Pettinger looking good ahead of hill-climb champs

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Tejvan Pettinger completed his preparations for the National Championships this weekend with a convincing victory in the Huddersfield Road Club climb of Ripponden Bank in West Yorkshire on Sunday.

The Sri Chinmoy CT rider has been in superb form throughout the hill-climb season, and flew up the 1,320-yard climb near Elland in 3min 38.5sec to win by 24 seconds - an impressive margin given the short length of the climb.

Another contender for the Nationals, Team Raleigh teenager Mike Cuming had a mixed weekend of preparations with a victory on Saturday before he was a non-starter on Sunday.

Cuming, 19 and from Stoke, pulled out of the North Lancashire Road Club event on Sunday, complaining of a cough and a cold - something he will be hoping to shrug off before Sunday's title race.

However, it was not enough to stop him winning Nelson Wheelers' event on the 1,620-yard climb of Annals Cross near Barley, Lancashire.

Cuming clocked 4min 6.5sec to win by 2.6 seconds from Blackburn and District CTC's Ian Stott, who is another rider coming into form at just the right time.

And Stott's team-mate Carl Helliwell took third place, albeit 13 seconds further back, to help Blackburn take the team prize alongside fifth-placed Chris Edmondson.

With Cuming out of the picture, Dulwich Paragon's Matt Pilkington took the win in Sunday's North Lancashire RC race up Nick O'Pendle.

He powered up the 1,340-yard climb in 4min 14.8sec to win by 8.9 seconds - with Blackburn & District CTC pair Stott and Helliwell settling for second and third once again.

In Derbyshire, Team Corley Cycles' Michael Smith won the Matlock CC two-stage event, taking in the climbs of Bank Road and Riber, winning both climbs.

The first climb - Riber - was 30 metres short of the usual course because of roadworks, but it still proved a strong event with Smith racing up the climb in 3min 26sec to win by 3.7 seconds.

Steven Allen (Kenilworth Wheelers) was second, while Charles Taylor (South Peninne RC) was third.

Those positions were mirrored for the shorter Bank Road climb, which Smith won by less than a second from Allen, while Taylor was another three seconds slower.

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