PREVIEW: National 25

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Honours are on the line this Sunday when a stacked field will be targeting glory in the National 25-Mile Championships in the Lake District.

Defending men’s champion John Archibald (Eolo Kometa) will be starting as scratch man looking to regain his title in the Lake District.

In the women’s event defending champion Joss Lowden (Drops - Le Col s/b Tempur) and second placed Emily Meakin (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) are both absent.

After winning the National Circuit Championships and National 100-Mile Championships already this season Christopher Fennell will start two minutes ahead of Archibald at the end of a quality men’s field.

Fennell who finished third in last season’s National 25 in unbeaten in all 15 events this season but has yet to ride an open event over 25 miles this season.

Meanwhile, Archibald is riding his first championship event of the season after winning three national crowns last season.

The L2529 sees riders start outside Keswick before heading on the A66 out and back to Cockermouth and back with a section running alongside Bassenthwaite Lake.

“I’m going there just for the enjoyment of racing,” said Archibald.

Kyle Gordon

“I’ve ridden a fair few time trials so I’m not under prepared and I’m looking to progress my form going into a stage race with a time trial in it later in August.

“I’m not sure what the outcome will be as there is always a good field for the National 25 and looking down the start list there are quite a few who could do very well.

“I’ve not gone head-to-head with most of them so I’m not sure. Having a good day is all you can control.”

Archibald finished seventh on a shorter version of the same course when the National 10 Mile Championships were held on the L1021 in 2017.

He says the course ‘is not pan flat’ with some undulations and it can be ‘quite a busy road’.

Kyle Gordon (RT 23) could be a surprise package having clocking a 18-47 in unfavourable conditions in last weekend’s Kennoway RC 10.

There are a host of other challengers who have all impressed this season including Simon Wilson (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Ashley Cox (Team Bottrill) and Saint Piran duo Michael Gill and Steve Lampier.

In the women’s event Simmonds won the National 25 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 before missing 2019 and suffering an injury last season.

She will start as scratch woman out of the 44-rider field looking to add another national crown to her National Team Time Trial and National Circuit Championship crowns already this season.

Simmonds starts two minutes behind last year’s third placed finisher Alex Clay (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) who looks to be hitting form having won last month’s Thanet RC 10 in 20-15.

Her team-mate Joanna Patterson won the National 100 Mile Championships last month and also showed her speed by winning the Glasgow Nightingale 10 in 20-16.

Meanwhile, there are a host of other challengers also looking for honours.

“The form is really good, the legs are good, I feel strong and I’m in a good place,” said Simmonds.

“I was injured last year so had to pull out unfortunately. It will be nice to try and add another Cycling Time Trial national title to my list.”

Simmonds refined her 25-mile form by winning the C.C Breckland 25 last month clocking a time of 51-27 on that occasion.

This was after Simmonds had set a new competition 10-mile record on a road bike of 20-30.

Alex Clay

“I still train on the time trial bike several times a week,” added Simmonds.

“I’ve got enough experience of time trials that switching between the bikes was not really an issue.”

Last week Simmonds was in France racing on the road taking part in the Tour de Belle Isle en Terre.

In the junior men’s event juvenile Patrick Casey (Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles In Motion) will start last having clocked 50-52 in last month’s East Lancashire Road Club 25.

Junior rider Jacob Bush (Bourne Wheelers) has yet to ride an open 25 this season but did clock 19-12 in the Hemel Hempstead CC 10 in June.

There are also a host of challengers including Mattie Dodds (Team Backstedt Bike Performance) and Harry Jukes (Mid Devon CC) amongst others.

The junior girls start the day’s events and Eva Callinan (Liv AWOL) will be last away in the category having clocked 55-27 at the Shaftesbury CC 25 earlier this season.

* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission.