The threat of challenging conditions was swept aside as Team Bottrill and Team Swift powered to victories in the National Team Time Trial Championships in Northumberland on Sunday morning.
Thunder and heavy rain in the early hours had cast doubt on the event, but after it cleared up earlier than expected the 30-mile event near Cramlington went ahead over two laps of a challenging course.
Second last year, Team Bottrill-Vanguard went one better this year with Stuart Travis being the sole survivor from 2017. This time he was joined by George Evans and James Rix, who covered the course in 1-03-54 to win by 39 seconds from Cambridge University CC trio of Felix Barker, Sebastian Dickson and John Mulvey. The local GS Metro team of Danny Grieves, Adam Wild and Thomas Prentice took third.
And in the women’s event Team Swift lived up to their name with Kirsty Bramley, Fiona Sharp and Gemma Frost combining well to clock 1-17-53, good enough for a clear win by 3-3 from the Blaydon CC trio of Gemma Hutchins, Joanne Rea and Angela McGurk.
Having been second earlier in the event, the Army CU team had to settle for third in the final women’s result.
The heavens opened at around 2am with heavy thunder which was due to continue until around 8am – past the scheduled start time. But it stopped earlier than expected, and although there was still drizzle and some standing water it was deemed safe enough for the event to go ahead.
“I’m really pleased to get the win. We worked well together as a team, it was fairly fluid,” said George Evans, 20 and from Wrexham. “I hadn’t looked at the course or driven it at all, although the other lads had. So I followed them, and every time there was a roundabout I made sure I wasn’t on the front.”
The winning women’s team, Team Swift, also had to adapt their riding to suit their strengths. But it was power rather than geography which they had to make allowances for.
“Gemma is faster up hills and Fiona and I are better on the flat, so we played to our strengths and put Gemma on the front when we needed it,” said Kirsty Bramley, 43 and from York.
“We’re really chuffed to win, it was a big target for us all. We’ve done one training session together which was good, and we rode an event together at Scorton so were fairly confident we could ride well together.”
* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission.
1. Team Bottrill (George Evans, Stuart Travis, James Rix) 1-03-54
2. Cambridge Univ CC (Barker, Dickson, Mulvaney) 1-04-33
3. GS Metro (Grieves, Wild, Prentice) 1-05-58
1. Team Swift (Kirsty Bramley, Fiona Sharp, Gemma Frost) 1-17-53
2. Blaydon CC (Hutchins, Rea, McGurk) 1-21-26
3. Army Cycling Union (McFarlane, Murray, Gloyn) 1-22-03