BOUNCING back from head injuries sustained in a training accident in December, Roy Hunt (Trek-SiS) claimed cycling?s first national title of 2007 when he won the over-50s? race in the British cyclo-cross championships at Southampton today.

Hunt, from Bolton, took the title for a third time ahead of Barry Kipling and Martin Booth having attacked the latter on the penultimate lap. In the older sub-categories, Jeff Standley, Vic Barnett, Mick Ives and John Dowell also gained titles.

As already wet and windy conditions worsened, Chris Young (Team Marie Curie) gained his first veterans title in the race for 40-49 year olds. A former winner of the senior title ? first in 1984 and again in 1991 - Young escaped early in the race with National Trophy leader Geoff Giddings before leaving him with an attack on the last lap. Defending champion Adrian Timmis was left to mop the last of the podium places while Dave Stevens claimed the 45-49 title.

The youth race saw an impressive performance from Michael Butler, escaping early on the first lap and succeeding his now junior VC Deal team mate Alex Paton as champion. Jordon Hook finished in second place ahead of Will Verney while Max Sykes took the under-14s. Of the girls in the race, Rebecca Thompson narrowly beat Corrine Hall to repeat her victory of last year and Hannah Shenton won the under 14s.

If conditions in today?s races are anything to go by, tomorrow?s elite, women?s and junior championships should be very heavy going. The course has turned into something of a quagmire and should suit those who are fast on foot and technically able.

Veterans over 50.- Roy Hunt (Trek-SiS); 2, Barry Kipling (MTS Cycle Sport); 3, Martin Booth (Cycle Bargains RT).

Veterans over 40.- Chris Young (Team Marie Curie); 2, Geoff Giddings (MI Racing); 3, Adrian Timmis (Pinarello RT).

Youth.- Michael Butler (VC Deal); 2, Jordon Hook (South Pennine RC); 3, William Verney (Felt Racing).

Girls.- Rebecca Thompson (Evans Cycles RT); 2, Corrine Hall (VC de Londres); 3, Rebecca James (Abergavenny RC).

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