CYCLIST Chris Welham is determined to get back in racing action this week - despite nursing a broken hand.

The Colchester race ace plans to ramp up his preparations for October’s World Masters Track Championships by competing in the upcoming League of Veteran Racing Cyclists (LVRC) Winter Series, in Derby.

He is set to compete tonight and then again in June.

And he is determined to press on regardless, despite an untimely accident - being knocked off his bike by a car - which could have affected those plans.

“I got knocked off my bike last Sunday, in High Woods,” said the 54-year-old.

“I didn’t cut myself but I’m still pretty badly bruised and was left a bit stunned.

“I’ve fractured my left hand and have ligament damage, but I’ve been passed fit to race on Thursday.

"Thankfully I fell to my left and into a bank, rather than coming down on the road or pavement.

“I’m still determined to race and want to do well.

“I’m looking forward to getting some track time and a few race miles under my belt.

“It’s something I’d like to do more, to get that competitive edge back as I continue my preparations for the World Championships in Los Angeles in October.”

Welham also plans to compete in the LVRC National Championships later this year, which is another reason he wants to get used to the Derby track.

“That’s something else I’d be very interested in doing and another reason for taking part in the Winter Series,” he said.

“The tracks do vary and I’m led to believe the Derby one is more circular than the one at Stratford.

“This is my third year of track racing and certainly the best I’ve felt about it.

“I’m still learning but it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to everything I’ve got coming up this year.

“This type of racing suits me and I’m training as hard as I can.”

Welham, who was a hugely successful motorcycle racer before turning to cycling, is coached by British Cycling’s Tom Newman.

This year will be his third crack at the World Masters Track Championships. The previous two have been at the Manchester Velodrome but this year’s event is in Los Angeles.

He will compete in the individual pursuit and time trial events.

“I was really pleased with that,” he said.

“I hadn’t even trained for the time trial before so was more than happy to come 31st.

“Hopefully I can do even better this year.”