Another great weekends racing for Coventry’s Top Cycling Team–Team Jewson–M.I.Racing–Polypipe–McCann.
The British Cycling National Cyclo Cross Championships was held at Adingley near Crawley West Sussex, over the weekend and certainly sorted the Men from the Boys. The event held in terrible conditions on Saturday, with torrential rain and very strong winds, making the grass sections of the very tough course, a complete mud bath, but that didn’t stop the teams star rider and man on form, Darren Atkins, from proving he is without doubt one of the top riders in the U.K. riding in the Championship for riders 50 years and over, a field of over 100 riders from all over the U.K.
He was up against the U.K.’s number 1 and old rival, Nick Craig a full time professional rider riding for the Scott Team, Darren finished 2nd behind Craig, in the last National Championship in 2020 and one place behind him in the recent World Championships in 3rd place and proved once again these 2 riders are in a class of their own.
On Saturday Atkins led Craig as they broke clear of the main field right from the start, and stayed together until 1/2 distance when Craig pulled clear to take victory by over 1 minute. The difference being Craig is full time on the bike and Atkins works full time in his Cycle Shop in Coventry and has to do all of his training in the evenings in the dark a big difference.
In a battle to retain their National Team Title, Steve Knight, had his normal slow start, after being gridded back in the 3rd row, but ploughed his way up to finish an excellent 12th, but unfortunately, 3rd counter in the Team contest Peter Busby, couldn’t quite make the places to beat rival team Zepnat and Team Jewson had to settle for 2nd place. Had Phil Roach (working abroad) and/or Brian Tear (injured) been riding as planned, who knows?
In the Championship race for riders 60 and over, former champion, Kirby Bennett, just missed out of a podium place, finishing in 4th place, but never less a brilliant performance. The teams other representative Tim Stowe finished in the middle of the pack.
More success for the Team in the Under 14 Boys Championships when 13 year old Jefferson Tear rode the best race of his short career, finishing a brilliant 11th and only 90 secs off 2nd place, certainly a star of the future.
On Sunday the weather completely changed, with bright sunshine and little wind, but the mud was still inches deep in places and Jude Chamberlain performed excellently with a brilliant 8th place in the Junior Championship, against a lot of riders who had been racing on the continent during the season. It was Chamberlains last ride for the team as he moves on to join Team Zappi, which will give him chance to race on the continent as well as the U.K.
Team Boss, Mick Ives says, “Jude could well go all of the way to become a Professional Rider, he has all the qualities and we don’t want to stand in his way of progress – we wish him the very best.” Ives paid tribute to the Teams Support Staff, who worked relentlessly cleaning bikes throughout ALL of the races. “They were heroes!”