The competition is set to intensify in the British Cycling National Trophy in Milton Keynes with the inclusion of British champion Ian Field and Madison Genesis’ road pro and former champion Ian Bibby.
Paul Oldham leads the National Trophy competition after three wins from three rides, with 2012-13 National Trophy winner Oli Beckingsale unable to derail the Hope Factory Racing locomotive.
Ian Field, who has been racing in Europe since the beginning of the season and 2010 national champion Ian Bibby both have the potential to upset the status quo and throw a lifeline to Oldham’s title competitors.
Oldham was imperious in the last round in Durham, winning with a handsome margin despite suffering a puncture a long way out from the pits. Only under 23 Adam Martin could match Oldham’s pace initially before paying for his early efforts and dropping back to third.
Martin himself faces stiff opposition in the under 23 category from Ben Sumner and Steve James, all three having represented Great Britain at the last weekend’s World Cup round in Koksijde, Belgium.
Hannah Payton comes into round four with a slender four point lead over Annie Simpson in the women’s category, following a race win in Durham.
After three rounds, the pair are making the title a two-horse race, edging away from third placed Merce Pacios Pujado, who will have to rely on a slip from Payton or Simpson to keep her title hopes alive.
Fans will be hoping for a resumption of Durham’s epic battle between juniors Dylan Kerfoot Robson and Jack Ravenscroft, the undoubted highlight of round three. Jake Poole led the standings after round two but missed Durham through illness, and will be hoping to regain some ground on current series leader Sean Dunlea.
Darren Atkins is currently edging the battle in the veteran 40+ classification, ten points ahead of arch rival Ian Taylor. Atkins took the win in Durham by five seconds, with Taylor just grabbing second ahead of Crispin Doyle, the latter keen to improve on his third place in the rankings. All three will make the start in Milton Keynes.
Hargroves Cycles’ Steven Davies is making the veteran 50+ category his own, with three wins out of three races. Ditto his young teammate Dan Tulett, who will be looking to make it four from four in the under 16 boys’ event.
Charlotte Broughton is another competitor to approach Milton Keynes with a 100 percent record, the MG Decor rider 30 points ahead of nearest rival Jessica Roberts in the under 16 girls category.
Under 14 boys and girls categories are both tight after three rounds; the boys top three of Craig Rogers, Alistair Levers and Euan Cameron separated by just eight points, while Poppy Wildman and Lucy Horrocks are on 108 and 106 points respectively.
Racing begins at 10:30am on Sunday in Milton Keynes. The elite women begin at 11:31am while the elite women take to the course at 2:30pm.
Check back at www.britishcycling.org.uk/nationaltrophy for reports, results and rider reaction.