One outright victory, one joint first and a third placed finish saw Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton complete a tremendous final round of racing last weekend ahead of this weekend’s National Champs on Sunday.
Matt’s final preparations for this weekends big event saw him take in the Yorkshire Road Club 2 stage race on Saturday, just north of Leeds, a race he went into as favourite and eventual clear winner, before meeting with further success against tough competition at Matlock CC’s double-header on Sunday.
Matt’s Matlock CC double-header saw him tackle the tough Riber climb, a steep, technical climb with 5 hairpins, one of which carried a short but evil 22% gradient out of the exit. Matt achieved a fine 3rd place, in a race where his lack of previous race experience on such a technical climb was a distinct disadvantage.
For the second race of the day Matt returned to familiar territory and fond memories, the Bank Road Hill Climb, the venue where he took the 2008 National Hill Climb title. However, the course was cut short to just over 600 yards dead straight, meaning riders setting off at one minute intervals could see the man ahead approaching the finish line in plain sight as he set off. With the such a short course the leading riders were always likely to be tight on times, and so it proved, when Matt had to settle for a joint victory with Mike Cuming, with both riders coming home in 1 min 1.0 secs.
Matt takes on the National Hill Climb Championships in Whaley Bridge, High Peak, this Sunday (30th October). The first rider sets off at 11am, with Matt carrying race favourite status, last man to go at 1.30pm.
Matt Clinton races for Mike Vaughan Cycles, 3-5 High Street, Kenilworth.