Alford rider Jensen Windsor storms into national top 10
Windsor, a former Alford Wheeler who now races for VC Lincoln, climbed into the under 16s cyclo-cross top 10 rankings following another successful run of results.
It began with his third Lincolnshire League race win of the season at Woodhall Spa which strengthened his position at the top of the standings.
The young Lincolnshire rider followed this with a second-placed finish behind a national and European top 10 rider at Holme Pierrepont Country Park in Nottingham.
Lining up against a strong field of 67 riders from all over the region, Windsor had to compete in swamp-like conditions following the recent heavy downpours.
He managed to hang on to second place despite a nasty crash while battling for the lead, recovering impressively to finish strongly, more than a minute in front of the third-placed rider.
His recent successes have propelled him up to ninth in the national rankings.
Jensen is now setting his sights on a podium finish in the East Midlands Regional Championships at Misterton Hall, in Leicestershire, on Sunday, December 8.
Not bad for a rider who had never even heard of cyclo-cross before he was invited to try it by clubmates at Alford Wheelers two-and-a-half years ago.
Even then he had to look up clips on YouTube to familiarise himself with the format.
“I never dreamed I would be in this position,” he said. “I’ve already exceeded all my expectations.
“I borrowed a bike and all the equipment and with guidance from my mentor and mechanic Sam Tuplin, started to race as a day rider in the Lincs League.
“It snowballed from there.”
Last weekend, Jensen maintained his form with victory at Thetford on Saturday in the Suffolk Supercross Eastern League in a 53-strong field.
Tackling a new course, the Alford rider kept up with the blistering early pace to sit behind the two front.
He made his move on lap two and powered clear, increasing his lead on the third and final lap to win the 30-minute race by 55 seconds.
He also took first place in the Lincs Trophy 24 hours later at Winterton, taking his podium tally for the season to 14, and nine race wins.
On Saturday he competes against the top 10 riders at Derby, and then rides a Lincs League race on Sunday as he warms up for the East Midlands Championships on Sunday, December 8.
“I wish I had started at a much younger age,” he added. “Some of the riders I’m competing against have been racing for 10 years.
“I know I still have a lot to learn with my racing skills and bike handling, but I try to compensate for this with fitness and speed.”
Jensen maintains a strict diet to support his intense training and racing programme which includes three weekday training sessions, including one at his club, VC Lincoln.
From September to February his weekends are taken up with racing all over the UK, as early nights and early starts leave him with little time for anything else.
His immediate hopes are to stay fit and maintain his place in the top 10 national rankings which can change on a weekly basis.
“If I can keep that, with a little luck I’ll be rewarded with a front row grid spot for the British finals after Christmas,” Jensen explained.
“I never look too far ahead, but take each race as it comes. A win or a loss can be decided by a single mistake or an unlucky mechanical.”