POOLE Comets star Ben Mould put together five near-perfect rides in Poland to win the 2019 ICSF World Open Championship.

Mould not only became the first Welsh rider to win the title but also the first British racer to be crowned champion since Dave Hemsley in 2003.

Racing against 15 of the world’s top riders in Leszno, Mould showed his class to win three of his five races.

He dropped his only points to Poland’s Dawid Bas in his second race and Martin Sassek in his fourth.

Needing to win his final race to take the title, Mould kept his nerve and made the running for all four laps to claim the crown.

He finished with 18 points to take the gold medal ahead of former world champion Marcin Szymanski, who won a race-off for the silver. Bas bagged bronze.

The World Championship event also saw Poole riders claim two more medals, with Maddie Saunders so nearly pulling off a surprise win in the under-16 girls’ final.

Saunders finished with a creditable 15 points to claim second place and a well-deserved silver medal, her only defeat coming at the hands of England’s eventual champion Emily Burgess.

Macie Schmidt was also in the running to make it a double gold for the club in the women’s championship but dropped points to Burgess and Australia’s Lucy Millikin to finish with 14 points and take bronze.

The medal tally was nearly added to by two more Comets riders, Nathan Goulden and Fraser Garnett.

Still feeling the effects of a recent broken collarbone, Garnett got away to a slow start in the junior final but came good with two race wins which put him in a run-off for Bronze.

Lined up against two Polish riders, Garnett did not off to a good start and tried to dive through a gap. He fell and was excluded, leaving him just outside of the medals.

Goulden celebrated his first overseas trip by making his world final debut in the boys’ under-16 event.

He produced a brilliant performance which so nearly earned him a bronze medal, eventually finishing fourth with 15 points, one short of a medal placing.

Reflecting on the event as a whole, Poole club chairman Graham Sutton said: “It is an incredible achievement for the club.

“Every one of our riders can look back on the event with pride and Ben Mould’s efforts to become the 2019 World Open Champion is very much the icing on the cake.”