Atkins wins Bronze at World Champs
52 year old Darren Atkins rode the greatest race of his career to win Bronze Medal in the U.C.I. World Masters Cyclo Cross Championships at Ipswich over the weekend. The Kenilworth based rider, riding for the Coventry based, Team Jewson–M.I.Racing–Polypipe–McCann–7 formation, had to fight his way through the entire 100 starters, having been gridded on the last row of the starting grid, but by the end of the 1st lap he was already in the top 15 places, and moving strongly joined by British Champion Nick Craig, who was also gridded near the rear of the field.
Craig attacked and left Atkins half way through the race, and moved up to 2nd place behind the twice World Champion Jans Schwedler (Germany) and Atkins moved into 4th position but an amazing burst of speed in the closing stages, saw him overtake his next rival and move into 3rd place extending his lead over the 4th placed rider all the way around the final circuit to finish a brilliant 3rd behind Schwedler and Craig and secure his first World Championship Medal.
There was more success at the World Championships when former Champion Phil Roach once again showed he is a rider for the big occasions when he rode “out of his skin” to finish 4th in the race for riders 60 years and over. Roach, has had a slow start to the season and is very short of competition, due to work commitments, but showed his class , once again.
Other placing by the team were Kirby Bennett 8th in 60+, Peter Busby 20th in 60+, Ray Cochrane 17th in 65+ and Harvey Levann 28th in 55+ a remarkable performance by the Coventry Team.
On Sunday, Steve Knight showed the Flag for the Team, by winning the latest round of the Midland series at Bridgenorth, surprisingly his first victory of the season. Peter Busby finished 6th on the 50+ race and 2nd best 55 year old, Karen Summers finished 2nd behind World Championship Bronze Medalist Isla Rowntree in the Ladies Veteran race and 13 year old Jefferson Tear continued his Podium places with another 2nd place in the Under 14’s race.