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Kirby Bennett  (Picture by Simon Riley)
Kirby Bennett (Picture by Simon Riley)

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World Masters 55+ cyclo cross champion, Rugby’s Phil Roach was in brilliant form on Sunday, in the Rugby Velo promoted Midland League event at Mallory Park , near Hinckley.

The event was held in very muddy conditions, not helped by a very strong wind, which certainly sorted out the men from the boys.

The Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe rider led from the start, with team mates Bennett and Busby hard on his tail. And he never eased up throughout the 45-minute event.

Riding in deep mud, where many were forced to run, and showing his amazing skills on the tricky adverse cambers and sharp bends, Roach was at his very best, finishing clear of his rivals. But credit must be given to the runner-up in the race, his own team mate, 57-year-old Kirby Bennett, who only lives a few miles away near Hinckley. Bennett also won the 55+ caegory.

Like Roach, Bennett drew further away from the rest of the field as the race progressed.

Behind, team mate Peter Busby was having a massive battle with former British Champion Ian Wright. Busby finally finished second best 50+.

Not too far behind Wellesbourne team member Tim Stowe finished fourth in the 55+ race. Next season Tim will be one of the UK’s leading contenders for the 60+ Championship.

Brian Gale finished 13th best 55+, Russell Green 19th best 50+ and Lady Veteran Lindsey Knell from Measham finished in 3rd place, despite several falls.

In the Veteran’s race for riders 40 and over, held in the afternoon, won by Coventry’s Darren Atkins, the team’s sole representative Steve Knight, had a very eventful day.

Travelling to the event his best cycle got blown off the car roof rack and suffered much damage.

After some quick repairs Steve raced, only to have his rear gears jam into his wheel half way through the event, due to excessive mud build up, forcing him to run more of the course that he wanted, until he was able to get to the Pits area and collect his spare bike.

Eventually he finished second best 45+ rider, a sterling effort, from the former British Champion.

The Christmas period sees two major cyclo cross events in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

On Boxing Day Coventry Road Club/Ride Cycles, promote the Classic Boxing Day Cross on Kenilworth Common, off Common Lane on the north side of Kenilworth.

This event has been held for over 50 years and is the longest running cyclo cross anywhere in the UK.

This year’s event has attracted 100 rides from all over the UK and promises to be a fantastic race, with a lot of local interest. Riders like Atkins, Knight, Roach and Sturgeon should provide plenty of great racing.

Commentator Mick Ives won the race 45 years ago, and has been doing the commentary for past 35 years since. Racing starts at 12noon, admission free.

Then on Monday (December 28) The LVRC National Championships take place at the Adventure Sports venue, Wedgnock Rifle Range, Wedgnock Lane (off the Woodloes) near Warwick.

The Race starts at 12.30pm. Admission is free. Riders include three current UCI World Masters Champions, Phil Roach (50+), Vic Barnett(70+) and Organiser Mick Ives (75+), along with Atkins, Knight, Sturgeon, James, Mitchell, Bennett, Busby, Stowe etc.

The event is promoted by Team MI Racing-Jewson--Polypipe and sponsored by Jewson. It’s their fifth open race promotion during 2015.