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Steph Mottram (Vive le Velo) and Nick Tarmey (Velo Club Venta) were fastest female and male riders respectively at the National 24-Hour Championship on roads around Cheshire, Shropshire and Wrexham, as tough conditions wreaked havoc with riders throughout the field.
Just 33 of the 54 entrants finished the event, with heavy overnight wind, rain and mechanical issues ending many riders’ hopes of making it through the day-long event.
Second last year, Mottram’s provisional distance of 437.37 miles was well down on her record-breaking performance of 483 miles 12 months earlier, but given the conditions she was pleased with her performance.
Meanwhile, Tarmey was shocked to learn he was leading in his first ever 24-hour event, and pushed on to notch a provisional 516.56 miles.
“That was horrific,” said Mottram shortly after finishing her fourth attempt at the distance. “It was by far the hardest 24-hour event I’ve ever done.
“When I entered I wanted to go for the competition record because I held it for about 20 minutes last year before Chris Murray broke it again. But when I saw the weather forecast and heard about the course being altered because of roadworks, I knew that wasn’t likely.
“It was a very windy night and the course was lumpy, so when it started to rain later in the night it was a real challenge coming down the hills.”
Tarmey – who has written a blog following the build-up to the first 24-hour ride – was shocked when he heard from his wife towards the end of the event that he was leading.
“I thought I was doing OK but no one thing was super, I guess I must just’ve got lucky,” he said. “I wanted to go over 480 miles because that’s what a friend of mine had done, so when I saw I was over 500 miles I was really happy.
“I had been cruising to the finish but when my wife told me that I was leading I thought I had better keep on pressing on.
“The night was wet and windy, but I didn’t think it was cold. A lot of other riders were pulling on their gilets, but I just carried on in my usual skinsuit which felt comfortable.”
National rankings system Spindata had tipped Tarmey to place fifth in the event, but with all four of the riders above him not finishing, it left the way clear for the Winchester-based rider to take victory.
Second in the men’s event was veteran Doug Hart (Ilkley CC) with a provisional 475.52 miles, with Charlie Stewart (HuntBikeWheels.com third, 3.37 miles further back.
And in the women’s event second spot went to Joanna Cebrat (Bury Clarion CC) who covered a provisional 425.23 miles, with Rebecca Wilson (Rye and Dist Wh) third.
Fibrax Wrexham RC were the best team with a combined 1228 miles, while the top tandem was Flying Kippers duo of Donald McLean and Mark Leadbetter with a provisional 388.38 miles.
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