News: Barnett Defends World Masters Title


Vic Barnett of the Welland Valley Cycling Club, successfully defended his World Masters Cyclo-cross title for the 65 to 69 years old in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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In an epic battle from the start, Vic faced strong opposition in the early stages of the 40 minute race. As the race evolved the lead changed many times on a technical course that had been battered by a tornado and torrential rain.


As the leading riders fought to stay upright in freezing temperatures and sleet, Vic could sense he was going to need to dig deep and find a big effort if he was going to successfully defend his title.

As each competitors ultra light-weight racing machine was starting to clog up with frozen mud and quadruple in weight, Vic was ‘rocking and rolling’ straining every muscle to stay in-touch with the leaders.

As the leaders entered their final lap, Vic took the tactical decision to enter the pits to take a spare clean bike from his wife Ann. Coming into the pits and executing a perfect change caused the East Midlands rider to slip slightly off the back of the leading group.

The clean bike seemed to give Vic an extra gear though and as he sailed back to the front of the race, he put the hammer down forging clear. As the 67 year old put his head down and started to ease open a small gap from chasing pack. Vic safely negotiated the steps, banks and slippery cambers and was in full flight and working extremely hard with a determined look etched across his pained face.

What he didn’t know was that his changed of pace had caused the chasing pack to explode as they grappled to stay in contact with the flying Brit.

It was not until he entered the finishing straight that he took a glance over his shoulder to see if he was being challenged. With no-one in sight Vic could enjoy and saviour the moment as he crossed the finish line to secure back to back victories. American Champion Rick Abbott crossed the line for the silver medal 26 seconds later ahead of Canadian Robin Willard, a further 6 seconds back.

As Vic huddled round a heater trying to defrost at the end of the race he reflected that in the early stages of the race he thought he would be struggling to be collecting any medal, but as the war of attrition wore on and the conditions worsened, he was getting stronger and more confident.

The Market Harborough cyclist and Welland Valley CC president has now secured 5 World titles – 3 Cyclo-cross and 2 Mountain Bike.

With lots of negative press about chemical enhanced performance in cycling currently Vic has shown this week that if you work hard, dig deep and have a passion for your sport you can be a winner!

Well done dad! – Dean Barnett


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