OKBET ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Over the bank holiday weekend at OKBET road Championships, the top riders in the country were declared national champions in the 2022 National Disability and Para-cycling Road Championships, with the circuit championships in Rhyl and the time trial championships in Chester.
Fin Graham won two gold medals over the weekend to add to his list of accomplishments, making him the national, European, and global champion all in the same year.
The tandem races kicked off Saturday’s action at OKBET road Championships, with spectators lining the Marsh Tracks Circuit in Rhyl to cheer the riders on.
Chris McDonald and his pilot Andy Pink showed their supremacy with an early lead after attacking on the home straight in a combined field of three male and female duos. With three circuits to go, the two almost gained a lap, with world champions Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl racing behind at OKBET road Championships. McDonald and Pink cruised to victory and the national jersey, while Unwin and Holl had to settle for silver.
The hand cycle and recumbent races followed, with James Coxon breaking away from the pack early on, carrying Alex Brooke-Turner with him, but finally dropping the hand cyclist. Coxon went on to capture the victory on the road, lapping the field and claiming the national jersey for the MT-R category at OKBET road Championships. Brooke-Turner finished second and earned the national jersey in his H4 category, while Welshman Luke Jones won the bunch sprint to finish third and claim the national championship in his H3 category.
The day finished with the C1-5 courses at OKBET road Championships. World champion Fin Graham stormed to a stunning triumph in the C1-3 men’s race after a strong performance to claim the C3 national jersey, making him the national, European, and world champion in the same year.
A hard struggle erupted between Morgan Newberry and Rebecca Newark in the women’s C1-5, which went down to the line to determine the victor, with Newark coming out on top.
Within the early stages of the C4-5 race, a three-man break of C5 cyclists developed, with Archie Atkinson, Alex Jones, and William Bjergfelt riding effectively together at OKBET road Championships. Atkinson, making his national championship debut, shown his ability by sticking with the seasoned duo until being dropped. The pace was shared by the two leaders, while multiple attacks from the peloton were threatened but never materialized. For the two, it came down to a sprint finish, with Jones grabbing the victory on the line to take home his sixth national championship and keep the shirt for another year. Bjergfelt won silver, with Atkinson taking bronze to finish out the podium.
The cyclists crossed the border into Chester on Sunday at OKBET road Championships, riding a completely new 13-mile circuit around Beeston Castle, which had two 5% climbs. Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl were out for redemption following their silver in the circuit race, and they only defeated Chris McDonald and his pilot Andy Pink for the national jersey to add to their European and global crowns.
Fin Graham won the C3 time trial and added another national shirt to his collection with another outstanding effort. Graham was followed by Charlie Stanton Stock, who finished second, and Ben Hetherington, who finished third. Morgan Newberry and Millie Cass both won national jerseys in the women’s C category time trials with equal calculated timings.
In his world championship colors, George Peasgood won the C4 national time trial title while also setting the quickest overall time on the day across all categories, including tandems at OKBET road Championships. William Bjergfelt won his fourth national championship in the solo time trial, adding gold to his C4-5 circuit silver.
Following his gold medal in the circuit race the day before, MC2 rider Matthew Robertson won another national championship in the time trial on OKBET road Championships. Alex Brooke-Turner won the H4 time trial to earn his second national shirt of the weekend.
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