Defending champions Michael Hutchinson and Julia Shaw are the strong favourites for this year’s RTTC National 25 Championship, which takes place tomorrow in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.
Perennial time-trial star Hutchinson showed his strong condition at the 10-mile equivalent a fortnight ago, putting 43 seconds into closest rival Ed Clancy. Over the longer distance, his rivals will, as usual, be hard pushed in stopping the Northern Irishman from taking a fourth national title.
GB track team pursuiter Andy Tennant (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) returns, looking to improve on last year’s bronze medal.
Matt Bottrill (I-Ride.co.uk), Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized) Mark Holton (www.drag2zero.com) are also expected to be fighting for the podium placings.
Far from a Shaw thing
Like Hutch, Julia Shaw is showing no signs of slowing down. After successfully defending her National 10 title, the Utag Yamaha rider is looking to make it two in a row tomorrow afternoon.
However, Paralympic champion Sarah Storey could be the one to stop her. The Horizon Fitness rider has been assiduous in her preparation for the event, both riding and driving the A168-encompassing course.
Storey has both good form and high morale, after posting a big PB in finishing second to Shaw at the National 10. “All the data – everything from my average power through to my average cadence – pointed to a huge improvement for myself.
“Tomorrow’s course does have a few draggy sections to make life interesting; for my style of riding, the more hills, the better,” she told Cycling Weekly.
“All in all it looks like a great course and has the promise for some deceptively fast times. Despite the drags, I’m hoping to improve on the time – 57.13 – that earned me a silver medal last year,” she added.
As her times improve, Storey is set on both defending her Paracycling world titles this year and trying to break into the England team for the Commonwealth Games in October.
Battle Royle in junior event
The junior event is set to be a close run thing. Recent National 10 winner Oliver Rossi is likely to duel with Connor Dunne again for top honours.
Jack Green (VC St Raphael) and Tom Yeatman (Team Zappi’s) could also have their say.
Alex Royle is last man off, but the youngster has struggled to turn in the kind of times he was consistently clocking last season.
Where Boroughbridge Sports Centre, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
When First woman off at 11.01; juniors at 1223; men at 1401. Last man off is Michael Hutchinson at 1640.
Hutch wins National 10
2009 National 25: Hutch and Shaw victorious