The Crescourt Conversions International Cyclo-Cross event which was held at the Alexandra Palace, London, on Sunday (16 December), was won by the British Champion, John Atkins of Coventry.
SV Competitors lined up at start
SCU No. 6 Johanne Streekers (Holland)
SV PAN Race starts
SV PAN Leave road into country
SV Riders man-handling bikes over log
LV PAN Leaders No. I (leading) No. II (second), No. 50 (third) (2 shots)
SCU No. II leading No. I around course followed in fourth position by Streekers
SV Leaders lapping back markers
LV John Atkins (No. I) leading Mernickle (No. II) on final lap
SV PAN Atkins crosses finishing line to win
Initials BB/2239 NPJ/JB/BB/2253
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Background: The Crescourt Conversions International Cyclo-Cross event which was held at the Alexandra Palace, London, on Sunday (16 December), was won by the British Champion, John Atkins of Coventry.
His win was unexpected because of the strength of the continental challenge. Among the competitors entered for the race was Jan Streekers of Holland, and most experts were expecting him to cross the finishing line first. But as it turned out Streekers came in fourth. Second was Keith Mernickle (No. II) of Woking, and third was John Morris (No. 50) of London.
Eighty-four competitors had originally entered for the race, but the Belgian team withdrew at the last minute. Until Sunday's race, Streekers seemed to be on top form and was having a good season. He came third in the Dutch Championship last year, but in October he beat Atkins at Halesowen.
Atkins' victory confirmed his position at the top of the International Cycle Sport Trophy League table. He started the race with a four point lead over two other British riders -- Daryl Brassington and Keith Mernickle. That lead has now been substantially increased.
SYNOPSIS: At the start of the Crescourt Conversions International Cyclo Cross event held at Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday, all eyes were on Johanne Streekers of Holland. Streekers had been having a good season, and he was odds-on favourite to win the race. Though the day was chilly, conditions were generally good as the riders set off.
After the field left the metalled section of the course, the wet conditions began to make an impact and the riders were soon strung out following the leading group. Before the race, eighty-four competitors had been expected, but the organisers had a last-minute disappointment when the Belgian team had to withdraw. It soon became clear that the battle for first positions was being fought out between three Britons -- John Atkins wearing number one; Keith Mernickle (number eleven); and John Morris (number fifty).
But the Dutch danger-man, Streekers, was soon pressing them hard in fourth place. He and Atkins -- the British champion -- were resuming an old rivalry. In October, Streekers had beaten Atkins at Halesowen. The front group of our were soon outstripping most of the field and lapping the tail-enders.
By the final lap, Atkins had kept his lead, but Mernickle had taken over the second place position from Morris. Streekers was still close behind, trying to break up the British trio, but he failed to make headway. Atkins crossed the line first with Streekers in fourth place.