CYCLING: More bad luck for Roach

Kirby Bennett
Kirby Bennett

Puncture and fall for Rugby’s former world champion

PICTURED: Kirby Bennett carrying his machine up one of the many steep, muddy climbs, on his way to victory.

Kirby Bennett on a muddy climb

Kirby Bennett on a muddy climb

It was another great weekend of racing for Team MI Racing-Jewson-Polypipe-McCann riders.

On Saturday Kirby Bennett won the latest round of the Notts and Derby event at Broxstowe Park, Nottingham heading the race for riders 55 years and over, in terribly muddy conditions.

Then a few hours later, on Sunday morning, he won the 50+ race at Beaumont Leys, Leicester in brilliant style.

And also won the 55+ section, so three victories in space of 12 hours.

He had a tough battle with team mate and former UCI World Masters Champion Phil Roach from Rugby and it looked like it was going to come down to a sprint finish between them both, until Roach punctured and fell on a tarmac stretch of the course near to the finish.

Roach won the 50+ classification, making it a 1-2 for the team, and not far behind came Pete Busby, to claim the 2nd best 50+ rider award,

Ian Wright finished 2nd overall in the 55+ section, so a brilliant performance by the veteran riders.

More success followed when the ever-improving Lindsey Newman won the Ladies’ Veteran race, and in the afternoon Steve Knight (who is approaching 50 years old) won the Veteran 40+ race and best 45+ rider as well. Knight suffered a broken gear in the closing stages of the race and had to run to get his spare machine from the official pits, but had such a big lead over his rivals that he coasted home, to win and extend his lead in the Midland series, with just two more counting events left.

Knight has won the Midland series more times than any other rider, and looks set to win once more.

MI Racing Academy rider Ed Woodward - one of the youngest riders in the race - obtained his best placing of the season when he finished 2nd in the under 16 years Boys’ race. That made a total of seven wins and two seconds, not bad results.

Last weekend Bennett and Wright finished 2nd and 3rd in the British Championships for riders 55 and over at Bradford.