AFTER a string of fourth place finishes in National Championship events, Matt Clinton made a welcome return to the podium after finishing third at the CTT National Circuit Championship in Stratford.
The 25-mile event, which was hosted by Stratford Cycling Club, was the same as one of the fixed-distance events, but took riders on two laps of a rolling circuit near Alcester.
As defending Champion, Clinton was the last man off as the afternoon warmed up and the conditions became increasingly blustery.
The man to watch on the day was Ryan Perry (Langdale Lightweights) as reigning National 25 and 50 mile Champion, and he set a strong ride from the start after finishing in a time of 51.28.
Just seven seconds back was Matthew Smith (Team Bottrill) who rode himself on to the podium for the first time this season.
Having had a sore throat in the week, Clinton rode the event with no pressure and low expectations but to his surprise he finished just ten seconds behind Matthew Smith to take third spot and break the run of just missing out on podium places.
He said: “I started off well, but soon my hip flexor tightened up and I lost a lot of power on lap two, I didn’t feel great after that, but had enough to push hard in the last few miles.”
With the time trial season now over Clinton will look forward to the hill climb events starting with the National in Matlock, the scene of his 2008 Championship win.