Success continued into the New Year for elite cycle team- Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe-McCann, just one week ahead of the British Cycling National Cyclo Cross Championships in West Sussex.
The Team's star rider Darren Atkins from Kenilworth, was once again in cracking form to score his 11th victory out of 14 races this season, including a bronze medal in the UCI World Masters Championships.
The event, at Top Barn near Worcester, attracted a large field and was the final event of the Midland Series. Atkins went straight into the lead and within the space of 1/2 mile had put daylight between himself and his chasers.
Never to be seen by them again he finished over 2 minutes clear of the 2nd placed rider. The course was exceptionally muddy and during the event he required changing onto a clean spare cycle three times, aided by his father and 13-times National Champion John Atkins, who was acting as his 'Pit Man'.
This race confirmed Atkins as the Overall Winner of the Midland Series for 2021/2 and he also won the Midland Championship on the same course several months ago. A brilliant season -with just one more event to go.
Team Mates Tim Stowe and Jimmy Goodwin finished lower down the field..
Further afield Team Member Kirby Bennett, a former British Veteran Champion at both Mountain Bike and Cyclo Cross won the Over 60+ race at Cattows Farm, near Hinckley, part of the Leicester Series. He also finished in the top 6 in the 50+ race, beating recent World Masters Champion Pete Harris by a fair margin. Once again the conditions were very muddy and required several bike changes during the event.
Kirby Bennett is pictured competing at Cattows Farm
The Team will be sending two very strong teams to the British Championships next weekend, but had hoped to have a greater number riding.
Atkins will lead the team in the 50yrs+ race, supported by former champion Steve Knight and Coventry's Peter Busby, in an attempt to retain the National Team Championships and with the form that Atkins currently has, an attempt to take victory overall, his biggest rival being Nick Craig who gained silver in the World Championships.
Unfortunately the squad is weakened by the absence of National 55+ Champion Phil Roach, working away and Brian Tear, a member of the winning team last time, who is still recovering from a motor cycle accident.
In the 60+ race Kirby Bennett will be going for a podium place and will be supported in the Team Championship challenge by Tim Stowe and Rob O'Connor. Former Champion Jockey Ray Cochrane was due to compete, but missed the deadline for entering.
Team Boss Mick Ives said: "We are somewhat weakened this year, but will give it our best shot, after what has been a fantastic season for the Team. It wont be for the lack of trying, to try and bring back another Championship for the Team and its Sponsors and I will then look forward to a great 2022 season for our road riders, with several new additions to the team. "