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Thomas Mein wins men's British national cyclo-cross title

Thomas Mein (Tormans Cyclo Cross Team)
Thomas Mein (Tormans Cyclo Cross Team) (Image credit: SWPix.com)

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. 

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:57:00
2Cameron Mason (GBr) TRINITY Road Racing 0:00:04
3Joseph Blackmore (GBr) ROTOR Race Team 0:00:45
4Toby Barnes (GBr) SCHAMEL P/B KLOSTER 0:01:07
5Corran Carrick-Anderson (GBr) T-Mo Racing 0:03:00
6Tom Couzens (GBr) Montezuma's Race Team 0:03:19
7Daniel Barnes (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus 0:03:46
8Ben Chilton (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus 0:04:27
9Joseph Beckingsale (GBr) Montezuma's Race Team 0:04:44
10Jenson Young (GBr) Saint Piran 0:05:21
11Joe Coukham (GBr) Shibden Cycling Club 0:05:27
12Nicholas Craig (GBr) SCOTT Racing 0:06:11
13Giles Drake (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli 0:06:22
14Robert Jebb (GBr) Hope Factory Racing 0:06:33
15Lewis Craven (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli 0:06:49
16James Swadling (GBr) NSR (Nigel Smith Racing) 0:06:57
17Steven James (GBr) Hope Factory Racing 0:07:24
18Cai Davies (GBr) BIKESTRONG-KTM 0:07:44
19William Weatherill (GBr) Hope Factory Racing 0:08:13
20Adam Bent (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli 0:08:43
21Finn Mansfield (GBr) Cero - Cycle Division RT 0:08:45
22Matthew Ellis (GBr) Saint Piran 0:08:51
23Ethan Whiteside (GBr) Shibden Cycling Club 0:09:02
24Joshua Jones (GBr) ALL IN racing 0:09:55
25Simon Wyllie (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus 0:10:14
26James Madgwick (GBr) ALL IN racing 0:10:22
27Jonathan Dennis (GBr) Kibosh 0:10:37
28Kieran Jarvis (GBr) Brother U.K - Cycle Team 0:10:38
29Jake Jackson (GBr) Rose Race Team 0:10:40
30Robert Burns (GBr) Islabikes 0:11:18
31Grant Ferguson (GBr) Hope Factory Racing 0:11:51
32Flynn Gregory (GBr) Wheelbase CabTech Castelli
33Spencer Davies (GBr) CC Abergavenny
34Cameron Hurst (GBr) Velo Schils - Interbike RT
35Nick Blight (GBr) Magspeed Racing
36Louis Evans (GBr) Team Novo Nordisk
37Tristan Davies (GBr) Saint Piran
38Joe Parker (GBr) Racing Club Ravenna
39Felix Barker (GBr) Hope Factory Racing
40Freddie Checketts (GBr) Kibosh
41Kishan Bakrania (GBr) Trainsharp Elite
42Grant Fraser (GBr) G!RO Cycles
43David Bone (GBr) Racing Club Ravenna
44Joseph Taylor (GBr) Magspeed Racing
45Kieren Brown (GBr) Sherwood Pines Cycles
46Dan Clark (GBr) HuntBikeWheels
47Paul Morris (GBr) Fareham Wheelers CC
48Gary Price (GBr) StolenGoat Race Team
49Samuel Holder (GBr) Liverpool Century RC
50Andrew Kirby (GBr) Unattached
51Robin Godden (GBr) Hope Factory Racing
52Karl Norfolk (GBr) Pedalon.co.uk
53Daniel Hall (GBr) Colchester Rovers CC
54James Patterson (GBr) Caesarean CC Jersey
55Patrick Hough (GBr) Lewes Wanderers CC
56Fletcher Adams (GBr) Nova Race Team
57Gareth Davies (GBr) Will Houghton Racing Team
58Alex Rhodes (GBr) Brixton Cycles Club
59Thomas Yeatman (GBr) Oxonian CC
60Bruce Johnston (GBr) PedalPowerLoughborough
61Giorgio Coppola (GBr) Four4th
62Nicholas Wood (GBr) Unattached
63Thomas Crapper (GBr) Abergavenny Road Club
64Michael Burke (GBr) Welland Valley CC
65Owen Jowett (GBr) Sunday Echappée
66Christopher McGovern (GBr) CMG Factory Racing
67Gareth Parr (GBr) Unattached
68Jack Dunne (GBr) Lindfield Coffee Work
69Alistair Slater (GBr) ClancyBriggsCyclingAcademy
70Paul Dable (GBr) CC Etupes
DNFPatrick Atkinson (GBr) Renvale RT
DNFBruce Dalton (GBr) Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus
DNFPeter Maytom (GBr) VC Londres

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