Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton came out on top at windy Wolvey near Lutterworth to win Hinckley CRC’s Challenge Weekend, which combined a 10-mile time-trial on Saturday, followed by a tougher 25-mile course the following day.
Strong winds would be the dominating feature of the weekend, with the 10-miler, a straight ‘out and back’ time-trial to Magna Park roundabout on the A5.
On a course which is regularly affected by the wind, with road sections lacking shelter; Saturday afternoon proved no exception. In his first event for several weeks, the Mike Vaughan Cycles rider reached turnback in good time, but in his efforts to watch the traffic, inadvertently took the wrong exit. Matt lost several seconds, which could have been worse but for a quick and determined recovery. On the tough homeward leg Matt battled hard to limit the earlier damage, crossing the line in a respectable 21:00 (28.6mph), to win Day 1 by 29 seconds, good enough, despite the error and riding conditions, to beat his 2011 time.
By the time the 25-miler arrived on Sunday morning, the rain had eased, but the wind persisted and to remain a prevailing factor. Heading out initially in the same direction of the 10 mile event, the course would then turn up the rolling A5, battered by cross-winds before heading back towards Wolvey for a two lap circuit. Matt dug deep in energy-sapping winds to record a time of 55:07, some 17s faster than his previous year’s time, to take the event by 32 seconds, to reclaim a a title he’d won previously in 2010.