THERE was more disappointment for Kenilworth’s Matt Clinton after he missed out on another podium place again, this time at the National ten-mile Championship.
After missing out on a medal in both the National 50 and 25-mile events, the ten-mile race near Liphook in Hampshire was a chance for Clinton to make it third time lucky at an event where he finished runner-up last year.
With wind buffeting up the descent to the turn on the out-and-back course, it proved to be hard going for all riders, especially combined with the poor road surfaces and climb all the way up the return leg.
Pushing out hard to the turn, Clinton looked like he was on form for a medal but he did not save enough to up his game on the return leg, especially with the treeline sheltering riders from any tailwind assistance.
It was the return leg that once again put Clinton out of contention for a medal as he finished in an agonising fourth place for the third Championship in a row.
“This is my third fourth in a row so you can imagine how much I am kicking myself,” said Clinton
“The margin was too big to close though. It wasn’t as if I could change the result by doing something slightly different, the gap was too big.
“This is probably only my fifth 10 this year and this year’s course had a rubbish surface plus we had the up and down and the wind. So it was case of keeping the head down, the power down and going for it.”
Asked about the long climb before the finish, Clinton added: “It was quite sheltered but felt like it went on forever.
“It was steep and then levelled out but it never felt like it because you never seem to gain any speed and it felt like it dragged up until a few miles to go and then it was back on the gas (40mph plus descent).
“I almost cracked and went onto the skis but you had to stay in the position and keep the power down and pushing on. As soon as you sit up, you lose time. It was tough.”
Richard Bussell retained his title from 2015, while James Gullen would push this year’s 25 and 50 Champion, Ryan Perry down into third place.
Next up for Matt is the National Circuit Championships at Alcester in early September, in which he’s the defending Champion.