Broken bike doesn’t deter Jensen

Jensen grits his teeth and puts in a courageous ride at the nationals EMN-190131-103724002
Jensen grits his teeth and puts in a courageous ride at the nationals EMN-190131-103724002

Up-and-coming cyclo-cross rider Jensen Windsor finished the national finals battered and bruised, but with fighting spirit intact.

The Alford ace suffered a nasty crash which left him badly hurt and with a broken bike, but having carried the bike back to the pits, he showed plenty of resilience and guts to fight back to a finish of 66th.

Jensen headed to the National Championships, held at the Olympic Cycle Park, in Gravesend, in great shape and form.

The 14-year-old won the Lincolnshire Trophy Day Series at the first attempt and then finished third overall in the Lincolnshire Youth League (U16s), just eight points behind the champion, a National League rider.

He warmed up for the nationals by heading a 42-strong field in a Central League Youth race at Rockingham Forest, winning by a handsome two-minute margin.

At the UK finals, Jensen was disappointed to be placed 69th on the grid out of 91 riders, all of whom had to qualify, and knew he would have to push hard to achieve his top-30 target.

After a blistering start by the whole field, the Alford Wheeler powered his way up to 34th by the halfway point of lap one.

But disaster struck when he came off a muddy decline onto Tarmac.

Taking an outside line on a corner congested by three riders, Windsor slid as he attempted a pass, crashed into the safety barrier and went over the handlebars of his bike.

Bloodied and bruised, he ran with his broken bike over his shoulder for more than two minutes to the pits, and after help from pit crew Dave Allen, eventually restarted in last place by some distance.

Determined to carry on, Windsor completed the full six laps, catching and passing 25 riders, while avoiding being lapped to finish in a commendable 66th position.

Despite his disappointment with his position, his brave performance will serve him well when eligible to compete in the same age category again next year.

Having regrouped, it was then on to the East Midlands Championships to race against the top riders from Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire at Bardney.

From the outset there were three battles taking place in the youth race, for first and second, third and forth, and fifth and sixth.

The top four places were contested by the older National League riders who broke well clear of the field.

Windsor was looking comfortable in fifth place until his wheel was clipped as he came to lap a rider, causing him to crash.

He recovered, but lost a place and needed to change his bike with a pit stop to cross the line in a pleasing sixth, well inside his a top-10 target.

The Alford racer will set his sights on riding the National Cyclo-cross League next season, from September, which will take him to race venues all around the UK,

He is awaiting confirmation from British Cycling that he has broken into the national rankings top 50, and in the meantime will concentrate on the road season.

He would like to say a big thank-you to his mechanic Sam Tuplin.