Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton suffered the frustration of a double puncture, putting paid to his hopes of winning the annual Isle-of-Man End to End cycle race, to finish in 6th place. The predominantly off-road event attracted 1700 riders to the starting line from all over the world. Clinton, riding for Kenilworth-based Mike Vaughan Cycles, went into the race with hopes of bettering his previous year’s 3rd place on a tough day, made harder by increasingly poor weather conditions.
In a race where a strong opening can be vital due a series of bottlenecks which prevent overtaking, Clinton got off to a fine start, establishing an early lead before settling into a small leading group including Olympian and 4-times Manx winner Nick Craig, plus another former winner and Manxman Eliot Baxter. Sadly for Matt, after the group had put together a 5 minute lead over the nearest group of chasers, he was hit by two separate punctures on a descent, which left hime having to change a tube each time. Having lost around 13 minutes by this time, Matt’s ambitions for the race had to be curtailed and he came home in 6th place and a time of 3:31:15 – a creditable effort given the mishaps and difficult conditions.