|Peter Dixon at the WLC ’50’|
At least thirty WCC riders have faced the timekeeper at least once to ride a time trial this year, many of them for the first time.
In the West London Combine we had 51 entries across the 8 events – over 10% of the total. This made us the third most active club. We did, however, have problems supplying our fair share of marshals – a big thank you to Gladys and Ron Purdy and Chris James for stepping forward. Next year please support these events that supply so many local rides for the team.
After last season’s re-writing of the record books by Meurig James (and his subsequent decamping to the USA) it was difficult to see where the fast rides were going to come from this season. Step forward Peter Dixon. Despite having limited opportunity to race, Peter rode personal best after personal best. He won events and placed well in several more. Let’s hope he can continue to thrive next season. He finished the season with PBs of 20:27 for ‘10’, 54:40 for ‘25’, 1:57:04 for ‘50’ and 4:16:48 for ‘100’.
Gill Reynolds mounted another successful, season-long campaign. She won many ladies and vets prizes and competed in national championships and national series events.
Peter Cookson’s season was curtailed by illness, but not before he’d broken the hour for ‘25’ again and placed well in other events.
Stuart Birnie rode sparingly but was always competitive. He rode a ‘100’ in his training shoes – an episode so bizarre that it was featured in Cycling Weekly. He was once again king of the hill climbs with a good performance at the Rollapaluza Urban Hill Climb and a winning ride in the club hill climb championship.
Simon Wicks looked as if he would challenge Stuart through the season after some fast early rides, but decided to end his season early. Jayne Paine’s season focus was elsewhere, but she rode some early season ‘10’s to help hone her form.
Brian Moon rode some early season events but his form wasn’t there. He stopped competing early on to get his health sorted out. Chris James was also dissatisfied with his early season form and finished his season early. I hope you’re both back in training for next year, guys. Ron Purdy persisted throughout the season, but didn’t race that often this year.
Tony Flynn came back to TT’ing with a bang this season, posting some fine results in club events and a few open events.
The road team – Richie Jerome, Rich Cooper and John Williams – rode TTs sparingly this year. I suspect they’re sandbagging in order to wipe up the handicap awards next season.
There were some strong performances from first timers. Chloe Aitken recorded a 26:29 for her first ‘10’. Harmeet Dhiraj produced a 32:40 for ‘10’ and a 1:26:49 for ‘25’. Her sister Balneet returned a 31:05 for a ‘10’ at Hillingdon. Strong man Tom London rode several of the Westerley ‘10’s at Hillingdon with a fastest time of 25:18. Bea Geraghty’s season’s best was 30:43. Kathryn Fairhurst debuted at the spectacular Blenheim Palace closed road TT – how will she follow that?
At the Old Crocks ‘10’ Tim Burrows won the trophy and Jenny Wright took the ladies handicap trophy. Brian Wright, Alan Gallacher and Jim McKay also made rare appearances against the clock.
Russell O’Malley didn’t ride too many TTs, but he was strong when he did ride. He seems to enjoy the ‘50’s. A few other riders have ridden across the radar: Joe Foley and Chris Vesey rode events through the year. Terry Deere rode one of the new Richmond Park TTs and Ludovica Bruno rode an open ‘25’.
So there’s lots to build on for next season. But we need a new Time Trial Secretary as I am leaving the area. The job involves co-ordinating entries and a few marshals for the Combine events. It requires you to keep a record of rides through the season to help decide who wins the trophies. It also gives you the opportunity, if you choose, to run an event. I do think the club should be organising a quality open race with the number of testers we have competing.
It would be great if there was a definitive list of trophies, together with a set of criteria for winning them. This way we could monitor progress through the season and encourage people to compete for season long competitions.
If I’ve missed you out of the report or libelled you, please let me know and I’ll amend it.
Lance Woodman, TT Secretary (lance (at) lancewoodman (dot) co (dot) uk)