A BRITISH cyclo-cross champion from Powick will compete for European and world titles this month.

Having won the veterans' national title at the end of last winter’s season and a silver medal at the European Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships in the Czech Republic in July, Chris Wreghitt is ready for more success.

His eyes are now firmly on the even bigger prizes of the European Masters Cyclo-Cross Championship in Silvelle, Italy, on Saturday followed by the World Championships in Belgium on November 29.

Last year’s European championships was a non-starter for Wreghitt.

His mentor and old friend Mick Shakespeare, who had accompanied him to Holland for the race, fell down the stairs and ended up in intensive care.

A year on Shakespeare is recovering well and Wreghitt, 60, is not only hoping to start the race this time but win it.

It would the perfect preparation for the World Championships later in November on the sandy terrain in Mol.

It’s the third season back in the saddle for Wreghitt since he came out of the retirement forced upon him in his 20s due to injury.

He has been supported in his extensive training programme by 2006 Commonwealth Games cross-country cycling gold medallist Liam Killeen who joins him twice a week.

The steep climbs of the Malvern Hills and sandy soils of the Wyre Forest have proved ideal training grounds for the challenging sport.

Wreghitt said: "When I came back (from retirement) my fellow riders told me it would take three seasons to fulfil my full racing potential and I think they may be right.

"I am feeling better and fitter now than I have at any time since my comeback.

"I can’t wait for the European Championship now.”

Wreghitt was the five-time consecutive winner of the British National Cyclo-cross Championships from 1978 until 1982.