St Neots Cycling Club 2012 Time Trial Review

The 11.2 mile Abbotsley course was host to the 19 week 2012 Time Trial season for St Neots Cycle Club. As always the course was challenging and demanding, and subject to many changing weather conditions, either in favour of or against the Time Trialists. Note the 7th June which only had 7 riders as against an average of 19 because of the heavy rain.  

We opened the season on 26th April with the last TT on Thursday 30th August. As you will note below the popularity of the event has increased year on year and it is great to see that so many members and guests are prepared to test themselves against the clock. A few members, we know, having being cajoled into taking part are now committed devotees of this event and are spreading the word far and wide.

Go here for the complete 2012 Time Trial Series results

We need, once again, to thank Brian and John, our dedicated timekeepers who turned up in all weathers to make sure that we were able to have our TTs. John sets up all the warning signs around the course to warn drivers to expect to see cyclists and then he and Brian take the names and cash and work out the order of the cyclists to dispatch them at one minute intervals. After that, they get a few minutes respite before the first riders arrive back, and numbers and times are recorded. Then the maths begins to establish who has the fastest handicap time, allocate the points based on the number of entrants that night and then come out of the car to be mobbed by cyclists keen to know how they performed. There is a lot to do and without the support of Brian and John we would not have a TT evening.

This was another interesting season:

•    56 riders took part over the 19 week season - 48 members and 8 guests
•    We had 13 riders in 2010, and 31 in 2011 so we are almost doubling the participation year on year which is  great news for the club. Will we make it 100 riders in 2013. Early indications are that 2013 will be another good year with many of the old lags talking up their chances and many of the new members looking to test themselves on the course.
•    There were some great individual performances across the 19 weeks and on one night we had 19 PBs:

o    Jane Stapleton, probably our most committed member, who travels from Greenwich by train and back every Thursday to compete was our leading lady followed by her sister Ruth and Ann Lawrence. This was the first time in many years that we have had one female rider, never mind three.
o    Jane started with a 35.57 and took almost 5 minutes from this time to achieve a 31.04 and had she attended a few more TTs would have pushed Steve Pleasance for the Handicap Trophy
o    Rob Black took almost 4 minutes from his opening time and was also in contention for the Handicap Trophy
o    Steve Pleasance , the Handicap trophy Winner , took 4 minutes out of his opening time over the season
o    Steve Muchmore bought himself a new bike in August and look what happened - he beat the 30 minute barrier
o    Spare a thought for Steve Blows who for the second season in succession has been within 3 seconds of getting under 30 minutes and he is determined to achieve this without aero bars and specialist wheels in 2013
o    Jonathan Pang worked hard all season attending all the TTs and delivered a consistent set of times but not quite enough to take the trophy
o    Ashley Cooper managed almost 4 minutes improvement which must be down to saving his legs by driving to the course
o    Adrian Lewis was another who worked hard all season to improve by almost 4 minutes
o    Adrian Bloxham, Adrian Lancaster and Chris Preston all took at least 2 minutes out of their opening times over the season.
o    Leon Bradford at a mere 70 years of age continues to impress with a great set of times and taking almost 4 minutes from his season opening. In his day, according to old SNCC TT records, Leon was a 22 minute man for 10 miles.
o    Our other “grandee” at 68 , Geoff Smith , should be back after his winter training in France to continue show the young bucks just how it should be done on the course
o    Morgan Bacon and Tom Stead are at the other end of the age spectrum at 16 and we look forward to Tom pushing the old boys and Morgan continuing to improve his times
o    Of our guests it was good to see some old friends in Dom Whitehead, Karl Hiner, Kevin Stokes, Stephen Halsall and also Ian Turner who has now seen the light and joined us for 2013 and should be pushing Richard Hancock this year for the fastest TT.
o    Richard turned in a 25.23 time which is an average speed of 26.60 mph and the Club decided to award a new trophy for the fastest club TT. Congratulations to Richard.
o    Congratulations to those who went under the 30 minute barrier for the first time:

Wayne Tunnah      28.44
Adrian Taverna     29.06
Steve Rodley        29.37
David Lindsay       29.47
Steve Muchmore   29.58

And to those who were under 30 minutes all season

Richard Hancock     25.23
Justin Lomas          26.55
Tim Pennell            27.46
Tom Stead             27.50
Richard Ostler        27.57
Chris Ritchie          28.10
Mick Lawrence       29.11

Handicap Trophy
The key to winning the Handicap trophy is to be consistent with your times and to keep improving through the season and also to hope that when you have a good time that there is a large field so that you are able to claim a large number of points for that evening.

The early running was set by Jonathan Pang with David Lindsay and Wayne Tunnah also in contention. In July Steve Rodley had his wheel in front but then missed a few TTs to be replaced by a chasing peloton of Jonathan, Rob Black, Jane Stapleton and Richard Hancock.

Biding his time and assessing the conditions very well was Steve Pleasance who started to deliver some improved times that allowed him to take maximum points on several evenings. He was pushed hard at the end by Steve “new bike” Muchmore and Jonathan - however Steve P managed to hold off the young usurpers and win the trophy with 178 points (65 points won the trophy in 2011, so with more riders, more points).

Ashman Trophy

The Ashman Trophy (twice round the circuit) was contested by 17 riders this year and won by Andrew Poodle, a new member who had joined onlty a couple of weeks before and who lifted the famous old trophy first contested in 1938. Well done, Andrew.

Hill Climb Trophy

Richard Ostler continued to hold his form at the Annual  Hill Climb event contested by 14 riders with Richard for the third year in succession winning the title.

2012    Roll of Honour

Handicap Trophy Winner      Steve Pleasance     178 points
Fastest TT Time      Richard Hancock     25.23
Ashman Trophy     Andrew Poodle     72.37 ( Handicap 25.30)
Hill Climb Trophy     Richard Ostler   

Click here for the complete 2012 TT results