22nd Oct, 2017

Matt Clinton left frustrated by tough competition in Stockton-on-Tees

Steve Carpenter 30th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

KENILWORTH’s Matt Clinton was left frustrated after finishing outside the top ten at the British National Time Trial Championships which included a host of international riders.

The closed-road event at Stockton-on-Tees was full of domestic and international professional riders, as well as some amateurs, including Clinton who was riding for Mike Vaughan Cycles.

Negotiating some twisty, cobbled and hair-pinned corners, the course took participants from Stockton High Street before heading out on the dual-carriageway, before returning to the town centre on the same route to make a 7.4-mile lap, of which the elite men would complete four laps.

Starting off strongly, Clinton was most at home on the open road, with the technical town-centre sections putting him at a disadvantage and this would be Clinton’s downfall as he lost 15 seconds in just one mile.

Overhauling some slower riders of the small field, Clinton was then passed himself by four-time national TT Champion and Commonwealth gold medalist Alex Dowsett.

It would be Dowsett who would eventually take his fith National TT title, while Clinton finished back in 11th place which made him the highest placed amateur in the event which was a small consolation.

Clinton admitted getting to within five minutes of Dowsett would be an ideal target especially given his poor run of form.

He said: “In 2012 when I placed third behind Dowsett in the Nationals, I was five-minutes down, this just shows how much tougher the competition is these days to now be placing 11th.

“If it wasn’t quite as technical and I had form from the last couple of years, I’d be much closer to the top-5 again.”

Clinton will now focus on local events before the National 25-mile Championships in early August.

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