Both last year’s men’s and women’s champions return to defend their titles at the National 50-Mile Championship as some of the top time trial riders in the country head for North Yorkshire.
The latest title race of the season is promoted by Hartlepool CC and uses the T502 course between Kirklevington and Boroughbridge, where The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz ace Chris Fennell and Joanna Patterson (Wahoo Endurance Zone p/b Le Col) will be aiming to bag the silverware.
However, in the women’s event Fennell’s team-mate Jennifer George is predicted by Spindata to take the win having won the National Circuit Championships last weekend.
But aside from George and Patterson, you can’t rule out a challenge from Kate Allan (Team Bottrill) who pipped George to second spot at the National 25-Mile Championship recently, while a3crg vet Angela Carpenter is also in great form.
The men’s event looks far from being a one-horse race with Fennell expected to be challenged by Matthew Smith (Drag2zero), Jack Levick (Rose Race Team) and Tom Hutchinson (Team Bottrill), while GTR-Return to Life riders Chris Smart, Dougie Watson and Terry Wilkinson will be going for team honours as well as solo.
In Norfolk, CC Breckland are hosting the District Championship over the same distance, near East Harling on Sunday.
Lloyd Chapman (Loose Cannon’s Conditioning) is top seed according to national ranking system Spindata, with Mark Richards (DAP CC) and Mark Smith (Crawley Wheelers) also expected to challenge, while evergreen veteran Jackie Field (CC Ashwell) is the fastest of the females.
In Scotland Caithness CC are holding a weekend of events around Thurso, starting on Saturday with a 25-mile time trial which has the scenic Highlands of Scotland as a back-drop. They then go on to a 10-mile event on Sunday morning followed by a short-sharp two-mile hill-climb that afternoon.
Houghton CC are holding a 25-mile event near Ponteland in Northumberland, with Deeside Thistle CC’s Calum Gibb down as fastest on paper. However, local favourites Lewis Wake (Team Kirkley Cycles) and Lewis Timmins (Vector Racing) will have something to say about that. Vicky Gibbs (Reifen Racing) is top female on Spindata predictions.
In Cumbria the Kent Valley Road Club’s 25-mile charity event has attracted a quality field with Grant Bigham (WattShop) and Richard Bideau (Pendle Forest CC) expected to challenge for the win.
But junior ace Patrick Casey (Team Lifting Gear Products) can’t be ruled out for a podium finish at the event on the course near Levens. Lancashire Road Club’s Erica Booth looks set to be fastest female, barring incidents.
Saturday sees a host of events including the Eastern Counties CA District 10-Mile Championships at Six Mile Bottom in Cambridgeshire.
Veterans Richard Oakes (Team Ohten Aveas) and Ian Hope (Team Solo Vinci) are fast men to watch, as well as Lloyd Chapman (Loose Cannon’s Conditioning) and Paul Pardue (Peterborough CC).
Women to watch out for are Sally Turner (trainSharp) and AS Test Team rider Anastasia Bowler.
The Salford CC 10 is expected to be a close battle according to Spindata, with Alex Royle (Manchester BC), David Parkin (Chorley CC), Tom Thornely (Buxton CC) and Alastair Ribbands (Congleton CC) all predicted to do times less than 15 seconds apart.
Alongside the Salford event the Manchester and District Ladies CA host the women’s event with Jasmine Holmes (Univ of Manchester) expected to be fastest, while Liz Batt (Buxton CC) and Jan Scotchford (North Lancashire RC) due to be pushing for the podium.
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