CYCLING: Incredible fightback by Roach after broken chain

MI Racing's Kirby Bennett was 2nd and Ian Wright 3rd in the 55+championships
MI Racing's Kirby Bennett was 2nd and Ian Wright 3rd in the 55+championships

Rugby rider finishes 22nd after being two minutes behind 100+ field

So near, yet so far away from more national championships for Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe-McCann riders at the British Cycling Cyclo Cross Championships at Bradford over the weekend.

The big target for the team was to lift the Team Championship once more in the 50+ Championship, and also hope for at least one podium place.

It all went pear shaped when former world champion Phil Roach (Rugby) broke his chain just 200 yards after the start. Disaster for Roach and the

team. Undeterred Roach ran, scooted and shuffled his way to the pits area, where he collected his spare machine, by which time he was over two

minutes in arrears of the tail end of the 100 plus field. Most riders would have called it a day and gone for an early bath, not Roach, he is made of tougher stuff than that. He chased and fought his way back into the race,cheered on by his supporters, passing rider after rider on the tough, muddy and technical circuit in Peel Park. He worked his way up to an incredible 22nd place, catching and passing two of his team mates in the process, and finishing one place behind another in an amazing performance.

Best placed team member was Midland Champion Kirby Bennett (Hinckley), who was always up with the leaders to finish in 8th place and 2nd best over 55 rider. Ian Wright finished a fine 21st and 3rd best over 55 rider, Roach 22nd and the team’s leading rider in the early stages of the race Harvey Levann in 32nd place, followed by Coventry member Peter Busby, who was unfortunate to be brought down by another rider at the start of the race and he also spent most of the race trying to recover for the incident.

But at least the team had two riders on the Podium in the 55+ section, won by ex-team member and former World Champion Steve Davies. Bennett

finished 2nd and Wright 3rd.

In the afternoon race for riders 40and over Steve Knight, (who is almost 50), finished a brilliant 9th and 6th best over 45 rider.

Lindsey Newman finished 20th in the Lady Veteran race and Caroline Mansfield 22nd.

In the under 16 years Boys Championship Ed Woodward finished 36th and Finn Mansfield 49th.

Under 14 years Boys Josh Giddings finished a brilliant 6th and Jack Brough 14th, and Lotta Mansfield went one better to finish 5th in the Girls’ under 14 Championship, all five riding for the MI Racing Youth Academy.

Just a few more Cyclo Cross events remain and with the Midland Series Championships still to be decided MI Racing riders are expected to be

involved in the championship tussle.