POWICK'S Chris Wreghitt won the British Cyclocross Championship for over 60s in Kent 37 years after his first national title.

He was rewarded for 18 months of hard training and competition, saving his best performance for Gravesend to finish 25 seconds clear of the field.

Wreghitt led after two laps but was brought down by a lapped rider with just one lap to go.

Determination and sheer grit took over to ensure he regained his momentum and kept first place.

In November at the world championship in Mol, Belgium, Wreghitt was second with just a lap to go when mechanical trouble saw him slip to fifth.

He did not start at the European Masters Cyclocross Championship earlier that month when his mentor Mick Shakespeare, who had accompanied him to Holland for the race, fell down the stairs and ended up in intensive care with a serious head injury. He is now recovering slowly.

Wreghitt's comeback was inspired after an absence of 34 years by junior cyclocross champion Charlie Craig who died in his sleep in 2017.

The Worcestershire racer decided to raise funds for the not-for-profit company set up in the young rider's name, aiming to win the world or national championships within 18 months.

Regular training with Malvern’s former Commonwealth Games champion Liam Killeen was critical in helping him fulfil his ambition.

Wreghitt said: "My win is dedicated to the memory of Charlie and to my mentor Mick who was still not well enough after the accident to watch the race.

"The past 18 months have been an incredible journey.

"Sixty really is the new 40 and continuing to challenge yourself in whatever way you choose is I feel one of the secrets to a long, healthy and happy life.

"I do, however, have a very tolerant family. A three-week 'holiday' in New Zealand to reunite the family over Christmas was badly timed for the national championships. But excess luggage is a great thing!

"My bike made the 11,500-mile trip with us and I just kept training. So special thanks to my children and especially my wife Wendy for their support.

"Without it this journey would not have been possible."

For more on Wreghitt, visit mysecondwind.co.uk.