This morning (October 18th) saw 9 riders represent Slipstreamers in the 2nd Closed Circuit National Championship Time Trial at Thruxton. An event which is certainly growing in popularity which saw almost 200 riders take part on the 11.6 mile (18.6km) course. The spread of rider ages – the youngest being 10 and the oldest 76 – and ability – from novice riders to world champions and former British Best All Rounder title holders. You may be the best or the worst in the world, but invariably you all prepare yourself for racing in the same car park at the same time.

Getting ready in the car like everyone else

Getting ready in the car like everyone else

The conditions this year were almost ideal for the event – even though it’s mid way through October the temperature was a mild 15 degrees with a light breeze that would not prevent too many problems on a circuit course. 43 youth riders had entered this year, with Abby leading the way as second off at 09:01 and Nathan last off at 09:21:30. An administrative error had seen him slotted into the end of the field. The quality of the startsheet looked a bit tasty too – a relatively local ride for Fareham Wheeler’s Caitlin Peters, a good day out for Scarborough Paragon’s Louise Scupham, as well as ex-Slipstreamer Sam Henning to ride against High Wycombe’s George Clark.

Sign-on this year was held in the Goodwood suite – a suitable facility with ample chairs, tables, refreshments and toilets all in close proximity, as well as the very wide results board, around which everyone would be gathered as the day went on. Timing chips and goody-bags were handed out to all riders – each bag contained some Planet-X freebies – including a beanie hat that almost everyone adorned immediately. As the start time drew near, riders completed their reccy lap, then settled down to initiate their own individual warm-up.

The start times soon came and went, and once the Slipstreamers were on course it was now down to them to count their laps and do their best. No disasters for our riders – one forgot to wear a timing chip but no panic as the manual timing system is always a back-up! One poor chap from Lea Valley forgot to enter the pit lane to finish and caused great excitement as he doubled back the wrong way down the start lane and potentially into the path of finishing riders – the marshaling team bringing him to a halt before any damage was done.

Thruxton is a great venue – with good spectator facilities making it ideal to get a real feel for the spirit of time trialing. At moments, it was so quiet and so close to the riders, you could hear their laboured and controlled breathing whilst empathising with the efforts of the rider. It is likely that the event will move to another circuit next year, but this is an event I would encourage all youth Time Trial riders to watch out for.

Two year old Louisa Marie Storey gave out additional handshakes

Two year old Louisa Marie Storey gave out additional handshakes

As you would expect, Slipstreamers dominated the results. The age group winners were:

  • Age 12 Girls – Abby Old (36:00)
  • Age 12 Boys – Oisin Murphy (31:52)
  • Age 13 Girls – Jessica Henning (33:19)
  • Age 13 Boys – Tom Portsmouth (28:22)
  • Age 15 Girls – Savannah Hewson (32:14)

All the above should now receive their invites to the RTTC Champion’s Night awards and dinner, where their awards will be presented officially, On the day, only presentation medals were handed out and back in again – just for the photos.

Although missing out on medal spots, the other riders recorded:

  • Jamie Wimborne (27:58)
  • Peter Hewson (30:22)
  • Sam Farman (29:54)
  • Nathan George (30:51)

Overall, the youth winners were George Clark (24:10) who managed to take just 9 seconds from Sam Henning (24:19) with Louise Scupham for the Girls. The event was organised by members of the Antelope RC with members of the CTT board in attendance. Please see the Gallery for photos of the event, reproduced courtesy of Ian Portsmouth.