20th Oct, 2017

John French wins historic tenth British title

Steve Carpenter 24th Jun, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

JOHN French produced one of the best rides of his career to win his tenth British Championship at Audlem near Staffordshire on Sunday.

The experienced M.I.Racing rider produced a typical attacking performance to be crowned winner of the British Veteran 55+ National Road Race Championship.

The 58-year-old broke clear of what was a high class field alongside two other competitors at the start of the 96km race and they were never to be seen again by the rest of the chasing pack.

One of the riders fell short in the final lap before French made easy work of his rival as they sprinted for the finish line to take victory in the closing stages and claim Coventry-based M.I.Racing’s eighth British title this year.

“There are many more British Cycling Championships still to come this year,” said team boss Mick Ives.

“John French has been with my teams for a long time. He has always been a class act and age doesn’t seem to slow him down.

“He will be the oldest rider competing in next Sunday’s classic  ‘Battle of Edge Hill’ 96 mile race at Kineton and I am fully confident he will outclass many of the much younger riders.”

Elsewhere, there was also international success for the team after Peter Smith finished third in Mallorca’s Road Race event in Alarro on Sunday.

The 57-year-old produced an excellent ride to finish behind two local riders but he had the pleasure of winning the veteran category.

There was more success for Kirby Bennett who also settled for third place at the British Mountain Bike National series event near Glasgow.

The race was won by Grant Thomas who broke away at the start and was never caught, while Bennett had a long battle with former professional and current British Cyclo Cross Champion Tim Gould.

Gould took runner-up but Bennett was pleased to secure her first podium finish at a National Championship series event.

Coventry’s Peter Busby also took part and was sitting in seventh position half-way through the race before losing his shoe which forced him back to 15th position, but he fought his way back to finish seventh.

Triathlon specialist Mark Styles did the team proud by finishing second in the ‘Avenger’ Olympic distance Triathlon event at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

And in Barton-upon-Humber, Brian Davison overcame the rain and strong winds to finish a close third in the Barton Wheelers Road Race on the exposed Lincolnshire course.

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