IAN Taylor’s confidence is still rising with just over a week to go to the National Cyclo-Cross Championships.

Taylor, from Austwick, who rides for Shibden Cycling Club, was a comprehensive winner of the men’s veterans’ race at the final round of the Yorkshire Points Series in Bradford, which doubled up as the Mike Scott Memorial Races.

The problem was that his greatest rival for National Championship glory at Milnthorpe in Cumbria on January 14-15, Nick Craig (SCOTT Racing), shunning a veterans’ race for once, was an equally impressive winner of the men’s race at Peel Park.

Taylor, whose autumn has been restricted by illness and injury, said after his victory on the iconic course: “My fitness is getting better so fingers crossed, get a couple more weeks’ training in and next weekend there is the final round of the National Trophy at Gravesend.

“I felt a bit tired towards the end of the race but I did race a couple of days ago in a North West race at Crewe (as did Craig) and did a steady session on the Zwift bike last night so I was all right.

“The only problem was occasional lapped riders who are doing their best but they are sliding and you are sliding but it went really well.”

As for the course, which has staged National Championships and National Trophy races in the past, Taylor said: “As always it was fantastic – really good fun.

“I only got one of the left descents right twice in four laps – I was through the tapes a couple of times but didn’t fall off and was all over the place a bit – but it is a really good course.”

Next weekend Taylor is racing in Gravesend in the final round of the National Trophy – “I can stay with my mum and dad who live in Surrey, which is about 40 minutes away” - and then come the National Championships.

Taylor said of the National Championship course: “I have only ridden it once in a National Trophy but we weren’t allowed to change bikes as there was no-one in the pits.

“It is a fairly technical course with some good running bits so I am really looking forward to it and am hoping for a top-five place but we will see.”

Barnoldswick’s Vicky Peel (Hope Factory Racing) finished third in the women’s race at Peel Park but that was good enough for her to claim the overall Yorkshire Points Series title.

She said: “At the start of the season it was one of my ambitions to win it so target achieved and quite a result.

“I started well and got the hole shot but then Sophie (Thackray) overtook me on one of the early corners and I was going quite nicely but then crashed on the second lap and bent my handlebars the wrong way.

“I had to run with the bike so I knew that winning or getting second place was out of the question so I aimed to try and finish third.”

Peel is not riding the National Trophy next weekend but is competing at Milnthorpe, which she describes as “ridiculously muddy with plenty of off-camber sections and hurdles”.

She said: “A top-15 finish would be good.”

Skipton’s Gail Dillon (Shibden Cycling Club) was second in the women’s over-40 category.

She said: “I have two new-to-me bikes, which I enjoyed riding, and there was a nice mixture of long straights and technical bits.

“But it was hard work in the mud. I am thrilled to bits to finish second here and I hope to do the whole Yorkshire Series next season (rather than just three of the eight rounds).”