HAVING attacked on the first lap and stayed away for the duration of the race, Phil Dixon won the elite title in the National Cyclo-Cross championships at Southampton this afternoon.

The 26-year-old Trek-SiS rider crossed the line over a minute ahead of 2005 champion Nick Craig, with six-times Three Peaks winner Rob Jebb finishing third. Airing his new T-Mobile colours for the first time in competition, defending champion Roger Hammond could manage only fourth.

Following prolonged rain yesterday, the course proved heavy going which suited Dixon down to the ground. Untroubled by the mud – which caused a number of mechanical grievances for other riders – he went on the attack as soon as the race turned off the tarmac starting stretch and opened a 15-second lead. Although Craig, Jebb and Hammond initially joined forces to chase, the group broke up mid-race and Dixon extended his advantage.

?I had a race plan and stuck to it,? he said. ?I went right out from the start but I was still riding within myself. It meant I was able to pick my lines carefully but it was only towards the end I really started to push on. I think the gap opened up in the second half.?

This tactic of attacking early also paid off in the other championship races held earlier in the day. Helen Wyman gave her new Global RT a perfect start by winning her second women?s title ahead of team-mate Gabriella Day and former champion Isla Rowntree, while in the junior race Alex Paton claimed the third championship victory of the weekend for VC Deal.

Elite.- Phil Dixon (Trek-SiS); 2, Nick Craig (Team Scott UK); 3, Rob Jebb (Wheelbase-Ron Hill); 4, Roger Hammond (T-Mobile); 5, Liam Killeen (Team Specialized); 6, Dan Booth (Trek-SiS). Under 23.- Ian Bibby (Trek-SiS).

Women.- Helen Wyman (Global Racing Team); 2, Gabriella Day (Global Racing Team); 3, Isla Rowntree (Stourbridge CC). Juniors.- Amy Thompson (Evans Cycles RT). Veterans.- Louise Day (Fat Birds CC).

Junior.- Alex Paton (VC Deal); 2, Scott Thwaites (Crosstrax); 3, Jonathan McEvoy (Kinesis UK).