UK weekend time trial and road race preview

It looks like open season for the men's Nationals as we preview this weekend's events

With reigning champion Kevin Dawson choosing not to defend the title, the National 12-Hour Time Trial Championship on Sunday looks set to be one of the most open for years.

Planet X veteran Ian Cammish, who was the British Best All-Rounder nine times between 1980 and 1989, is top favourite and last rider off for the event on the E2/12 course near Great Chesterford in Essex. Cambridge CC’s Ken Platts is also looking strong, but there are many other riders who could challenge for a medal.

Second last year, Carl Ruebotham will be aiming to lead Team Swift-Allsports to the team prize once again, and with fellow 2007 winners Simon Beldon, Joel Wainman and Lee Carins down to ride, it’s hard to see who will challenge them for the title.

Farnborough and Camberley CC ace Nik Bowdler will be looking to improve on third spot last year, while Paul Holdsworth (Hounslow and District CC) and Steve Golla (Sigma Sport CC) could also challenge for a podium place.

The course record of 296.957 miles - set by Dawson in 2003 - is unlikely to be superseded, but many riders will be targeting personal best performances on this fast and popular course.

Last year’s women’s winner Kirsti Thys (Severn RC) won’t be defending either, so the women’s title looks to be a two-way battle between Lynne Taylor (Walsall RCC) and Marina Bloom (Rugby RCC).

Lancashire Road Club also stage a 12-hour event on the A6 at Garstang.

For those who prefer a slightly shorter distance, East Liverpool Wheelers and Kent Cycling Association hold 50-mile events, at Chester and Harrietsham respectively.

Bedfordshire Roads CC are due to hold a 25-mile event on the fast F1 course at Tempsford, while Reading CC’s 25 is near Aldermaston in Berkshire.

Further north, Bob Jackson RT is holding a 25-mile event on the V330 at Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, while over in Wales Bynea CC stage the last of a series of eight events, a 20-mile time trial on the RS20 at Cefneithin, near Cross Hands in Dyfed.

North of the Border, Kingsmuir Hall in Peebles plays host to the Scottish Team Time Trial Championships which covers a 60km course around the Borders town.

Road racing

With the Premier Calendar taking a five-week break before the final round, many of the country’s top road racers will be preparing for the Tour of Ireland and Tour of Britain this weekend.

Elite races which have attracted good entries include the 90km CDNW League event at Scorton in Lancashire on Sunday and the Sam Walton Memorial Border Trophy, which covers a 130km course around Morpeth, Northumberland.

In Aberdeenshire, Alford Ski Centre is the headquarters for the Scottish Over-40s and Over-50s Road Race Championships on Sunday which will be run over a 105km course.

In Wales, the National Junior and Youth Track Championships begin on Sunday at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport, and go on until August 22.

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