Atkins claims second national title as next generation of Welwyn Wheelers sparkle in the mud

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers celebrates his victory in the U14 British Cyclo-cross Championship.

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers celebrates his victory in the U14 British Cyclo-cross Championship. - Credit: LARRY HICKMOTT/VELO UK

The next generation of cycling superstars are already flying at Welwyn Wheelers after yet another national success.

Leon Atkins went into the U14 race at the National Cyclo-cross Championships as the favourite but was still hugely impressive as he roared to victory.

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers proudly shows off the British champions jersey after winning the U14 cyclo-cross championship.

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers (middle) proudly shows off the British champions jersey after winning the U14 cyclo-cross championship. - Credit: LARRY HICKMOTT/VELO UK

It is his second national title, the first coming in the mountain bike discipline, and coupled with similar successes for Henry Hobbs on the road and the track in the omnium, means the Wheelers have gobbled up all of the jerseys on offer at the age group, bar BMX.

Atkins had to endure tough conditions in the rain at Ardingly in West Sussex but though he was mud-splattered at the end, the smile still shone through.

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers celebrates his victory in the U14 British Cyclo-cross Championship.

Leon Atkins of Welwyn Wheelers celebrates his victory in the U14 British Cyclo-cross Championship. - Credit: LARRY HICKMOTT/VELO UK

Speaking to Velo UK he said: "It's great. It's my second time as national champion but it still feels as amazing as the first.

"I've been training for this all year. I like this course, it is my kind of course, and it all turned out brilliantly.

"I enjoyed the quarry section, there was some running involved and I like that. You can ride up the steep banks but in these conditions it was difficult.

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"If you run it you can get up with no problems."


And the achievement in the age group looks even better when you consider the victories of Calum Moir in the U16s last year, the winner of the road title and three track titles.

Wheelers have had a great record in producing champions with Laura Kenny and Oli Stockwell just two of the talented cyclists to make their way through the club.

Back at the championships Oliver Beale was sixth behind Atkins while Lucy Allsop was 15th in the U16 girls and Isabel Beale 17th in the U14s.

The journey doesn't end there though with the club continuing their support of grassroots racing on Saturday with the next round of the Muddy Monsters competition at Gosling Sports Park.

For further details and how to enter go to www.welwynwheelers.org.uk

They will also be offering track sessions for beginners from April 2022.

These will take place on the velodrome at Gosling Stadium, their home facility which the club say is hugely important to their success and that of the many youngsters that come through their doors.

For more go to www.welwynwheelers.org.uk/gosling-velodrome-where-dreams-and-champions-are-made

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