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Leah Dixon and Chris Fennell were crowned winners at the National Closed Circuit Championships, promoted by Antelope RT at the Thruxton Motor Racing Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday.
Dixon, the 30-year-old from Aberdare who rides for the Wales Racing Academy, clocked 24-40 for the 11.7-mile course, giving her victory by just one second from joint runners-up Anna Morris (AeroLab Ward Wheelz) and Alex Clay (The Independent Pedaler) who both completed the course in 24-41.
Meanwhile last year’s runner-up Chris Fennell (The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz) went one better, winning with 21-34 which was 52 seconds better than Tom Ward (AeroLab Ward Wheelz) in second with Ollie Hucks (Nopinz Motip RT) another eight seconds back in third.
The national title races were part of a festival of cycling which saw almost 500 riders from across the country take part in various different events.
There was a UCI Bandits (pre 1997) event which was won by Paul Osborne (Cheltenham & County Cycling) in 27 mins 03.34 secs, and a tandem event won by Rachael Elliott & Ian Greenstreet (Newbury Velo) in 23 mins 22.89 secs.
Antelope RT also staged a four-up team time trial with 39 entries comprising of men, women, and mixed teams with the fastest being Nopinz Motip Race Team in 22 mins 08.89 secs.
Despite strong winds the event ran in good conditions with dry and warm weather making up for the gusts.
“I was really pleased with my ride, I had no problems and managed to stick to my power targets,” said Fennell. “It was windy so I had to adjust my targets a little. There was a tough headwind up the hill and on the straight.
“I didn’t really come here with a target time, although obviously I knew that John did a 21-06 last year so that was in my mind and I wanted to improve on my time last year. Conditions were quite good, despite a strong wind. It was dry and warm, so no complaints.
“My preparations have been pretty much on point, and I felt good. I’ll now prepare for the British Cycling national championships on Thursday and then take a few weeks off.”
Meanwhile Dixon – more familiar to top level road racing than time trials - said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first CTT champs so I’m really happy to win. I’m still a relative novice to time trialling and knew it was a strong field so I was really nervous.
“I knew what Katie’s course record equated to in terms of average speed, but quickly realised the wind meant I was going to be a fair bit down on that.
“My power meter is a bit off at the moment so mostly rode to feel and hoped for the best! I was passing people but obviously never saw Alex or Jo so I didn’t know how close it was… to be honest sometimes I was worried I was a long way behind!”
And in the junior title races there were also some strong performances.
Mattie Dodd (Team Backstedt Bike Performance) was quickest junior boy with 23-23, 32 seconds ahead of James Ashcroft (Nopinz Motip). Isabel Sharp (Drag2zero) covered the course in 25-31 to take the junior girls title by 2-24 from Poole Wheelers’ Holly Ramsey.
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