MALVERN'S Mountain Bike ace Liam Killeen has started 2004 with a win taking the U23 British Cyclo Cross Championship, a title that eluded him in 2003.

In Saturday's race at Sutton Park, Birmingham, Subaru Gary Fisher rider Killeen immediately established his lead on lap one and then set about putting in consistent lap times over the eight-lap event.

He rode around 6m 15secs for each of the eight laps to finish more than three minutes clear of second place, almost half a lap, with a final race time of 50m 1sec.

Killeen said: "I felt great. It took me half a lap to find my line and then I went in front and rode real hard tempo and felt good. It is nice to have a national title."

This is a key year for 21-year-old Killeen, who not only is chasing the U23 World Title in his final year for that category, but is also preparing for the Olympics in Athens and a defence of the World Cup Title he won in 2003.