Dan Bigham (Brother NRG Wattshop) managed to live up to expectations and add the RTTC National 50-mile Championship to the Team Time Trial and Circuit Championships taken in the previous two weekends. It must be some kind of record. At first it didn’t look as though he would come out on top when at 25 miles he trailed John Dewey (Team Bottrill-HSS Hire) by 46 seconds and Kieron Davies (Drag2Zero) by six seconds on the T502/3 course at Crathorne on Teesside.
But as Bigham told us later it was his first crack at the distance “and I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “The first half I found hard and then I picked it up.” He picked it up enough to run out the winner by 57 seconds from Davies while Dewey came in 1-13 adrift of Bigham.
With three riders in the top 10, Team Bottrill-HSS Hire went away with the team medals for the third year on the trot thanks to Dewey, 1-37-36, Matthew Smith, 1-38-26, and Brett Harwood, 1-41-06.
Riders needed to get inside 50-00 at least for the first 25 miles to have any chance of figuring in the top echelon and it was Danny Grieves (GS Metro), off half way through the field, who was first to manage that with a promising 49-13, but Grieves ended up with a 1-41-56 for 14th spot.
Although it was a fine sunny day, the wind was enough to make it hard enough over the two laps that made up the course for the Cleveland Coureurs CC promotion for the Teesside District of Cycling Time Trials.
We may have discovered the secret of Bigham’s success on Sunday. He had shaved off his beard, to make him become for aerodynamic? Every little helps at speed !
He will be trying to make it four out of four when he rides the 25-mile Championship in August. “After that its back to track work (he won three national titles on the track this year). My time trialling position is pretty much the same as my track position so that helps when I go back to the track.” Bigham said.
NUMBER ONE FOR KATE ALLAN
The women had the pleasure of starting the day off with a 6.30am kick off. It was always going to be Alice Lethbridge in the firing line after that super 100-mile record ride and it was her Drag2Zero team mate Kate Allan who provided the number one challenge. Allan comes from the competitive world of Triathlon, switching from that sport to stick with cycling in 2015. The following year racing was curtailed with the arrival of a baby.
Lethbridge was off in the middle of the field and her opening lap of 55-25 headed the listings back at the event headquarters at Conyers School, with a previous best a 58-10 from Karen Ledger (Team Bottrill-HSS Hire). Ledger’s fellow Veteran Jackie Field (CC Ashwell) was seven seconds slower at that point.
It was Katie Greves (AS Test Team) who unseated Ledger with a 57-11, but it was Allan, last off who raised the stakes with a 20 second beating of Lethbridge at 25 miles.
Would the final `25` alter anything? No, Allan extended her advantage over Lethbridge to 36 seconds at the finish for a 1-52-11 to Lethbridge’s 1-52-47 while Greves remained in third with her 1-53-38.
It was Allan’s first National win, “so I’m very pleased.” she said. “I’ve been going well in training so I knew I had the form. I have done a better `50`, I did a 1-51-03 in the Charlotteville event back in May.
“After that `100` by Alice (Lethbridge) she was going to be the one to beat. It was windy today but once I got my race head on I was fine,” Allan said.
“I’ve got a `25` in Wales this weekend then it’s the National `100`, she added
Then we will get part two of the Lethbridge/Allan competition.