POWICK rider Chris Wreghitt could make it a weekend to remember if he wins the World Masters Veterans Championships in Belgium tomorrow (Friday).
Victory in Mol would mark exactly 40 years since he won the British Cyclo-Cross Championships at the first attempt at the tender age of 20.
Wreghitt retired from the sport in 1984 due to a back injury and it has been a 34-year long road to get back to some form of competitive fitness.
The 60-year-old has been supported by three professional coaches over the past year, including Malvern ace Liam Killeen who is one of the country’s leading off-roaders and was a Commonwealth Games champion in 2006.
Mountain biking, a new nutrition regime, weekend racing and gruelling training sessions on the Malvern Hills have all helped to make Wreghitt competition-ready.
After a year of hard training and competing, he is now 10kg lighter and cannot wait for the big day to arrive.
Wreghitt will be riding a specially designed bike to support his back and will be cheered on by his friends and family.
“It has been quite a journey,” said Wreghitt.
“My body complained loudly at the start and sometimes still does but my approach is probably as professional and focused as it was 40 years ago.
“It goes to prove it’s never too late to start a new challenge or re-invent an old one.”
The cyclo-cross courses have changed significantly since Wreghitt was forced to retire.
Instead of wide and open spaces where power riding and running was important, courses are now more technical, featuring plenty of twists, turns and cambers as well as less running.
A twisting and turning course makes falls more likely so Wreghitt has had to learn the hard way to get back into the sport.