FEATURE: Carpenter builds solid set of honours

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Angela Carpenter dominated the veteran time trial scene last season, taking a host of honours and record times.

Despite living on the south coast the 52-year-old travelled across the country in search of titles, winning VTTA National Championships over 10, 15, 25, 30 and 50 miles.

Alongside this she has set new national age records across all of the five distances including clocking a time of 20-27 for a 10.

“Having won the VTTA 50 and 15 National Championships outright I thought I would challenge myself to see how many National Championship cups I could get my name on,” said Carpenter.

“There was a lot of travelling involved with living on the south coast but my efforts were fruitful. I didn’t really have target times for the season other than to ride faster.

“I always simply give it what I have on race day and see where that gets me. Having said that I am of course delighted with what I have achieved and have exceeded what I ever thought would be possible for me.

“I am pleased to have achieved a number of strong performances. I race a lot as that’s the fun bit so it is always going to be impossible to be in top form for all events.”

Carpenter said her favourite performance of 2021 came in The Viking 50 incorporating the VTTA National 50-mile Championships.

The event took place on the out and back F2/50 near Cambourne over almost four laps of the course along the A428.

Carpenter took a clear victory setting a winning time of one hour, 46 minutes and 34 seconds.

“It was the sixth fastest time ever by a woman, and achieved at age 52, on a course and day that was not particularly fast - so I’m told,” Carpenter added.

“This gave me my second VTTA National Championship title outright. This time was backed up two weeks later with a 1-47 on an extremely windy Breckland 50.”

However, the one ambition which eluded Carpenter last season was the BBAR over three distances.

Over two distances the veteran was quickest female with a 25-mile time of 51-12 and 50-mile time of 1-46-34.

Carpenter said she would have also like to have taken the BBAR over three distanced but missed out on the 100-mile distance.

“After riding such a fantastic 50 time I turned my attention to the BBAR so my next big goal was to ride a strong 100,” added Carpenter

“I had plenty in the tank for this having had a great winters training.

“However, numerous bike failings and a stressful building/modernisation project meant I had to put my challenge to win the BAR title to bed.

“A bitter pill with the 50 and 25 times. I revised my goals and created a fresh challenge. Next season I would like to nail that strong and fast 100, and will no doubt be seen at a few of the National Championship events.”

Despite her success this season Carpenter has only been on the time trial scene for the last four seasons since her first event in 2017.

Taking part in the Velo Club St Raphael event in February 2017 it was a win at the first attempt for the veteran, clocking a time of 48 minutes and 46 seconds on her road bike in the 18-mile event.

Carpenter said it was only due to the introduction of the road bike category that she attempted her first open time trial.

“It was great that South DC had introduced a separate road bike category in 2017 so I thought I’d give it a go and see if I enjoyed it,” added Carpenter.

“Clearly I enjoyed the pain and with a few more sporting road bike time trials under my belt and winning the South DC sporting series Spring Cup I invested in my first TT bike, doing my first open time trial on this at the end of April 2017.

“…a3crg gave me invaluable support and inspiration to set me on my path.”

With the veteran time trial scene booming Carpenter said that the beauty of testing yourself during a time trial continues to attract competitors of all ages.

“With a huge proportion of the time trial community being over 40 and the range of friendly competition, the veteran scene remains strong and enthusiastic,” she added.

“Many of us enjoy testing ourselves whether that is locally or nationally, against both our peers and the wider field, and enjoy the amazing spirit of the TT community.

“There are some incredible performances being achieved amongst the vets of all ages which I find inspiring.

“Many are working hard behind the scenes to keep our sport and competition alive which is always appreciated.”

* All reports and features are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission. This feature by Ben Goddard.