events, he has ridden and looks certain to lift that title as well. Never has someone dominuteated, Cyclo Cross events like this since his father John Atkins, who was 13 times National Champion in the 60’s and 70’s. But Atkins has not finished his season yet his biggest and most important race is still to come Next Saturday in fact, when he competes in the British Championships at Bradford, Yorkshire, against top Professional Nicky Craig, a former British Cyclo Cross and Mountain Bike Champion and also an Olympic Games rider.
These 2 have never met this season, (although they have had many battles in the past), because Craig. chooses to ride the Pro/Senior races next Saturday, will be “ Crunch Time “ and should be a fantastic race to watch, added to that Atkins, will lead a very strong Team Jewson M. I. Racing Thule team of 4 riders, out to regain the National Team Championships that they have held several times, but lost it last year, their team consists of Atkins Knight Denby and James. this in its self is going to be a scrap, as only 3 riders count for the Team Championship.
Before that race gets underway, the 50 plus National Championship takes place, and although the team are with our their Team Captain Phil Roach (Rugby) (out through a Leg Operation), they too will be out to retain the Team Championship that they have won for past 2 seasons, their riders are Pete Smith Tim Stowe (Wellesbourne) the LVRC National Champion , Pete Busby (Coventry) Vic Haines Barrie Mitchell (Marton) and Mick Ives (Baginton) 5 times World Masters Champion who will be giving away 33 years to the youngest rider, and will be the oldest rider in the championships.
Smith won the 50+ race in the Central Series on Sunday, his first race for some time, due to injuries and illness, but looks good to lead the team next week.
Lady Veteran Louise Day finished 2nd at Derby, behind British Champion Louise Robinson (daughter of the great, Brian Robinson the first British rider to win a stage in the Tour de France) Day will also be riding the British Championships, on Sunday the team have a total of 11 riders competing
Atkins performances, must surly rate as one of the greatest Sporting Achievements by a local sports person in past 12 months, certainly the greatest performances by a local cyclist.