So, it’s a beautiful summer Sunday in June, a perfect day to go cycling with your clubmates.
Well, those’d be the sensible options but neither suited six of our members at the weekend as they elected to ride the CTT Team Time Trial National Championships – try saying after a couple of beers – on the A168 on Sunday 19 June. (It could have been worse, they could have spent a couple of hours in the baking heat with a broken down motorcycle, agonisingly close to the event HQ and not being able to watch the event, but let’s not dwell on that…).
Two teams of three – Ian Cullen, James Cullen & Tim Howcroft and Helen Goldthorpe, Liz Hills & Claire Jessop – represented Otley CC, the men away first at 10:13, the women just under an hour later at 11:10.
Although the men were first away it was the women who had entered the event first, use of social media eventually shaming the males of the club to put together a team. It must be said that Ian, James and Tim didn’t really take much persuading – harbouring visions of grandeur gents? That said, there were some nerves in the days leading up to the event, all three entering the club 25 Champs to test themselves against each other. Nerves aside, they finished with a very creditable time time of 1:15:36 for a 26.19 mph ride.
Helen, Liz and Claire seemed to have framed themselves better, preparing well and well in advance of the event. Their first piece of preparation was riding the City RC (Hull) 3-up TTT on 4th March to get them used to riding as a team and practice the techniques of TTT riding. They practiced as a team on the A168 too as well as fine-tuning their individual riding. It seems too that on the day of the event they were taking it much more seriously than their male counterparts. Greg Jessop’s photographs explain adequately. Their preparation netted them a time of 1:29:03, 22.235mph. Liz described the experience of riding a National event on social media as entering a parallel universe and also suggested doing the same in 2018. Helen also commented on the event – and perhaps her preparation on the morning of the event was slightly less dedicated than Liz and Claire’s. Although it did seem that Claire had a momentary lapse regarding equipment for the race.
“I got there later than Claire and Liz and having seen some early starters riding out to the start as I got to HQ I was slightly surprised to see our men’s team still relaxing on camping chairs in the sun when I got there! They made it to the start… Just!
“I then realised that both Claire and Liz had brought turbos while I was just going to ride around a bit… Not that I needed to get any warmer! Clad in our new matching skinsuits and arm numbers we had some photos and set off for the start… Then stopped while Liz took her turbo wheel off and put something more suitable on!
“The plan for the ride itself was to set off slower and communicate better and we worked much better as a team than our previous outing, taking the hills steady, eating and drinking and talking about where we were going to change. We stayed pretty tight and with the team behind us DNSing we were past 20 miles by the time anyone passed us.
“Big thanks to the support on the route – it gave us a boost to see you! It was very warm out there!
“The last few miles were a struggle as we tired and overheated but suddenly the finish came into sight before we expected to and we could finally stop and find some shade!
“We then discovered that not only were we not last but the team we beat had been on the podium last year! Really pleased with that.
“It was a brilliant experience to be part of a national championships and based on Liz’s saying that a 50 miles TT is just pedalling, a TTT is just a group ride with your mates…”
Ian Cullen commented that they all shared the pacing well although they all had their moments of suffering, his being the first 10 miles, and were glad to get those aero helmets off after the race to cool down.
Well done to both teams on their performances in a National Championship.
The fastest men’s team was Dan Bigham, Charlie Tanfield and Simon Wilson of Brother NRG WattShop with the only ride inside an hour of 59:36, 33.221mph. The Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire trio of Crystal Lane, Emma Lewis, Joscelin Lowden were fastest women’s team in 1:09:55, 28.319mph.
Who was taking this most seriously? (Photos courtesy of Greg Jessop).
…or The Boys?
Answers on a postcard!
The following photographs courtesy of Jon Hunt.