Clinton cards respectable third but is looking ahead

Matt Clinton during Sunday's race. Picture by  Marc Etches
Matt Clinton during Sunday's race. Picture by Marc Etches
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Matt Clinton took third place at the Stocksbridge CC Hillclimb.

Based on a shorter version of this year’s upcoming National Championships, the Mike Vaughan Cycles rider was accompanied by team-mate Jack O’Neill who placed 12th overall.

The duo attended the event to recce the course for this year’s Championship, which adds an extra 300 yards to the bottom of the 900-yard climb.

Finishing in 2:34.5, Clinton was still some way off his 2009 course record of 2:23.9.

O’Neill made his first attempt at the climb in 2:51.4.

Both riders came away disappointed with their rides, but upbeat about future events – a different pacing technique backfired on both riders.

With five weeks to go until the Nationals, Clinton remains one of the favourites to win after placing second in 2009 on this course.

He said: “I’m fairly happy. I’m in much better shape than I was at this time last year and my power numbers show this.

“I didn’t pace this as well as I should have done. It backfired on me and saw me lose ground further up the climb.

“I have not got my bike dialled in yet, I’m riding a (still light) 14lb Trek Madone, while for the Nationals I will be riding a 12lb Trek Emonda – those two pounds can make all of the difference.”