BALSALL Common’s Matt Clinton completed his preparation for the National Hill Climb Championships with a fine showing at Matlock.
Riding for Mike Vaughan Cycles, the first climb was the multi-hairpinned ascent to Riber Castle, with performances hampered by damp conditions and a leaf covered road.
Last man off, Clinton started fast but as the gradient steepened it was clear he was struggling to stop wheel spin on the greasy surface.
The second time this year he’d used his geared bike would also be the second time he’d be defeated, losing out by only 0.3seconds to Buxton CC’s Lee Baldwin to finish in 3:40.5
After a break, the riders tackled Bank Road – the scene of the 2008 National Championships which Clinton won.
The normal open event uses a shorter version of the National’s course, but still ramping up to over 25 per cent.
A completely different climb to Riber, this would be a pure power climb.
Last off once again and back on his fixed wheel bike, it was back to usual business for Clinton, finishing 1:53.6 – winning by nearly three seconds.
He now goes forward to the National Hill Climb Championships in Lancashire where he’ll be among the favourites.