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Joe Skipper and Vicky Gill were crowned National 12-Hour Championship winners after the 2019 title race was staged by CC Breckland in Norfolk on Sunday.
Skipper, the 31-year-old Team Skipper rider from Norwich, clocked a provisional 309.52 miles to take the title in his first ever attempt at the half-day event, while 38-year-old Winchester resident Gill was also tackling a 12-hour for the first time and covered a provisional 276.38 miles to win the women’s title.
His 309 miles was around six more than Andy Jackson (AeroCoach), while Mark Smith (Crawley Wheelers) took third, just 0.83 miles behind, provisionally.
And in the women’s event Gill’s 276.38 miles was around ten miles more than National 24-Hour Championship winner Christina Murray (Army Cycling), while Wisbech Wheelers’ Becky Taylor was another four miles back in third spot.
In the team category, Arctic Aircon won the men’s prize, while the women’s title went to Lovelo Racing.
A triathlete who is recovering from an injury which has ruled out running for now, Skipper was secretly targeting the national competition record, and may well have succeeded but for a wrong turn.
“I wanted to try and break the competition record so I was paying attention to that after five or six hours as it looked like it was on, but the finishing circuit was slow so I wasn’t sure I had done enough,” he said.
“I had mapped out the course and was following that rather than the signs, and turned too early before one of the roundabouts. I just wasn’t paying attention which was annoying, as if I had been following the marshals I would’ve been OK.
“I definitely would’ve for the record if it wasn’t for that, my Garmin said I had done just short of 325 miles.”
Meanwhile, Gill enjoyed her first half-day grueller.
“It was really fun! It was my first one and I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I had my expectations of what I wanted to do, but everything was a bonus.
“I wanted to finish in one piece and challenge the other riders, because there were a lot of strong ladies there who had ridden the National 24.
“I was also aiming for the competition record which obviously I didn’t get, but having done my first 12-hour I now know it’s achievable for me.
“I’m not going to moan about the weather too much because I wanted a challenge, but I just feel really sorry for my team-mate Liz [Powell] who was blown off and broke her leg.
“It was gusty, but we were lucky it wasn’t the day before because it was much worse then.”
The British Ironman champion, Skipper will now target Ironman Wales and Ironman Hawaii as his recovery from injury is nearly complete.
And Gill is now looking to add the National 25 and National 10 titles to the National 100 and National 12-Hour she has already secured this year.
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1. Joe Skipper (Team Skipper) 309.52
2. Andy Jackson (AeroCoach) 303.86
3. Mark Smith (Crawley Wheelers) 303.03
Team: Arctic Aircon
1. Vicky Gill (Drag2Zero) 276.38
2. Christina Murray (Army Cycling) 266.37
3. Becky Taylor (Wisbech Wheelers) 262.03
Team: Lovelo Racing