Darren Atkins rode the greatest race of his career to win bronze at the UCI World Masters Cyclo Cross Championships at Ipswich over the weekend.
The Kenilworth rider, competing for Coventry-based Team Jewson-M.I. Racing-Polypipe-McCann-7 formation, had to fight his way through the entire 100 starters, having been on the last row of the starting grid.
But by the end of the first lap the 52-year-old was already in the top 15 places, and moving strongly.
British Champion Nick Craig, who was also gridded near the rear of the field, attacked and left Atkins half way through the race, and moved up to second place, behind the twice World Champion Jans Schwedler (Germany ).
Atkins moved into fourth position, but an amazing burst of speed in the closing stages, saw him overtake his next rival and take third and secure his first World Championship medal.
There was more success at the World Championships when Phil Roach rode out of his skin to finish fourth in the 60+ category.
Other placing by the team were : Kirby Bennett 8th in 60+, Peter Busby 20th in 60+, Ray Cochrane 17th in 65+, Harvey Levann 28th in 55+.
Riders from across the region travelled to Top Barn, Worcester, to take part in the West Midlands Cyclocross Championships.
On a bitterly cold day, Andrew Wearing, representing Mike Vaughan Cycles at Kenilworth, was set to renew his rivalry with Ed Moseley from Malvern Cycle Sport.
Wearing and Moseley, both enjoying a fine season, soon opened up a gap with the rest of the field.
Over the next 10 laps the pair continually jostled for the lead, both riders pushing each other to the limit.
On the 11th and final lap the pair intensified their efforts, neither wanting to concede.
However a well-timed last attack on the hurdles saw Moseley open a small but unassailable gap which he held to the line, leaving Wearing to come home in second place, to complete a superb run of 10 podium finishes in 10 rounds.
“It was a great race. I felt good today, and it was great battling it out with Ed,” Wearing said.
“I really felt I had the legs for it, but Ed was just technically faster over the planks and played it perfectly on the last lap.”
Other results: Kenilworth Wheelers - Kevin Lister - 13th (Vets men 40-49), Ian Forrester - 18th (Vets men 60+); Royal Leamington Spa Cycling Cycling Club - Gerard Scott - 10th (Vets men 50-59), Andrew Taylor - 21st (Vets 40-49), Alexander Craig - 23rd (Vets men 40-49); Warwick Lanterne Rouge - Elizabeth Wilson - 11th (Vets women 40-49).