THE 2021-22 cyclo-cross season may be drawing to a close, but Ian Taylor is already looking forward to next winter.

The Skipton veteran moves up an age group from the men’s 40-49 years to the men’s 50-plus and is hoping to be in regular combat with current over-50s standout Nick Craig (SCOTT Racing).

Taylor, who rides for Hope Factory Racing, has been ribbing Craig about their forthcoming battles, just letting him know that he won’t have things all his own way as he seems to do at the moment.

Scott, who turns 53 in April, is quite simply a phenomenon, having won national titles at both mountain bike and cyclo-cross, and has also won the Three Peaks cyclo-cross three times.

He is also the current men’s 50-59 years’ national cyclo-cross champion, taking the crown at Crawley earlier this month, and has won all six rounds of the National Trophy Series, the last of which was at Broughton Hall, near Skipton the week after the nationals.

However, a fully fit Taylor believes that he can challenge Scott next season, which is something to look forward to.

Taylor, now at the upper end of his age group, was in the men’s 40-49 years’ race at Broughton Hall and was delighted to come fourth.

He said: “It was a tough course and getting more slippery as the race went on and the climbs were getting more sticky, so it was getting more interesting.

“I came off a couple of times on the last lap where I was a bit more relaxed as there was a gap behind me and I just slid out, but I was really pleased with fourth.

“I was struggling a bit on the climbs, where Rob Jebb got away from me, but I liked the switchbacks and off-camber sections.

“I was able to hang on to Rob for a couple of laps but we could see Paul Lloyd, and then Rob just powered away from me when I was getting a bit tired.

“But I am riding well at the moment as I am usually ninth and tenth in these and didn’t think that I would be as high as fourth, which was fantastic for me.”