Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) was crowned South of England Cyclo-Cross Champion after a thrilling title race in Gloucester on Sunday.
The 19-year-old talent from Crowthorne in Berkshire crossed the line just three seconds ahead of the experienced Michael Cotty (Wheelbase) at the end of the race at Beaufort School.
And the battle for the final podium place was even closer, with 38-year-old Swindon rider Crispon Doyle (Swindon RC) holding off Motorpoint’s Will Bjergfelt by the narrowest of margins for third, 23 seconds behind James.
James and Cotty formed part of a five-rider break which escaped early in the race with Doyle, Bjergfelt and Ben Sumner (Beeline Cycles).
But the pace soon proved a little too much for Sumner who dropped back, and as the remaining riders headed for the final circuit, James and Cotty made a slight gap on the others and went on to contest a two-up sprint finish.
Reigning champion Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) made a successful defence of the North of England Championship at Stainton in County Durham, crossing the line more than two minutes clear of talented teenaged team-mate Jack Clarkson.
Oldham also won the North East League race on the same course the previous day.
Team Corley Cycles’ Jamie Newall won the combined East/South East Championships at Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, crossing the line 12 seconds ahead of his rival Darren Barclay (Arctic Premier) at the end of the ten lap race.
And Under-23 rider Taylor Johnston (Team De Ver) completed the podium with third spot, although he will be disappointed to have missed out on second place by just two seconds.
In the Scottish Championships at the Auchentoshan Centre in Clydebank, Gareth Montgomerie (GT Racing UK) took the title after battling through horrendous conditions.
Second place went to Ballater Cross rider Dan Whitehead, who had led for more than half of the race before a mechanical forced him to head for the pits and gave Montgomerie his chance of victory.
Whitehead’s fate was one shared by many riders who found that the heavy mud wreaked havoc with their rear mechs.
And in the Midlands Championships at Sundorne Sports Village, Shrewsbury, Liam Killeen (Giant CC) won by just over a minute from eight-times National Champion Roger Hammond (Garmin Cervelo), while Hope Factory Racing’s Dave Collins was third, another 45 seconds off the pace.
Cyclo-cross preview (Dec 3-4)