Brighton cyclist Jonathan Sharpe has regained the Sussex cyclo-cross title that he last won three years ago.

He finished fourth in Brighton Excelsior's open race in Wild Park, but the three riders ahead of him were all from London.

Mike Bell (London Fire Brigade) was a comfortable winner from Andy Taylor (Corridori) and Matt Fuller (Arctic 2000) in third.

Sharpe (Cycleweb) soon moved through through the field into fourth place.

A gusty wind blowing down the valley threatened to blow riders off their bikes at times.

But Bell revelled in the conditions and extended his lead, but Sharpe needed to keep a watchful eye on what was happening behind him.

Three Lewes Wanderers riders, Mark and Steve Burgess, and Mark Winton, all made a tremendous effort over the last two laps to catch the Brighton rider.

Stuart Fritter (Wigmore) placed fifth, while Mark Burgess finished sixth to take second in the County Championship.

He was also the first junior to finish. His preparation included racing in Belgium where he placed 19th in a senior event.

Winton's seventh place in Wild Park gave him third in the County Championship. Steve Burgess, Mark's father, finished fourth Sussex rider and eighth overall and he won the prize for first veteran ahead of Brighton Excelsior's Tom Roberts.

Sharpe said: "I had a few problems when my gears and chain got clogged with mud, and I had to change bikes during the race. The field was a good one but once I had slotted into fourth place behind the London riders I knew I only had to stay there to win the title."

The juvenile races held earlier had the worst of the conditions. Kent rider Michael Butler (VC Deal) won the under-10's race ahead of Rebecca Thomson (Cycles Unlimited).

The under-16's event was dominated by the Kent riders, with Ian Field (SFA) winning ahead of Darren West and Peter Richardson, both of team Darenth.