Thomas Mein (Tormans Cyclo Cross Team) took his first elite national title at the British Cyclo-cross National Championships on Sunday, using his power to produce a last lap attack after a race-long battle with Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing).
Mason had tried to distance his rival on the second lap only for Mein to provide a response to his attack. The Trinity Racing rider was then forced onto the back foot sliding out in the mud and having to claw his way back to Mein. Coming into the last lap the pair were evenly matched before Mein powered through the mud to pull out his winning margin.
Joseph Blackmore (ROTOR Race Team) was always chasing the leading pair but saw off a fight from Toby Barnes (Schamel P/B Kloster Kitchen) for third.
Defending champion Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) missed the British Championships to focus on his preparation for the cyclo-cross World Championships at the end of the month in Fayetteville.
The 22-year-old Mein is in his first season as an elite rider and hopes to compete in America next month alongside Pidcock.
“It’s been a rough year so to finish like that is a dream,” he said. “It’s been a dream for all of my cycling career. It’s special. I had some health problems in November and I didn’t think I’d come back to this level.
“It’s not normally my kind of course, so I was just riding within myself and not getting too carried away. It was just tiring that effort right at the end but it worked out well. To wear the stripes is going to be a dream next week.”
Meanwhile, Mason gave it everything but had to settle for second place and the under-23 national champion’s jersey.
“Fair play to Thomas he was too strong for me,” he admitted. “I just didn’t feel strong enough so I was just waiting for a mistake but Thomas made no mistakes. I can’t do anything about that really.
“I made one mistake that put me onto the back foot crashing into one of the poles. Thomas was very strong on the running but I didn’t have anything for that. I tried to push the pace in the faster and technical bits but he was able to come back to me every time.”
How it unfolded
Rain the previous day at the South of England Showground made for muddy and gruelling conditions for the Sunday racing. The course used the grassland around the showground but also included a technical quarry section with a difficult descent and steep climb to run up.
Mason came into the event having taken three victories this season including the under-23 World Cup at Dendermonde. He took the head of proceedings early on and was being monitored by Mein as they powered through the first lap mud.
In pursuit of the favourite duo were Toby Barnes (Schamel P/B Kloster Kitchen) and Joseph Blackmore (ROTOR Race Team) who joined them to make a leading quartet after the opening lap.
Coming into the second lap Mason started to push the pace putting Mein under pressure while Barnes and Blackmore sat further back.
The slippery mud conditions were suiting mountain biker Mason who was using his bike skills to push the limits of the course. However, a couple of slips by Mason in the quarry area allowed Mein to respond and using his long stride the Tormans Cyclo Cross Team rider looked just as assured in the difficult conditions.
After withstanding Mason’s second lap attack the pair eased allowing Barnes and Blackmore back into the podium battle.
Heading into the midway point Mason crashed into a course marker while pushing the pace through a muddy section allowing Mein to gain an advantage. Seeing his rival on the switch-back sections in the muddy quarry Mason responded and pulled back the leader while Blackmore and Barnes also remained battling within touching distance of the leaders coming into the penultimate lap.
A tactical battle developed between Mason and Mein with each rider having their own strengths on the course. The pair took the bell together with Blackmore around 10 seconds further behind continuing his chase.
Mason and Mein swapped positions as each tried to force the pace into different sections on the final lap. Coming into the boggy quarry section for the final time Mein used his power to force a slender gap which he then extended coming into the finish alone to celebrate his first elite national title.
Mason gave everything but finished second and will now prepare for the under-23 world championships. Blackmore finished a fine third place after an intense, hard race in the British mud.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team||0:57:00|
|2||Cameron Mason (GBr) TRINITY Road Racing||0:00:04|
|3||Joseph Blackmore (GBr) ROTOR Race Team||0:00:45|
|4||Toby Barnes (GBr) SCHAMEL P/B KLOSTER||0:01:07|
|5||Corran Carrick-Anderson (GBr) T-Mo Racing||0:03:00|
|6||Tom Couzens (GBr) Montezuma's Race Team||0:03:19|
|7||Daniel Barnes (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus||0:03:46|
|8||Ben Chilton (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus||0:04:27|
|9||Joseph Beckingsale (GBr) Montezuma's Race Team||0:04:44|
|10||Jenson Young (GBr) Saint Piran||0:05:21|
|11||Joe Coukham (GBr) Shibden Cycling Club||0:05:27|
|12||Nicholas Craig (GBr) SCOTT Racing||0:06:11|
|13||Giles Drake (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||0:06:22|
|14||Robert Jebb (GBr) Hope Factory Racing||0:06:33|
|15||Lewis Craven (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||0:06:49|
|16||James Swadling (GBr) NSR (Nigel Smith Racing)||0:06:57|
|17||Steven James (GBr) Hope Factory Racing||0:07:24|
|18||Cai Davies (GBr) BIKESTRONG-KTM||0:07:44|
|19||William Weatherill (GBr) Hope Factory Racing||0:08:13|
|20||Adam Bent (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||0:08:43|
|21||Finn Mansfield (GBr) Cero - Cycle Division RT||0:08:45|
|22||Matthew Ellis (GBr) Saint Piran||0:08:51|
|23||Ethan Whiteside (GBr) Shibden Cycling Club||0:09:02|
|24||Joshua Jones (GBr) ALL IN racing||0:09:55|
|25||Simon Wyllie (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus||0:10:14|
|26||James Madgwick (GBr) ALL IN racing||0:10:22|
|27||Jonathan Dennis (GBr) Kibosh||0:10:37|
|28||Kieran Jarvis (GBr) Brother U.K - Cycle Team||0:10:38|
|29||Jake Jackson (GBr) Rose Race Team||0:10:40|
|30||Robert Burns (GBr) Islabikes||0:11:18|
|31||Grant Ferguson (GBr) Hope Factory Racing||0:11:51|
|32||Flynn Gregory (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli|
|33||Spencer Davies (GBr) CC Abergavenny|
|34||Cameron Hurst (GBr) Velo Schils - Interbike RT|
|35||Nick Blight (GBr) Magspeed Racing|
|36||Louis Evans (GBr) Team Novo Nordisk|
|37||Tristan Davies (GBr) Saint Piran|
|38||Joe Parker (GBr) Racing Club Ravenna|
|39||Felix Barker (GBr) Hope Factory Racing|
|40||Freddie Checketts (GBr) Kibosh|
|41||Kishan Bakrania (GBr) Trainsharp Elite|
|42||Grant Fraser (GBr) G!RO Cycles|
|43||David Bone (GBr) Racing Club Ravenna|
|44||Joseph Taylor (GBr) Magspeed Racing|
|45||Kieren Brown (GBr) Sherwood Pines Cycles|
|46||Dan Clark (GBr) HuntBikeWheels|
|47||Paul Morris (GBr) Fareham Wheelers CC|
|48||Gary Price (GBr) StolenGoat Race Team|
|49||Samuel Holder (GBr) Liverpool Century RC|
|50||Andrew Kirby (GBr) Unattached|
|51||Robin Godden (GBr) Hope Factory Racing|
|52||Karl Norfolk (GBr) Pedalon.co.uk|
|53||Daniel Hall (GBr) Colchester Rovers CC|
|54||James Patterson (GBr) Caesarean CC Jersey|
|55||Patrick Hough (GBr) Lewes Wanderers CC|
|56||Fletcher Adams (GBr) Nova Race Team|
|57||Gareth Davies (GBr) Will Houghton Racing Team|
|58||Alex Rhodes (GBr) Brixton Cycles Club|
|59||Thomas Yeatman (GBr) Oxonian CC|
|60||Bruce Johnston (GBr) PedalPowerLoughborough|
|61||Giorgio Coppola (GBr) Four4th|
|62||Nicholas Wood (GBr) Unattached|
|63||Thomas Crapper (GBr) Abergavenny Road Club|
|64||Michael Burke (GBr) Welland Valley CC|
|65||Owen Jowett (GBr) Sunday EchappÃ©e|
|66||Christopher McGovern (GBr) CMG Factory Racing|
|67||Gareth Parr (GBr) Unattached|
|68||Jack Dunne (GBr) Lindfield Coffee Work|
|69||Alistair Slater (GBr) ClancyBriggsCyclingAcademy|
|70||Paul Dable (GBr) CC Etupes|
|DNF||Patrick Atkinson (GBr) Renvale RT|
|DNF||Bruce Dalton (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus|
|DNF||Peter Maytom (GBr) VC Londres|
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