With just two weeks to go to the National Hill-Climb Championships in Derbyshire, the leading contenders are finalising their preparations with a series of classy events up and down the country taking place this weekend.
The hot favourite to secure his first victory in the national title race, Oxford-based Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT) is last man off in the Bristol South CC hill-climb up the Burrington Combe climb in Somerset.
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Last year’s winner by 17 seconds, Pettinger will be aiming for another win but will have to hold off Adeo Cadence RT team-mates Tavis Walker and former national champion James Dobbin.
Former national champion Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) spends another weekend in Yorkshire as he hones his skills ahead of the 2011 title race.
On Saturday he heads up a small field for the Huddersfield Road Club two-stage hill climb which sees riders tackle the 1,320-yard Ripponden Bank climb in West Yorkshire, and the following day he is part of a larger field for the Yorkshire Road Club event at Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd.
The Yorkshire RC event is much more of a roadman’s course, and Clinton will do well to take the win over the 4.812-mile route.
Also on Sunday is the Lancashire Road Club event on The Rake near Ramsbottom in Lancashire. The 947-yard course has attracted a good field which includes former national champion Jim Henderson (Southport CC), David Clarke (Endura Racing), newly-crowned Welsh hill-climb champion Dan Evans (Rhos on Sea CC) and Adeo Cadence rider Rob Gough.
And Beeley Moor in Derbyshire is the venue for Chesterfield Coureurs’ climb on Sunday, where Gunnar Gronlund (RST Racing Team) is last man off and expected to be fastest up the 2.31-mile climb.
Also riding are former national champion Mark Lovatt (Planet X) and James Coleman (Witham Wheelers).
Down south, In Gear-Quickvit RT team-mates Pete Tadros and Will Mangar will renew their rivalry in the East Sussex CA event on Firle Bostal on Sunday.
Tadros got the better of his clubmate in both stages of the Brighton Mitre CC events last weekend, and will be hoping for a similar result.
Finally, there is still some time trialling happening despite the onset of Autumn.
The final round of the Rudy Project National Series takes place at Sandford, near Poole, in Dorset on Saturday. While series winner Matt Bottrill has hung up his wheels for the season, the event has still attracted a good field with Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport) hoping to secure another series win.
And Sunday sees Southdown Velo host the Goodwood Classic 28-mile event at Lavant in West Sussex, which has attracted a field including Sebastian Ader (a3crg) and VC St Raphael team-mates Simon Berogna and Phill Sykes.
This weekend’s major hill-climb and time trial events
Saturday, October 15
Rudy Project National Time Trial Series 28 and 14 – Sandford Middle School, Wareham, Dorset, (course P414/16), 2pm.
Weston Wheelers hill-climb – (course UH20), 2pm.
Pedalsport CC two-stage hill-climb – Mount Tabor and Birch Lane, near Halifax, West Yorkshire (course V9919 and V9920), 11am and 1pm.
Huddersfield Road Club hill-climb – Ripponden Bank, West Yorkshire (V999, 1,320 yards), 11am.
Sunday, October 16
Southdown Velo 28 – Goodwood Classic, Lavant, West Sussex (course P911).
Lancashire RC hill-climb – The Rake, Ramsbottom, Lancashire, (course L812, 947 yards), 12noon.
Yorkshire Road Club hill-climb – Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire (V9916, 4.812 miles), 2pm.
Bristol South CC hill-climb – Burrington Combe, Somerset (course UH26, 10am).
East Sussex CA hill-climb – Firle Borstal, Sussex (course GH84), 10am
Chesterfield Coureurs hill-climb – Beeley Moor, Derbyshire (course OHC8, 2.31 miles), 11am.