by Rachel O’Connor BURLEY-in-Wharfedale’s Scott Thwaites missed out on gold by just 20 seconds in the British Universities’ Sports Association Cyclo-Cross Championships in the West Midlands.
Thwaites was pipped to the top step of the podium by rival Dave-Lee Williams.
Riding for Leeds Met Carnegie University, Thwaites chased his rival, from the University of Glamorgan, throughout the race but could not eat into his lead over a challenging course at Aldersley Leisure Village near Wolverhampton.
The event was combined with the tenth round of the hotly-contested West Midlands League.
While Williams and Thwaites were first and second over the line, Coventry Road Club senior Darren Atkins was third on the day, with sixth-placed Sion O’Boyle, of Swansea University, being handed bronze in the BUSU Championship.
Otley’s Oliver Webster competed for Great Britain in the World Cyclo-Cross Championships in Hoogerheide in Holland at the weekend.
Oli finished in 50th place in a race the GB team found very difficult.
He said: “I was started on the back of the grid and I didn’t really move up, it’s a bit of a fast course and I don’t really like fast courses, I don’t have enough power for them just yet.
“ I have to say though that it was a good experience, to be able to take part in something like this will help me no end to get my racing in perspective.
“I’ll probably go away from this and do a lot more turbo work to work on my speed and get more power. I’ve really enjoyed it and despite my result the experience here has made me more hungry to have a go and do well.”
Local riders Anna Blyth and Lizzie Armitstead will be among the biggest GB team to compete at a UCI Track Cycling World Cup since Manchester last October.
GB are sending a squad of 23 riders to the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Copenhagen, the final round of the series before the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland in March.
The British riders will be divided up into three teams, Great Britain, 100% ME and the newly formed Sky +HD team.
Rawdon’s Anna will be in the GB team which currently lies second in the overall table for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup series despite only fielding a full team at Manchester.
As well as holding down second place in the team rankings, British riders also lead a number of the Track Cycling World Cup event competitions. These include Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead (Women's Scratch) and Chris Newton (Men’s Points).
The women’s team pursuit riders (Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell and Katie Colclough) would also be leading the World Cup competition for that event had they ridden in the same colours both times they competed but in Manchester they rode in 100%ME colours and in Melbourne they rode for GB.