VIC Barnett of Welland Valley CC retained his LVRC National Cyclo-Cross title at a Moreton Morrell mudbath near Warwick.
Masters world champion Barnett flew the flag in style for the Harborough-based club – almost lapping the nearest rival in his age category.
A course of fast road, flooded grassland, descents, run-ups, muddy tracks and a flight of steps posed a challenge – but Barnett, typically, mastered the conditions better than most in a 60-strong field.
His clubmates were less successful. Grant Warwick had the misfortune to crash while warming up, leaving his bike irrepairable, while John Hought – in his first event this season following a shoulder injury – retired three laps from the end.
Muck and slush were also the order of the day at Boxend Park, Kempston, where Bedford RC managed to stage round seven of the Central League by abandoning much of the intended course,now flooded, and moving to higher ground.
Even then those intrepid enough to don the red and yellow of Welland Valley and have a go, ended up a shade of slurry as they scrambled up slippery banks and slewed over wet grass. It was wet, to say the least.
In the under-10s, Joel Ayears squidged his way to an impressive 17th place, Fay Garner to 15th. Ben Haines ploughed soggy furrows to come in 12th, and Matt Garner finished with a squelchy sprint in third.
The sole Welland rider in the under-12s was Louis Jakobson.
He slithered his way to seventh place.
Fraser Ayears, Amy Garner and Oliver Haines, in the youth race, expertly engaged and conquered the mud to claim, respectively, 19th (8th U14 boy), 10th (1st U14 girl) and 31st (14th U14 boy).
Amid several crashes and lots of bike-carrying, Lee Edmonds, the lone Welland rider in the senior, vets and women’s race, grabbed maximum national ranking points for the first time in his age category (V40) with a top 15 finish in the senior section.
Edmonds will be flying the Welland Valley flag at the South of England Championships on Sunday.