CYCLING: Rugby’s world champion back in form

Rugby's Phil Roach riding in Wales at the weekend
Rugby's Phil Roach riding in Wales at the weekend

Victory in Abergavenny for Roach

UCI World Masters Cyclo Cross Champion Phil Roach from Rugby, riding for Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe was back into his winning ways at the weekend, and showed that he as now recovered from the heavy cold that has been with him in recent weeks.

On Saturday afternoon Phil won the 50+ Cyclo Cross race at Abergavenny, South Wales, then a few hours later he finished a brilliant sixth in round two of the British Cyclo Cross National series on the same fast but technical course at Abergavenny, against the best UK competition in his age group.

This was the Phil Roach we are used to seeing - fast start, attacking ride, brilliant bike control - only the hard workout the afternoon before prevented him being with the leaders.

Hard on his tail was his team mate Kirby Bennett (Hinckley) a few seconds down in seventh place, followed by Peter Busby (Coventry) in 15th place, following another race where he experienced mechanical problems, this time it was a broken spoke in his rear wheel, requiring a bike change half way thro the race and dropping him down the field.

Team Jewson’s other rider Harvey Levann finished 24th, having been gridded well down the field and never recovering enough to challenge for a top position.

Nearer home, several members the team contested the latest round of the Midland Cyclo Cross series, held at Misterton Hall near Lutterworth.

Former British Champion Steve Knight finished third overall in the 40 years and over race and second best 45-year-old, behind former team mate Darren Atkins.

Martine Verweij won the Ladies’ Veteran race with team mate Lindsey Nell in second place. Phil Stokes (Hinckley) finished second in the race for riders 65 years and over, with team mate Barrie Mitchell from Marton (who last week won the National Closed Circuit Time Trial Champs) in third place. Their other team mate Dave Ross (Nuneaton) was in fourth position. Wellesbourne member Tim Stowe finished 15th best over 55 rider, and the teams other UCI World Masters Cyclo Cross Champion, riding his first event of the season, 77-year-old Mick Ives from Baginton won the over 75 years competition.

Both Roach and Ives defend their World Championships at Zilvermeer, near Mol in Belgium in early December, when several other team members will also be riding the championships.