Hill climb season hots up as national championship approaches

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Reigning champion Matt Clinton continued his impressive build-up to the National Hill-Climb Championships in three weeks with three victories in two days last weekend.

Making the trip from his home in Coventry to the hills of Yorkshire for the second weekend running, the Mike Vaughan Cycles ace won both stages of the Otley Cycling Club event on Saturday, and then broke the course record on his way to victory in the Thurcroft CC event the following day at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield.

Clinton was head and shoulders above all others in the Otley CC events - including former national champion Jim Henderson (Southport CC) who had to settle for second in both legs.

The first stage up Guys Cliff in West Yorkshire had to be more than halved to 530 yards because of gale-force winds battering the course, and while some riders decided not to tackle the climb at all Clinton opted to ride with gears instead of fixed.

He still managed to win by 18 seconds from Henderson, and they were first and second again later in the day over the one-mile climb of Norwood Edge, Clinton this time winning by 12 seconds.

The following day, Clinton had a practice run for the national championships in the Thurcroft CC event up Pea Royd Lane at Stocksbridge, which was a slightly shorter version of the course to be used for the title race on October 25.

He won in a course record time of 2:23.9, but still appeared to have some gas in his tank as he crested the top of the hill to win by 16 seconds.

Elsewhere, Pete Tadros (In Gear Quickvit RT) was also in winning form, with victories in the Kingston Wheelers event at Leith Hill in Surrey as well as the Wigmore CC event at Hollingbourne Hill near Maidstone.

He broke the course record for the 1,570-yard Leith Hill by six seconds, while his performance in the Wigmore CC event was around ten seconds faster than he has ever done before.

Other selected results from across the country include Tejvan Pettinger's course record-breaking ride in the Lancaster CC event up Jubilee Hill, the Sri Chinmoy RT rider slicing ten seconds from the old mark.

And Robert Gough (Chippenham and District Wheelers) beat former national champion James Dobbin by 11 seconds in the Severn Road Club event up Hinton Hill near Pucklechurch.

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