Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Thornton 30 Mile TT Results

Time Trial Battles

‘In war…’ said Neville Chamberlain, ‘…there are no winners but all are losers’. Fortunately the opposite applies in bicycle time trialling. From the standpoint that some riders are faster than others, there are of course conventional winners, but from the standpoint that each rider battles with himself or herself, first to summon up the courage to enter the contest, and then to find the immanent mental and physical resources, the animal stamina, the power to endure, the can-do spirit to complete the course, makes every rider a winner over him- or herself.

And thus it was on Sunday 15 May 2011 when thirty-five riders (two of whom rode a tandem tricycle) battled successfully against northerly headwinds and 30 miles of the old and new A2070/A259, between Kingsnorth and Brookland, to complete the VTTA Kent Group championship – a ride prepared, administered and marshalled largely with Thornton Road Club assistance. Of the bicycle riders, 25 were male veterans (average age 57.4 yrs), 3 were female veterans, and 5 were seniors (one female and four male). Average male vet time for the course was 1hr:21min:43sec while the fastest male in any category – Andrew Meilack, Data Team Allstars – took 1:08:33. The best male performance against veteran standard was that of Alan Rowe, De Laune Cycling Club, who took 1:18:41 but at 72 years of age, gained 0:21:48 improvement on his vet standard. How do they do it?

The best male Thornton Road Club rider from two entries was John Laker at 1:18:21 (0:07:37 better than vet standard), while the best female TRC rider, also from two entries, was Deborah Gasking at 1:48:31 (no improvement over vet standard). Bernardette Conefrey (San Fairy Ann CC) at 1:27:50 was the fastest female rider overall.

Those TRC men and women who manned the marshalling points, and starting and finishing points, also served the cause, and both envied and admired the heroic performances of participants. For those who like graphics, I show below the principal results of the ride in summary statistical form. Make of it what you will.

Eric Bates