CYCLING: Cracking weekend of racing for Mick Ives’ team

Rugby's Phil Roach leading team mate and eventual winner, Mark James watched by team boss Mick Ives
Rugby's Phil Roach leading team mate and eventual winner, Mark James watched by team boss Mick Ives

Roach races at Ipswich and Top Barn

It was another cracking weekend of racing for Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe-McCann Elite Cycle Race Team.

Third-placed Lotta Mansfield on the podium in Ipswich

Third-placed Lotta Mansfield on the podium in Ipswich

On Saturday Burbage rider Kirby Bennett regained the lead in the National Cyclo Cross Trophy series, with a blistering performance on a tough, tricky circuit at Ipswich.

Kirby had started the event just one point behind the leader of the series, but made no mistake in putting things right, leading the race from Start to finish, with almost a minute in hand over two current World Masters Champions at the finish. It looks now that Kirby will be the out right winner of the 2018 National Series, with just one event left to ride. Earlier in the year he also won the Mountain Bike National Trophy series.

The next big target for Kirby will be the British National Championships at Gravesend, Kent in the New Year.

At the same meeting, team mate Phil Roach from Rugby, a former World and British Masters Champion, showed that he is really coming into top class form with a brilliant 4th place in the 50+ race, caught near the finish by former professional Tim Gould, and just denied a podium place.

Academy rider Josh Giddings finished third at Ipswich

Academy rider Josh Giddings finished third at Ipswich

Also at Ipswich MI Youth Academy riders made the podium twice. In the under 16 years Girls’ race Lotta Mansfield finished a brilliant 3rd. Following a slow start she rode through the field to a fine Podium place.

Not to be out done team mate Josh Giddings, also finished in 3rd place in the under 16 Boys’ race, both against the UK’s best riders,

In the hotly contested Junior race Finn Mansfield finished 13th and Ed Woodward 15th.

A few hours later on Sunday morning, the Team was in action again, this time at the Midland series event held at Top Barn, near Worcester.

The Team’s new Midland Champion Mark James was in action and, in the company of Phil Roach, broke clear of the 100+ field from the word go.

Roach, clearly not troubled by his efforts from the afternoon before in the race at Ipswich, and riding File Tread tyres, instead of the normal studded choice, set a fantastic pace, with team mate James tightly secured to his rear wheel, for almost the whole duration of the 45-minute race. They opened up a gap on their team mate Steve Knight in 3rd place and lapped most of the field at least once. James attacked with one lap to go, but Roach was not finished and a quarter of a lap later, the two were back together with once again Roach setting the pace, but it was James who had the final say when he outsprinted the former World Masters Champion and team mate to win his 6th race in a row. Knight made it a 1—2—3 for Team Jewson.

Peter Busby finished 6th best 55+ and Wellesbourne’s Tim Stowe 3rd in the 60+ with Phil Stokes from Burbage near Hinckley 2nd best 65+.

James Kennerson, riding for the Mick Ives Youth Academy squad, finished 10th in the under 16 years race.

It was confirmed that Team Jewson’s Ian Wright was the winner of the Midland Championship last week for riders 60 and over with Tim Stowe (Wellesbourne) 2nd and John Gabriel 3rd. Another 1-2-3, finish for the team.

Entries for the LVRC National Championships, at Warwick on Friday, 28th December, organised by Team Jewson-MI Racing and sponsored by Vittoria Tyres, have now closed.