THOMAS Mein overcame illness to put in a battling performance at the HSBC British National Cyclo-cross Championships.

The Derwentside lad, riding for Hope Factory Racing, was battling for third in the men's Under-23 Championship at one point.

"It went a lot better than I thought, I had been ill all week," he said. "I haven't really ridden much and hadn't expected to do as well as I did.

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"I was in with a chance of third but I made a few mistakes towards the end and it sort of dropped us back a bit, but I held on for fourth."

The Newcastle rider was full of praise for the event, which was organised by Hetton Hawks cycling club and held at Hetton Lyons Country Park.

"It's been amazing," he said. "This was the first club I joined when I was younger so it's been quite special to race here.

"The amount of people here, no matter where you are on the course someone is shouting for you. It really helps you push on that bit more.

"I have raced in Belgium a lot and it's normally a lot more technical than it is here, but with the mud coming through it's made it quite a technical and fun course."

In terms of his wider ambitions, he said: "I have had a good season this year, probably my best so far so it's coming."