A busy time trialling weekend for our members saw the first record of the season broken, two personal bests set and some mountain climbing.
A Record Ride
The club 25-mile Women’s record is one of our longest standing but it was finally broken on Saturday 13th of May by Helen Goldthorpe. Riding in the South Pennine RC Bill Spencer Memorial 25 on the mainly A50 based A25/11 course near Etwall in Derbyshire, Helen rode to a personal best time of 1:02.12 which is also a new Women’s club 25 record, beating Allyson Winks record by 1 minute and 5 seconds. Here’s Helen’s own account of her record-breaking ride. And all didn’t necessarily go to plan, but luck was on her side.
‘After last week I was hoping for no wind, but when we got up it seemed to be blowing a gale outside! But this week it looked more like a cross wind than a headwind (the consensus from the timekeepers would be that it would be slower on the way out than on the way back – and they were right, but it was nowhere near as pronounced as last week). There was also a bit of rain but thankfully not too heavy. The section on the A50 (about 23 miles of the 25) was much busier than the DC courses I’ve done before, and there were loads more roundabouts than I expected from a supposedly fast course (8), including having to move into the right hand lane for the turn (thanks to the cars who let me out!) but the bits in them between were definitely pretty speedy. With about 7 miles to go I hit a pothole hard and hoped I hadn’t punctured – when I got home I realised that I had, but thankfully it went down fairly slowly and I got to the end OK!
Special mention to Liam (Mealey, Helen’s partner) for driving me there and back, bringing my long sleeve top to the finish and looking after me!’
Well done Helen!
The winner was Victoria Smith of Aerocoach in 54:06. Race report courtesy of CTT/Snowdon Sports.
Photo courtesy of Liam Mealey
PBs on the 718
Further north on what is generally regarded as the country’s fastest 10-mile course, the V718, using the A63 near Hull, Claire Jessop and Liz Hills were also setting PBs in the City Road Club (Hull) 10 after what had been a stressful week for the organiser, Mark Philipson.
Road works planned for the weekend originally caused Mark to have to change from the V718 to the nearby V714. However, the roadworks were postponed so it was back to the 718, much to the relief of the riders and of course to Mark.
It seemed the weather might conspire to change that but only a little rain fell and a relatively calm but slightly chilly afternoon greeted the riders.
Fastest of the quartet competing in Otley colours was Claire with her PB of 23:19 in the women’s event. As mentioned, Liz also set a new PB with 25:45 (not 24:45 as listed in the official results), not bad for only her second season of racing. Liz is now our leading points scorer in the Yorkshire Cycling Federation Points Competition (Women’s) in eight place with 236 points.
Of the two remaining OCC riders, John Barnett recorded 24:10 and Greg Jessop 25:31 in the later men’s event.
Fastest ride of the day was from Eoin Whelan of Irish club Seven Springs Cycling Club with a very rapid 18:38. Eoin’s time broke the national Masters 10 mile record for a 10 mile time trial, bettering the old record by 40secs. For him to travel over from Ireland illustrates the draw of the V718.
Fastest in the women’s event was Kirsty Smith of Team Swift in 21:38. Kirsty’s time would have put her in 31st overall in a combined (women’s and men’s) field of 125 finishers.
A mention for fastest junior, Tim Howcroft’s son Joe, 2nd claim Otley CC member but riding for PH-MAS, in 20:02, just 2 seconds shy of a 30 mile an hour ride.
Mountain climbing in the North
Further north and even further north again, our 2016 12-hour and TT Points Champion Phil Mason has been doing some altitude training. Phil rode the Teesdale CRC 40.5 mile mountain TT on Sunday 23rd April near Barnard Castle and the even longer 47 mile Tyneside Vagabonds – surely the best name ever for a cycling club! – mountain TT on Sunday 14th May, based at Belsay. Phil’s certainly a liking for the hilly events as he rode the famous (infamous?) Nelson Wheelers CItcuit of the Dales in early April. All three make the Triangle seem like a time-trialling dragstrip.
Phil’s provided a brief report on his last two expeditions, sorry, exploits.
‘The Tyne Vags is, arguably, the toughest and best time trial in the country. It certainly has the best post race food. With over 3000ft of climbing, including ‘The Gibbet’ (at 1 in 6) and at least four other significant climbs together with 45 mph descents, it takes in some beautiful Northumberland scenery and almost traffic free roads. It’s been going since 1947, is an absolute classic and well worth the 200 mile round trip just for the food.
The Teesdale is a relative newcomer to the calendar, having started around 1990. Again, superbly organised and with proper race HQ with parking, changing and food. It’s absolutely criminal that the start sheet only had 46 names this year. It actually packs in more climbing than the Tyne Vags but somehow the climbs are steadier than in the Vags.
For an amateur rider of mediocre standard like me, these races (together with the ‘Circuit of the Dales’) are the nearest you can get to professional road racing. To do well you need the bike handling skills to cope with fast descents and rough roads and the strength and speed to climb and time trial. But for an average rider it’s just an absolute privilege to be able to take part in a classic event in great surroundings.
And did I mention the food?’
Yes, you did Phil, but we can imagine you needed it after those rides! Perhaps our Mountain Goats would like to give these events a go in 2018?
Phil’s time for the Teesdale event was 2:24:07. The winner was Carl Donaldson (GS Metro) in a course record time of 1:45:28. Full results from the CTT website. Race report courtesy of CTT/Snowdon Sports.
Phil’s Tyneside Vagabonds time was 2:31:47. Winner Carl Donaldson (GS Metro) – yes, that man again, 1:52:48. Full results from the CTT website.