PREVIEW: April 23-24

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The Merlin Cycles Classic Series continues this weekend with round three taking place on a gruelling 39-mile course near Worcester.

The opening 15-mile loop is followed by a tough last 24 miles on a large lap including hilly terrain towards Bromyard with the event organised by Beacon RCC.

Richard Bussell (AeroCoach) won the same event last year in 1-37-08 and returns in defence of his title.

However, he will have to beat David Fellows (Solihull CC) and James Lowden (WattShop) who finished second and third respectively in last weekend’s second round of the series.

Emma Bexson

Emma Bexson (Stratford Cycling Club) starts in the women’s event while Louise Hart (Royal Dean Forest Cycle Club) takes on Joanna Blackburn (High North Performance) in the road bike event.

The men’s road bike event sees an intriguing battle with Gerard Henry (University Of Warwick) taking on Richard Cartland (HuntBikeWheels.Com) and Kit Buchanan (Solihull CC) amongst others.

Battle continues in the North-East on Saturday morning with the Team Kirkley Cycles 10 attracting a large field of 90 riders.

Michael Gill (Saint Piran) had been on formidable form so far this season winning the Melton Olympic 10 earlier this month in 19-00 and starts last man.

He also won the Barnesbury 21 in the North-East and will again face the likes of Lewis Timmins (Vector Racing) and Lewis Wake (Team Kirkley Cycles) on the 10-mile course near Ponteland.

Host club rider Joanne Rea has two wins in the region to her name already this season and starts as final woman.

Fresh from riding on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix last weekend Abi Smith (Moonglu CC) starts as scratch woman in Saturday’s Otley CC on the out and back A168 near Boroughbridge.

On her last time trial outing Smith won the VTTA 25 in 53-50 and will be taking on her first open 10 of the season.

Veterans Fiona Sharp (Chapeau! Vive Le Velo), Joanna Cebrat (Bury Clarion CC) and Helen Goldthorpe (Otley CC) could provide competition along with Josie Smith (Trek Sheffield).

The formidable Adam Duggleby (Chapeau! Vive Le Velo) will be heavy favourite in the men’s event and starts as last man.

After being crowned VTTA National 15-mile Champion last weekend Richard Oakes continues his campaign in Saturday’s VTTA East Mids 10.

Oliver Peckover

However, a strong men’s field includes scratch rider Oliver Peckover (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) who won the Velo Club Long Eaton 10 on his last outing in 19-17.

Spindata predicts a victory for Peckover but that George Fox (George Fox Cycling Solutions) will come closest to him.

In the women’s event veterans Jo Corbett (Sherwood CC) and Jennifer Clegg (Team Bottrill) are amongst those set to battle for honours.

Those keen to test their early season long-distance form will be heading to Surrey for the Charlotteville Cycling Club 50.

Veteran Liam Maybank (Twickenham CC) starts as last man looking for a first win of the season after his third in the ….a3crg 10 last weekend.

A strong field includes Tom Cox (Saint Piran) and Pat Wright (Paceline RT) who has won his last two events.

Lizi Brooke (Wahoo Endurance Zone p/b Le Col) finished third in the National 100-mile Championship last season and opens her campaign for 2022 in the women’s event.

Edinburgh Road Club host the CTT Scottish District Olympic Time Trial Championships over a 25-mile loop near Peebles.

Veteran Robbie Mitchell (Auchencrow Thistle CC) won the National 24-hour Championship last season and will be looking for his opening win of the season.

In the women’s event Natalie Stevenson (Glasgow Ivy CC) starts last but will have to see off the challenge of host club rider Sharon Bird amongst others.

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