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WORLD Masters 30km Points Race Championship (30-39)

Curran takes fourth Gold for England

BRITAIN salvaged four titles from a sea of American successes in the inaugural World Masters Track Challenge contested over three days at Manchester velodrome.

The Americans, already deeply committed to masters' (over-30) racing, came motivated and equipped to take 26 of the 30 age-group golds - and went away highly impressed with 'this super facility'.

The sponsors, Electronic Data Systems, have already pledged their support for 1996 when the World Masters will again be in Manchester.

Nick Chenowth, 43, riding for the sponsors' team, came within five tenths of a second of the 200m track record, 10.457 seconds set by double world champion Marty Nothstein in the World Cup.

His team-mate Chris Carlson, who set an American 4,000m pursuit record during the World Cup meeting, returned to win his 30-39 age group pursuit, and amazed himself with a personal best 1-05.86 to win the kilometre gold.

'It's a three seconds improvement on the time I set at altitude in Colorado Springs,' he said. 'For me this is the track, never mind altitude. I will be back.'

High powered as the Americans were, with Vic Copeland and George Hansen unbeaten in their four finals, the comeback men from Britain - dabbling in masters racing for the first time - had their moments.

Stuart Morris was told 24 years ago that he would be a world cycling champion. The prediction became fact when he won the 40-44 age group pursuit over 3,000 metres in racing that is world championship standard.

'I didn't think it would take this long,' admitted the 40-year-old Middridge CRT rider. 'I've had eight years out of racing, but I gave up fags and drinking to start my comeback, and lost more than two stone.

After he won the Peter Buckley Trophy series in 1972, another rider had told him: 'There will be a world champion's jersey on your shoulders one day.'

Paul Curran, with whom Morris won the British madison title in 1981, gave Britain their fourth gold on the final day when he lapped the field alone in the 30km points race for riders aged 30-39.

30km Points Final, 30-39

1. Paul Curran (GB) 23 pts
2. C. Carlson (US) at one lap 41
3. K. Jacobs (S Africa) 25.