BARNSLEY cyclist Damien Clayton is hoping to make history by finishing top of the national rankings this season despite working full-time.

The Cawthorne man, who turns 32 next month, left his job as an architect in London in his mid-20s to become a professional cyclist. He said that he would retire in 2023 but, although he has stopped cycling full-time to work as an architect in Manchester, he has continued racing this season.

Clayton has enjoyed success this year in various road races across the region, winning the Danum Trophy in Doncaster and the Oakenclough Road Race, both in April, while finishing on the podium in other events. That puts him top of the British Cycling national rankings.

Clayton said: “It has been unexpectedly good. I was fully ready to retire last year. I thought ‘I will give it a few races and see what happens’.

“I had no expectations then got some good results and it does shift your goals so you want more. It’s been positive so far. It’s good to show what you can achieve even when you are working full-time. I think that’s benefited me. There’s no pressure, it’s a different way of training and a different focus.

“My club LeCol_RT supports me and provides a platform for me to race and ride whatever I choose with no pressure.

“It’s a real family feeling.”

The only training Clayton does is his commute to and from work which is an hour each way, from where he lives in Macclesfield into Manchester.

“Wednesdays are my big day. I do three hours before work and two after.

“Pretty much everyone I am competing against is full-time.

“I would like to finish top of the BC rankings. That would be nice.

“I don’t think anyone has done that before while having a full-time job.

“I’d like to do a bit better in the Premier races too. There are three coming up that I am targeting.”

Clayton does not expect to race as often in 2025. He said: “I would like to further my career as an architect. At some point I need to leave cycling behind. I will probably filter out after this year. I still want to ride because it’s a healthy obsession. I still enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, Birdwell Wheelers’ open ten-mile time-trial took place at Hatfield Woodhouse. Fastest on the day and winner of the Taylor Trophy was Ben Marsh (HUUB Wattshop) in 19-39.

Wheeler Trevor Mayne was fastest in the 60-69 class with 22-59.

The Wheelers staged the fifth of ten five-mile time-trials in Thurgoland.

Fastest on the night was guest Paul Armstrong in 13-39s. Fastest Wheeler was Dan Emery in third place with 13-43.

Marc Peasegood finished in 14-02 and Austin Watson in 16-05.