Reporters: Nick Hickman, Leanne Cutler
Photos: courtesy Davey Jones
Despite a large Hitchin Nomads team not being able to ride the Team Sales Engine 10 miles Time Trial on Saturday afternoon due to the Highways Agency threat of road works, the Club’s testers were competing in two other Open events over the weekend.
The top performance was without doubt that of Leanne Cutler, who rode the Lea Valley CC event around the E2/25 course near Newmarket on Saturday. She achieved a new Club Women’s Record for the 25 miles distance, crossing the finish line in 01:02:04. This beat the previous record by a massive 00:01:57, a record she had set herself last year. She has made an excellent start on the Women’s British Best All Rounder competition, which is based on the average speeds at the 25 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles distances.
Leanne’s records her thoughts on the event:
With heavy rain overnight and showers forecast it threatened to be a damp afternoon on the E2/25. The drive up the A11 and A14 confirmed the inner lane had standing water, exacerbated by the large number of heavy goods vehicles.
After sign on, my taxi service and mechanic drove to parking close to the start. Following a relaxed preparation and warm up I was told I had 4 minutes to get to the start. Oops, cutting it a bit tight? Nah, I was there with 2 minutes to spare. At 15:09 number 69 was off. The road had dried and I was greeted with a 12 mph headwind. Nervous of blowing up early and with coach Doyle’s nagging (I mean instruction) about maintaining a high pedal cadence I tried to keep above 85rpm. As I approached the turn at Four Went Ways roundabout I had been passed by numbers 70, 71, 72, 73 and 74. Not good, but for the first time on this course I didn’t have to stop at the roundabout due to traffic. That was a bonus but I needed to compose myself and look my best for Davey Jones’ camera. At the half way point I had clocked up 34 min. I certainly wasn’t setting the pace alight. Perhaps I hadn’t realised how much a tail wind would be a factor until I started to fly on the return leg. As the miles ticked down I started to believe I might get in around “one-o-three”. With 5 miles to go a long “one-o-two” could be on the cards, which was well above my prior expectations. The final mile and I was now pushing to get the long “one-o-one”, forgetting that the course is actually 25.2 miles. As I passed the chequered flag I remembered why I loved this discipline and the course. Yes, the heavy, fast-moving traffic may not be to everybody’s taste but for me the speed, thrill and flatness of this course cannot be rivalled.
My 01:02:04 time knocked 00:01:57 off my personal best and last years women’s Cub Record. I also beat the Women Veteran’s Club Record. The coaching of Simon Doyle is clearly making good and puts me on a firm footing for BBAR challenge this year. If that isn’t a high enough goal it appears those around me have set me a sub-hour target for 25 miles by year end. A dream perhaps?
Lea Valley CC put on a superb event and my partner Jason and son Ethan certainly enjoyed the cakes and crisps afterward. I was good and had a banana though! Next stop F1B/50 in May.
Early Sunday morning and the boys were out, competing in another 25 miles event. This time on the F1B/25 course from Tempsford, down the A1 to the Baldock Services roundabout and back. The conditions were bright and sunny if rather cold and with a light head wind to the turn, which gave a nice push on the home leg. The event was hosted by our friends at Beds Road CC, who did a superb job as always and posted the results by lunch time, which must be a record in itself.
Julian Pegg and Nick Hickman went under the hour. Jon Traynor achieved a personal best and Nigel Wilson a course best.
Pegg 00:59:12, Hickman 00:59:57, Traynor 01:05:25, Wilson 01:06:12