Pre-race favourite Chris Birch (East Street Cycles.com) made the best possible start to his 2008 time trial campaign, winning both legs of the GS Stella Sporting TT weekend in West Sussex.

Birch topped the overall table by more than one minute following Saturday?s 18-kilometre event at Storrington and the following day?s 42-kilometre test, bagging £250 worth of prizes.

While early-season events are always difficult to seed because riders? current form is not known, organiser Mark Jones did a sterling job with all six of the riders set off a two-minute intervals at the end of the field taking the top six places overall.

In Saturday?s shorter event Birch won by 17 seconds from Daniel Davies (Plan B CRT), while Matt Green (In Gear Development Squad) was third, another 37 seconds off the pace.

And in Sunday?s longer event Birch clocked 49-52 to win by 51 seconds, with Davies second again but John Tuckett (AW Cycles) third as Green slipped to fifth behind Tim Beddingfield.

The time trial scene continues this weekend with Crawley CC staging their sporting 14.8-mile event at Faygate, West Sussex, on Saturday, while Sunday sees the Ely and District Hardriders 25 in Cambridgeshire and the Kingston Wheelers sporting 14 in Surrey.

* See this week?s Cycling Weekly for more results from the GS Stella weekend.