A Wem sports star has made a winning return to XC MTB championships with a last-gasp dive for the line bringing him victory recently.

Isaac Vickery has kept up his training over the winter during the third Covid-19 lockdown but without any competitive release to check his current standard for more than a year.

But he headed to a private course on the outskirts of Reading last week to race and father Richard said that while it was tough going, Isaac soon found his form.

"Isaac has been training hard during Covid-19 lockdown, mostly riding from his house in Wem out onto the Shropshire Union Canal and beyond onto Whixall Moss, in all weathers and conditions," said Richard.

"The training miles soon add up with Isaac recently passing 3,000 miles for the year in lockdown.

"It was with hope and anticipation that Isaac ventured south to Checkendon, Reading, to race his Cross Country Mountain for the first time in over a year.

"The course was on private farm land and consisted of a grassy starting straight and a twisting narrow single track through the woods.

"With a course like this it was going to be crucial to get a flying start and clear the pack to enter the woods leading, if you didn’t then you were going to be stuck behind slower riders and winning the race would become difficult.

"Isaac, riding his new Hope Scott Scale 910 with big 29 inch wheels would have the advantage in the straights, of which there was only one, but not in the windy woods were the smaller more nimble wheels would assist.

"Isaac was 28th on the back row of the grid, and as soon as the whistle went it was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to clear the pack, and he entered the woods sitting in fifth.

"From there on Isaac would have to try and pass the three slower boys in front, as the leader took advantage of the clear track and went further and further ahead.

"On the fifth lap Isaac moved into second place with two laps left to catch the leader, and on the last corner of the final lap Isaac caught the leading boy and with a final effort lunged for the line to win."