CYCLING: Roach ‘second’ despite trip to car park in middle of race

Phil Roach
Phil Roach

British champion races through field after punctures

Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe British Veteran Cyclo Cross Champion Phil Roach was in devastating form at Mallory Park on Sunday.

Roach had helped with the course preparation on Friday, Saturday and even Sunday morning, before riding his race. It was to be a race of frustration for Phil. As it was the final round of the Midland series, a series which he has not targeted this season, he was using the race as a training event in preparation for the forthcoming World Championships in Switzerland.

Having punctured on his warming-up lap, Phil was reduce to one bike. Storming into the lead from the word go, he had over 300 metres lead after the first lap, then the puncture bug struck again and he was forced to run to his car in the car park, and then had to find the person who was looking after his car keys, eventually he got another rear wheel and fitted it to the ike, and rejoined the course, almost last of the 80+ field. Soon he was up into the top 20, and then another stop in the pits to change the rear wheel again. From then on it was all about seeing how fast he could go and how many riders he could catch. By the finish only Mick Davies was in front, by just a few seconds. Davies finished third to Roach in last season’s British Championships, which give some idea as to his performance.

At the end of the day, Roach was disqualified because he left the course to fit another wheel, but that didn’t worry Phil, he got what he set out to get: “A brilliant workout for events to come.”

When Roach had his first puncture it left his team mate Peter Busby in the lead for several laps. Busby, who only returned from snow boarding in France the day before, finally finished in third place.

Team Jewson’s Phil Blacker was suffering from signs of flu and did not make the start in the Veterans 40+ race, but it didn’t matter, as Blacker, had amassed enough points throughout the season to be crowned Midland Cyclo-cross series Champion Veteran for second year running, a great achievement.

Blacker’s team mate, Steve Knight, kept the Team Jewson colours flying with second place behind Coventry’s Darren Atkins.

Baginton’s five times World Masters Cyclo Cross Champion Mick Ives, has made some very interesting observations.

The Midland Cyclo-cross Series is one of the most contested series in the UK, and has large attendances from the younger riders riders 6, 8, 10 and 12 years, both male and female.

At the other end of the scale the Veteran Events 40+ and 50+ are receiving over 100 riders at most meetings. For both races.

But it’s in the middle where it is very worrying. In Sunday’s race only six Juniors started, and that has been the pattern for most of the season. The under 23 category is not much better. Something has to be done to correct this.

Elsewhere Team Jewson rider Mark James finished second in the Bristol cyclo-cross, and Pete Smith finished third in The London series at Redbridge.

Another great weekend for the team, many of whom will be riding the Classic Boxing Day Cyclo Cross race at Kenilworth Common.

Commentary will be by Mick Ives.