HALESOWEN Cycling Club junior racer Simon Wyllie did his club and region proud with a strong 32nd place on his debut in the world junior cyclo-cross championship in the Danish town of Bogense.

The Malvern rider, who rides for the Halesowen cycling academy, had the satisfaction of being part of a gold-medal winning team, with Ben Tulett becoming only the second rider ever to win back to back junior world titles at the discipline.

"It was a strong ride by Simon even though he has had a long season and was ill a few weeks ago," said the Halesowen cycling club head Dave Viner.

"As he is only a first year junior, he has a good chance to improve in 2020 as that will be his second year."

The youngest member of the four-man Great Britain team, Wyllie was racing largely for experience, as the hope by the GB team management is that in 2020 when he has an extra year's racing and training, he will be capable of pushing for a place far higher up the standings.

He was clearly not intimidated by the occasion which also bodes well, and it was a fine end to a strong first season among the juniors in which he won his home club's round of the West Midlands League and added a round of the national league against riders a year older.

Ex Halesowen rider Beth Crumpton, enjoying her first race with her new Belgian professional team, had a fine 26th place in the women's race as she continues to progress through the world rankings.

Closer to home, the first year juniors in the Halesowen Academy continued their strong showing in the Woolly Mamil season-opening series at Stourport circuit, with David Hird taking fifth in his first race alongside senior riders. That follows Josh Field's ninth and fifth places in the two preceding rounds.