England wins prestigious King of the Mountain

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE'S Michael England has continued his meteoric rise in cycling, winning the prestigious King of the Mountain title at the Rockhampton Open Road Cycling Carnival on Sunday.

England completed the tough 5km climb up Mount Archer in a fine time of 19 minutes and 17 seconds.

England edged out Bundaberg's Keith Mitchell for the prize, with talented Rockhampton cyclist Grant Irwin finishing back in third spot.

It is a big win for the talented Gladstone athlete who has gone from strength to strength over the last few months.

Overall, the weekend was a good one for England who scored a fourth placing in Saturday's 80km scratch race and third in Sunday's 56km scratch race.

Gladstone cycling group Matt Jenkin had nothing but praise for England's performance across the weekend. "Michael is going great, it was a fantastic effort for him to win the King of the Mountain,' Jenkin said.

'To beat a strong field like he did which included top Brisbane and Rockhampton riders is really a massive achievement.'

Jenkin added England has the talent to have a bright future in cycling.

'Michael has just got better and better in cycling, I think he is just a magic bike rider,' he said.

Brian Haydon was another Gladstone cyclist to impress, winning the Veterans C division 56km scratch race.

Tom Benham came fourth in the B grade King of the Mountain, while Matt Jenkin came fifth in the Masters A grade 80km scratch race.

Overall, eight members of the Gladstone cycling group took part across the weekend and five are busy training for next month's Cunningham Classic.

They include Jenkin, England and Haydon who will make the trip for the Gatton to Dalby race alongside Brian Secombe and Kate Porteous.

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