Reporter: Leanne Cutler
There was no snow this week and the fog wasn’t thick enough to cancel or put off the bumper field of 43 rides for the HNCC 25 miles 2-up TT.
3 solos and 20 pairs lined up, with a mixture of both aero and non-aero gracing the start line. Frank Turner was timekeeper; Gavin Ashfield and James Spence pushed riders off; and Chris Tribe was our photographer, snapping some excellent action shots, which are all on the Club’s Facebook Group (notably the ‘dual carriage way’ passing of Mr and Mrs Captain).
Guest riders from Stevenage CC, Beds Road CC and Team Sales Engine demonstrated how well promoted and organised this event had been by Club Capain Vatson and TT Secretary Nick Hickman – a formidable pairing on and off the bike!
A record 4 x women pairs started (all non aero) with all but 2 individuals being “TT virgins”. The field gathered with excitement at the prospect of propelling themselves as quickly as possible around the “sporting” Dave Gudgin course. The weather was kind in the end as the fog cleared. Little wind and some sunshine in latter stages made it all the more pleasant with the need to remove jackets.
Some David and Goliath pairings were made. You had to feel admiration (and pity) for Tom Clarke on his road bike trying to hang on to TT giant Andy Herbert, taking to the front to show Herbert the speed at which they should be going … for Clarke not to burst his lungs. The team of Leanne Cutler and Ingrid Matthews (who looked a tad nervous at the start) managed to remain un-lapped until the final approach to ‘Growers RAB’ where John King and Chris Brabrook overtook. This just spurred on an un-lap, but with the final slog up Shuttleworth to go, the ‘Blacksmiths Bullet’ overtook again with no 2nd comeback for ‘L&I Rockets’. The cowbells (and Jane Hickman) encouraged all riders to keep going … and helped them keep record of how many laps were left, with only 1 team straying from the designated route (a miracle in itself). The temptation when sprinting/climbing/crawling* up Shuttleworth Hill 3 times was to detour into the cafe but thankfully all testers decided to wait until 25 miles of fun/torture* before indulging in cake and coffee (*delete as appropriate)
Shuttleworth cafe was filled with the buzz and chatter of those that still had energy to spare afterwards. The Captain’s awards were presented. Aero bars to make you go faster by either 1) eating them there and then for the minty sugar rush – successful or 2) sticking them to your bike – not so successful.
Fastest of the day was Team Sales Engine solo rider Sam Hayes with 1:01:06, just pipping the fastest solo Nomad Nigel Hale at 1:01:27. Freddy Bulmer and Nick Morgan (aka Beaujolais and Visor) were the fastest 2-up team with 1:04:34, also receiving Captain’s award for fastest non aero male team. It is scary to think of those 2 on TT bikes and our TT Secretary is rumoured to be plotting a new rule to ban it. Beaujolais will be looking forward to later in the season in road races when he doesn’t have to stare at Visor’s backside so much. Cutler and Matthews were the fastest (and non-aero) women’s team with 1:14:37. A whole 2 seconds behind the full aero set up of Paul Riley and Nigel Wilson … darn that missed turn … we will get you next year ‘Bus Pass Pistons’! Best Newcomer went to Clarke who needed the chocolate Aero to replenish some calories to cycle home. Lanterne Rouge was awarded to Joanne Elliot and Meline Fletcher (the Pussycat Dolls).
Excellent debuts and times by all those participating and I think everybody was in agreement that it was a ‘cracking event’. I do believe I heard mutterings of ‘I enjoyed it more than I expected’ and ‘I would do it again’… I will hold you all to that!
Hopefully the event introduced newer members into the fun and challenge of Time Trialling, and demonstrated that you don’t need the ‘TT kit’ to have a good time around the course. With the Tuesday evening series fast approaching it would be amazing to see as many out again (especially women), soaking up the atmosphere, miles and speed.
There is also a Medium Gear 72″ competition around the same course at the same time on Saturday 19th March. Those without a Medium Gear machine or who haven’t the faintest idea what this term means are most welcome to ride and will be given a time, even though they won’t be part of the official competition. Any 2-up teams that want to see if they can go better than last time?
|Rider||Club / Team||Rider||Club||Time|
|S Hayes||Team Sales Engine||01:01:06|
|F Bulmer||HNCC||N Morgan||HNCC||01:04:34|
|N Fraser||Stevenage CC||M Vuoght||Stevenage CC||01:05:04|
|N Hickman||HNCC||J Watson||HNCC||01:05:23|
|N Senechal||HNCC||J Cornell||HNCC||01:05:36|
|G Hicks||Beds Road CC||A Smith||Beds Road CC||01:07:26|
|J King||HNCC||C Brabrook||CC Ashwell||01:10:01|
|C Corney||HNCC||J Traynor||HNCC||01:10:30|
|A Herbert||no affiliation||T Clarke||HNCC||01:10:41|
|J Tilley||HNCC||J McPherson||HNCC||01:11:13|
|P Fletcher||HNCC||T Davies||HNCC||01:11:52|
|E Lee-Jones||HNCC||B Ruggles||HNCC||01:11:52|
|N Wilson||HNCC||P Riley||HNCC||01:14:35|
|L Cutler||HNCC||I Matthews||HNCC||01:14:37|
|S Stanbury||HNCC||C McQue||HNCC||01:21:08|
|R Bamberough||no affiliation||S Horwood||no affiliation||01:22:13|
|S Reed||HNCC||D Timms||HNCC||01:23:27|
|C Jones||HNCC||L Jarvis||HNCC||01:23:41|
|G Timms||HNCC||M Reeves||Stevenage CC||01:23:52|
|J Elliot||HNCC||M Fletcher||HNCC||01:30:41|
|N Altham||HNCC||S Evans||no affiliation||off course|