Leon Wright and Rebecca Goodson took the early advantage with victories at stage one of the Stocksbridge CC hill-climb in South Yorkshire on Sunday morning.
The opening race was at the 810-yard Mill Bank Road climb in Ewden Village, south of Stocksbridge, with prizes on offer for both individual stages as well as a combined award.
In the overall standings it was Wright (Race Hub) who drew first blood with an opening victory.
The 35-year-old from Leicester stopped the clock in 2:20.8, just eight tenths of a second outside the course record set by 2016 winner Joseph Clark.
Wright was second that day, but improved upon his time last year by 16 seconds this time around to take the £20 prize and the early lead.
The Race Hub rider has little margin for error though, the top three in stage one separated by less than two seconds.
Second place went to Andy Nicholls (B38-Underpin Racing) in 2:22.4 with defending champion Clark (Cycling Sheffield Giant) third just half a second behind.
In the women’s competition, the opening stage went to Rebecca Goodson of Velo Schils Interbike.
Goodson recorded a time of 3:14.6 for 22nd overall, but more importantly the women’s stage win and with a healthy margin to defend on stage two as well.
Veteran Jo Holden (Macclesfield Wheelers) was second but was 40 seconds slower than Goodson.
Jon Wild took the opening stage in the veterans competition, the Veloviewer rider clocking 2:59.7 for a 22 second advantage over Trevor Mayne.
Meanwhile, Team Jewson-MI Racing teammates Robert McAndrew and Luke Hind were separated by a single second in the junior competition, the latter taking the opening stage in 2:57.5.
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