No ‘6 Days’ action this year, but there is still some cyclo-cross. Ed Hood has gone back to Britain in the 60s and 70s to talk to multi-champion John Atkins. Life was different in those days and the cyclo-cross racing was hard, there was no carbon and electric gears back then!National champ with CarltonNow that the strange 2020 road season is over, we can concentrate fully on what the autumn and winter are really all about – cyclo-cross. And the only sand we should be thinking about is that in the dunes at Koksijde. As the ‘cross season is getting into full flow, PEZ spoke to Great Britain’s greatest ever cyclo-cross rider; 13 times a British champion and still the nations best ever finisher in the Worlds (other than juniors and ladies) and at a time when cross gods, the de Vlaeminck brothers were at their zenith.John Atkins is the man; he lives quietly in retirement in Wales, doesnt do the internet and isnt a man for the stats. He was surprised we wanted to speak to him but gave freely of his time and anecdotes. Heres what John had to say to PEZ:PEZ: Why cross, John?John Atkins: I followed in fathers footsteps; my dad rode the first cyclo-cross National back in 54 (won by Olympic medallist Alan Jackson, ed.) and was in the team which won Coventry, but he was their fourth man so didnt get a medal! I was 12 years-old at the time and it just followed…
Source: Cycling – Pez Cycling