Clinton tastes time trial victory before sacrificing himself for O’Neill

Jack O'Neill is outsprinted by Matthew Garthwaite.

Jack O'Neill is outsprinted by Matthew Garthwaite.

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With the season now in full swing, Mike Vaughan Cycles’ Matt Clinton was in both time trial and road racing action at the weekend.

Clinton was last man off at the ten-mile time trial on the K11/10T course near Rugby, which was promoted by VTTA (Midlands).

Fast conditions yielded an outward five miles at 33mph, but a nagging crosswind hampered times on the return, with many riders being a minute down on usual for this course.

Clinton would dip just under 30mph on his Trek Speed Concept to clock 20min 1sec, which gave the 31-year-old a 35-second margin over second-placed Jonathan Wears (SSSL Racing Team).

James Perkins (Team Bottrill) was a further 18 seconds back in third.

The following day, Clinton was joined by team-mate Jack O’Neill for the Bill Jinks Memorial race at Corley.

The 65-mile road race for 2/3/4 category riders took in ten laps of a tough rolling circuit near Fillongley.

After no moves in the first half of the race, Clinton launched an attack off the front of the race in the 25th mile and was soon joined by Matthew Garthwaite (Mammoth RT).

Minutes later, Jack O’Neill and Jude Taylor (Warwick Uni) made up the deficit and the four riders gained some momentum over the next lap before being joined by a quartet of riders as the gap grew to 75 seconds over the main bunch.

One rider fell away on the last lap as Clinton pushed the pace to try and set up a win for O’Neill.

Driving up the final climb, Clinton sat up for seventh place to allow O’Neill to use his kick in the sprint.

However, the 21-year-old was overpowered by Garthwaite and had to settle for second place - still an excellent result considering 30 of the 80 starters did not finish.