Cycling: Clinton racks up impressive wins in build up to National Champs

Matt Clinton attacks tough ascent in front of impressive crowds

With the National Championships fast approaching, Balsall Common’s former National Hill Climb Champion, Matt Clinton, ramped up preparations riding for Mike Vaughan Cycles in three events across Yorkshire and Derbyshire last weekend.

Saturday morning kicked off with damp, drizzling conditions on the 1.3mile, 10% average ascent of Holme Moss hosted by Holme Valley Wheelers on a climb which often has to be cut short due to visibility issues caused by low cloud. Luckily this event was unaffected allowing the full course to be used, with Matt clocking the fastest time of the day, 6 min 46s, some 25s ahead of Welshman Dan Evans in second place.

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Clinton claims 6th at British Time Trial Championships

”]Matt Clinton tackling the 2011 British Time Trial Championships - pic courtesy of Larry Hickmott/VeloUK.net

[Picture courtesy of Larry Hickmott/VeloUK.net]

Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton had another impressive outing recently in claiming 6th place at the annual British Time Trial Championships, improving on his 9th placed finish in 2010.

A strong field assembled to tackle an extremely wet course traversing the border between Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire, with Mike Vaughan Cycles rider Matt Clinton aiming for an improvement on his 9th placed finish at the 2010 event in South Wales.

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Cycling: Matt Clinton goes off road in Mountain Bike series

Matt Clinton leads the way in the early stages of the XC Series near Stoke

Hanchurch near Stoke on Trent was the venue for the third round of the Midlands XC mountain bike series, where Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton riding for Mike Vaughan Cycles contesting his second event of the season in the Expert category.

Getting the holeshot off the line, Matt jumped into an early lead which he maintained throughout the first of 5-laps round the tough course, which had steadily been drying out since overnight rain. Still leading entering the second lap, Matt was closely tailed by Lee Westwood (Raleigh), series leader after two rounds. The heavens then opened and the race was hit by a torrential summer shower, creating slick conditions which worsened as the race went on.

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Cycling: Matt Clinton takes runner up spot in National Hill Climb

Matt Clinton 2010 National Hill Climb

Matt Clinton finished as runner up in today’s National Hill Climb at Dover’s Hill, Gloucestershire for the second year running, 6 seconds behind a successful defending Champion Dan Fleeman (Raleigh UCI team). 25 year old 2008 Champion Clinton (Mike Vaughan Bikes, Kenilworth) had to wait nervously at the finish line, having occupied top spot right until the end when last man Fleeman flew up the hill to take the title.
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