PREVIEW: National Closed Circuit Champs

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A huge field of 313 competitors will battle it out for honours in Sunday’s National Closed Circuit Championship.

Scratch rider Christopher Fennell (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) will be looking to conclude a successful open time trial season with a fifth national crown.

The 26-year-old has won the National 10, 50, 100 and Closed Circuit Championships this season and will be hoping to add one more title to his collection over the 11.7-mile course.

Thruxton Motorsport Centre in Hampshire will again host the championship event with competitors completing five laps.

Last season Fennell finished second in the Closed Circuit Championships completing the 11.7 miles in a time of 21 minutes and 36 seconds – 30 seconds behind winner John Archibald.

Archibald and third place finisher from last season Simon Wilson are both absent on this occasion so there will be a new-look podium.

Richard Bussell (AeroCoach) placed fourth in 2020 and will be hoping to secure a podium place this time out after finishing third in the National 10 Mile Championships last month.

Tom Ward

Veteran Matthew Smith (Drag2Zero) has the unenviable task of starting 30 seconds ahead of scratch man Fennell.

Smith has five wins to his name this campaign, but in the East Anglian VTTA 25 two weeks ago Fennell beat his rival by 1-50.

Tom Ward (AeroLab Ward WheelZ) impressed by breaking the 18-minute mark in the East Anglian VTTA 10 in 17-58 and joins a large list of potential challengers including James Jenkins (Richardsons-Trek RT) and Oliver Robison (Thanet RC).

A strong women’s field sees 48 riders taking the start looking for national honours.

Joanna Patterson (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) won the Irish National Championships last week and will be hoping for more success.

This season Patterson has won the National 100 and 50 Mile Championships and was runner-up in the National 10 last month.

Winner of the National 10, Hayley Simmonds (CAMS Racing) is absent, but Patterson’s team-mate Alex Clay was just 19 seconds further back in third.

Providing an unknown quantity is Leah Dixon (Wales Racing Academy) who is taking part in her first open national championship event but did win the Rugby Racing Club 10 in July clocking 20-09.

Veteran Angela Carpenter (...A3crg) has also been on top form this season winning the VTTA National 10 Mile Championships last month and could also provide a medal challenge.

In the junior’s competition last boy starter Mattie Dodd (Team Backstedt Bike Performance) will be looking for his first open time trial national title.

Isabel Sharp

Dodd posted the second fastest time in competition history for a junior male of 18-35 in the Hemel Hempstead CC 10 in June.

He will face competition from juvenile Finlay Tarling (WORX Factory Racing Powered By Silverstone) who finished second in the National Circuit Championships.

Meanwhile, Isabel Sharp (Drag2Zero) is retaining junior girls’ champion having won the event last season in a time of 26-06.

Amongst her challengers will be Holly Ramsey (Poole Wheelers Cycling Club) and Ella Coleman (Liv AWOL).

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