Team Champs again! RTTC 100 miles

Sue 2016 National 100 mile TT
Susan Semple – Photograph courtesy of Martin and Alison Purser

This year’s event was hosted by Stockton Wheelers Cycling Club. And what a marvellous job they did. Big thank you to Colin Whitefield, Chairman and Doug Howes, Event Organiser and all the wonderful volunteers.

In 2014 I entered my first 100 mile TT, the Anfield event. Loved the atmosphere but hated the ride especially as I missed the club record by 74 seconds. Couldn’t leave it at that so entered the BDCA 100 later that year. Club record secured, time from retire from100s.

In 2015 I joined Born to Bike – Bridgtown Cycles racing team and learnt their aim for 2016 was to field teams for each of the National events. So that is how I once again find myself on a start line for a 100.

6:49am – 5. 4. 3. 2. 1…… here I go again.

Conditions were pretty good, 17 degrees and a slight cross wind. Oh wait, make that more of a headwind once out on the A19.

Team mates Clare Campbell-Smith and Lynne Biddulph were already out on the course starting at 6:34am and 6:40am. I was closely followed by Katja Rietdorf off at 6:53am. Sadly Jacqueline Hobson wasn’t able to join us today.

So my plan was to push on the way out and enjoy the return and repeat. Simple!

The course was slightly more draggy on the way out than I expected but I was comfortably tapping out a nice rhythm, my average speed was lower than I expected by the turn but I’d make it back on the return, which was indeed enjoyable, well sort of.

First 50 miles done, just one more lap to go. 2nd bottle and gel handover successfully done. Great big thank you to hubby Alastair Semple for being my support, couldn’t have done it without him. Now back out onto the A19. Flipping Eck! Who’d turned the wind up? This previously draggy section which would take me to the 75 mile point felt hillier and my average speed started to drop. No problem, I’ll make it up on the homeward section, I kept telling myself. At around 74 miles I started with a vicious cramp all the way down my inner left leg, ouch! I decided I needed a brief stop at the final bottle and gel handover, not long but enough to help the leg relax.

Tailwind had increased, traffic had increased, so I was now feeling confident I could regain what I’d lost and beat my target of a sub 4 ½ hour ride time. All was going to plan until around 15 miles to go where I started to feel my energy levels dropping. And where had the hill come from, it wasn’t there on the first loop. Miles 90 to 95 were the worst, I actually thought I wouldn’t be able to finish as the cramp had returned. I kept getting out of the saddle in the hope to alleviate the pain. I took one last drink and then look at the computer and saw 96 miles, now at least I knew I could finish. But could I do it in the time I’d set myself, I daren’t look.

Slip road approached, yeah! Village approached, woohoo! Where on earth was that finish line? Suddenly I saw it and further down the road I could see Alastair jumping up and down, I knew I’d done it, a sub 4 ½ . Official time 4:26:42

Not only had I finished so had the rest of the team too.

Katja 4:26:34
Lynne 4:29:53
Clare 4:41:12

The next question was, had we done enough to win the Team Award? After a long and agonising wait it was finally confirmed we had indeed won, the joy was overwhelming.

A grand day out. Improved my 100 time by 5 minutes and 43 seconds. Improved my 2014 BBAR average speed and was once again part of the winning team in a National Event.

Big thanks Nopinz, OTE and Beet It without them I would never made it through the 100 miles.

And a great huge thanks has to go to all my team mates, those who rode and those who didn’t because without them I would never had entered and I wouldn’t have achieved what I have done today.

Top Three Results:

Hayley Simmonds (AeroCoach) 3:46:37
Angela Hibbs (Fusion RT Fierlan) 3:49:30
Bronwen Ewing (Rye & District Wheelers CC) 3:59:32

Ryan Perry (Langdale Lightweights RT) 3:23:52
John Dewey (Team Bottrill) 3:25:46
Richard Bideau (Pendle Forest CC) 3:26:24

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