September 27th, 2016

M.I.Racing’s Martine Verweij wins first national medal

Updated: 5:55 pm, Jan 13, 2016

M.I.RACING were in the thick of the action at the British Cyclo Cross Championships in Shrewsbury on Saturday with Martine Verweij coming away with her first national championship medal.

A tough course was made even harder for riders by the recent rain which made some areas of the course over one foot deep in mud.

Verweij got the Coventry-based cycling team off to a brilliant start by finishing runner-up in the lady veterans race for riders in aged 40-44.

After being in the team for the past ten years, Verweij, who is the current Midland Champion, produced her best performance to win a medal, while team fellow lady rider Lindsey Nell finished 27th.

In the race for riders aged 50 and over, M.I.Racing stood a brilliant chance of taking the team championship home again.

But they were dealt a bad hand when the team’s leading rider and current UCI World Masters champion Phil Roach had to pull out of the race after suffering from a heavy cold.

Roach had led from the start and had hoped to make it through to the end but it was not to be and that proved to be a big loss.

Geoff Giddings rode well to finish eighth and Kirby Bennett crossed the finished line in 12th, while the third team member Pete Smith was gridded to the rear having only competed in four other events this season, however he did finish 27th with the team finishing three points off the title.

Despite more rain making conditions difficult for riders in the afternoon, Steve Knight proved once again what a brilliant rider he is by finishing 11th after catching up with team mate Carl Sturgeon just before the finish line.

Sturgeon had fallen earlier after finishing himself in fourth position but his rear gear broke and he was forced to the pits to collect a new bike which cost him valuable time.

Third team member Mark James also had problems with his bike and a poor ride saw him cross in 37th place.

“I am proud of all of our riders’ performances, “ said team boss Mick Ives. “They had had some terrible weather to contend with but they have all given 110 per cent.

“I can’t ask for more. Several riders were out of the championships including Coventry’s Pete Busby (broken finger) and Steph Peters (broken Collar Bone), but we look set to collect more honours next season – bring it on.”

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