National Trophy Series leader Paul Oldham leads a strong Hope Factory Racing line-up for the North of England Regional Championships in County Durham on Sunday.
The Lancashire rider will start as favourite to retain his title in the race at Stainton, Barnard Castle – but he will be pushed all the way by some other in-form and talented riders.
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With three wins from the three races he has ridden, Black Hawk Bikes’ Tony Fawcett will be aiming to claim the 2011 title. And Oldham’s new team-mate at Hope, Jack Clarkson, will be right up there with the frontrunners too.
And there is a talented trio of riders from MTS Cyclesport in Steven Ward – winner of round eight of the North East League – and Richard Kipling and Malcolm Lewis.
In the Midlands Regional Championship, Olympic mountain bike ace Liam Killeen is among a quality field, which also includes eight-times National cyclo-cross champion Roger Hammond. Hope Factory Racing are also represented in the Midlands event with Dave Collin.
In the women’s event, Stourbridge CC will be aiming to replicate the 1-2-3 they secured in the National Trophy last weekend with former world champion Louise Robinson, multiple national champion Isla Rowntree and national champion Hannah Payton, while world junior road race champion Lucy Garner will be out to stop that.
North of the border, the Scottish Championships is one of the most open for years with most of the top names in the Scottish League lining up.
Dan Whitehead (Ballater X) and Gareth Montgomerie (GT Racing UK) have both won two rounds of the league so far and will ride in Sunday’s race at the Auchentoshan Centre in Clydebank.
Last year’s winner Ross Creber is not riding, but runner-up David Lines (Endura Pedal Power) – who has twice finished second in Scottish League events so far this season – will be competing, as will Craig Hardie (Hardie Bikes) who won the opening round of the league.
In Wales, defending champion Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) will have some stiff competition for the 2011 title race at Brecon Leisure Centre.
League leader Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) is riding Sunday’s event, while Towy Riders’ Andrew Baum could also feature in the result, as could his junior team-mate William Worrall, the reigning junior champion.
Other regional championships are due to take place in the South of England at Beaufort School, Holmleigh Park in Gloucester, as well as at Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City, which is the combined East/South East Championship.
This weekend’s events
Saturday, December 3
Cyclo-Cross North East – Round nine, Stainton, Barnard Castle, 10.30am.
Sunday, December 4
North of England Championships – Stainton, Barnard Castle, 10.30am.
Midlands Regional Championships – Sundorne Sports Village, Shrewsbury, 10.15am.
Scottish Championships – Auchentoshan Centre, Clydebank, 10am.
East/South East Championships – Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, 11am.
Welsh Championships – Penlan Sports Fields, Brecon Leisure Centre, Brecon, 10.30am.
South of England Championships – Beaufort School, Holmleigh Park, Tuffley, Gloucester, 10.30am.