PREVIEWS: May 14-15

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Defending champion Keith Ainsworth returns to defend his VTTA National 50-Mile Championship title when the 2022 event is staged by Bike-Pace in South Wales on Saturday afternoon.

But the 63-year-old Sheffield-based rider will have to shrug off concerns about his fitness after a warm-up crash four weeks ago in which he went over his bars and was knocked out.

The Lindsey Roads CC rider clocked 54-23 for the Sheffrec CC 25 last weekend and said he would be happy with anything under 1-50-00 this weekend.

Last man off is 47-year-old Chris McNamara (Nuun-Sigma Sport), and Chris Gibbard (Bynea CC) is 40 years old now and off at number 90.

Meanwhile Angela Carpenter (a3crg) is the rider to beat in the women’s event.

The 53-year-old is last of the 20 women riding and will be looking to add to a long list of victories which have included this year’s VTTA National 10-Mile Championship and last year’s VTTA National 25-Mile Championship.

Tom Hutchinson

The following day there are two 50-mile events, with over 100 riders set to tackle either the Reading CC or Mid-Shropshire Wheelers events.

The Reading CC event uses the H50/1b course near Aldermaston, and could see Tom Lane (North Hampshire RC) take the win according to national ranking system Spindata. Not far behind though is Nick Richards (GS Mossa) as well as Team Bottrill’s Michael Nagi.

In the women’s event Emma O’Toole (DHC Districts of Hamwic Cyclesport) – who was third in the Charlotteville CC 50 last month - will be among the fastest women.

The Mid-Shropshire Wheelers 50 takes place at the same time on Sunday and looks set to be very close between veteran Victor Chetta (Pirate Juice) and Toby Williams (Velotik RT), while Deb Hutson-Lumb (Wrekinsport CC) and Emma Serjeant (Hafren CC) are ones to watch in the women’s event.

There’s a good field for the Zeus CRT 10 in Northumberland too, where Tom Hutchinson (Team Bottrill) is slated to be fastest according to Spindata rankings.

But Team Kirkley Cycles’ Lewis Wake and Vector Racing rider Lewis Timmins are also in good form. Reifen Racing rider Vicky Gibbs will be looking to repeat her victory in the North Tyneside Riders 10 last month, although Louise Burnie (Blaydon CC) could challenge.

In Cornwall the Royal Navy and Royal Marines CA are top of the Spindata rankings with Tom Scorer and Gavin MacDougall.

Border City Wheelers have a hilly 28-mile event on the Caldbeck circuit near Dalston in Cumbria, with Chris Smart (GTR Return to Life) and Richard Bideau (Pendle Forest CC) among the top riders along with Liam Beaty (Hawick CC).

Elsewhere on Sunday there’s the Gravesend CC 25 on the popular Q25/8 course near Molash, as well as the Virtual CC 25 in Monmouthshire and the Fenland Clarion CC 25 in Cambridgeshire.

* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission.