HALESOWEN Cycling Club's academy rider Nick Clayton showed encouraging form in the British University 10-mile time trial championship.

He finished 30th of 120 starters last Saturday with a time of 21 minutes and 10 seconds.

Then, on the Sunday, together with his team-mate Joe Hobbs - making his seasonal debut - first year senior Clayton figured in a mid-race escape before breaking clear to hold off the pursuing pack for the final four laps to take an excellent 12th place in the Karbona circuit race at Birmingham Business Park.

Clayton, Jack Stanton-Warren and Patrick Fotheringham face the biggest challenge of their seasons so far this Easter weekend in the three-day International Tour of the North stage race in Northern Ireland. Based in Ballymena, the 200-mile plus event features strong teams from Ireland and the UK in a field of 120, who will tackle a 75-mile stage on Saturday, a short time trial and a 55-mile race on Sunday and a further 75 hilly miles on Monday.

The Halesowen team also features a guest rider in top Welsh junior Sam Tillett who figured strongly in last weekend's round of the National Junior series in Somerset.