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“Absolutely brutal!” was Robin Delve’s emphatic verdict on conditions at the World Masters Cyclo-Cross Championships at Mol in Belgium.

But the muddier it is, the better Mid-Devon CC veteran Delve likes it, and he responded with a brilliant ninth place.

“After starting 38th, in the fifth row back on the start line, I feel fabulous,” said Delve after the 55-59yrs race.  “There was so much sand, with eight or nine dismounts every lap – it was absolutely brutal.”

Delve churned, slid and slogged through the Belgian mud to finish in 38mins six seconds.

That was less than two minutes down on new champion Jos Bogaerts from Holland, and more than 20 seconds ahead of nearest British rival Tim Costello (GS Vecchi) in eleventh place.

A total of 52 riders lined up for the 55-59yrs event, but that was just a fraction of the hundreds who turned up from all over the world to contest the two-day championships.

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