BtB Riders Are National Champs


BtB women
Team gold for BtB women

On Sunday 12th June, the much talked about RTTC National 50 mile championship took place in Plymouth – an event which daunted some but which proved to be very successful for the intrepid BtB riders.

Ever since the details of the event were announced, this race had been causing plenty of chatter on time trialling forums. Firstly, the location in South Devon meant that for most riders there would be a long journey to get there and the horrible prospect of an uncomfortable stiff-legged drive home afterwards. And then there was the daunting course terrain with over 7,000 feet of climbing and several ascents that many time trialists would feel nervous to attempt without the aid of ropes and crampons. But for many, it was the prospect of a 5.30am start in order to avoid the traffic on the A38 that was the last straw. This wasn’t going to be championship that would be convenient, comfortable or quick!

But for most members of the BtB race team, hardened by many years of successful long distance racing, this was pretty much business as usual! Six members of the women’s team and one member of the men’s team decided to take part – and winning the team gold medal was very much the goal for the day.

Happily, having braved all of the challenges which the race presented (including the deluge of torrential rain which started just after the first riders set off), the BtB Women’s team were rewarded with both gold and silver team prizes. Chris (7th place overall and second in age category), Katja (10th) and Sue (13th) were the fastest women’s team with a time of 6:30:52. Lynne (14th), Clare (15th) and Libby (22nd) were the second fastest team.

Bob A
Bob Awcock is age category winner

BtB’s lone male team member was also rewarded for his efforts. Bob was awarded the age category prize for the 70+ age group. Angela Hibbs won the women’s event in 1:56:02. Ryan Perry won the men’s event in 1:39:50.



National Champ Success for Sue Semple

On Saturday 21st May, a number of intrepid riders defied their advanced years by braving the wind and the rain to take part in the VTTA’s National 10 mile championship on the A1 course at Long Bennington.

The forecast was for heavy rain in the afternoon – and unfortunately on this occasion, the prediction was just about spot on! Just as the first few women set off, the heavens opened and the challenge of being able to see through a soggy visor was added to the joys of dealing with strong and gusty cross winds.

But since these were hoary old veterans, very few riders cried off and the race went ahead with a full field. And at least the traffic seemed mercifully light, thanks to Manchester United who were providing alternative entertainment on the telly. But despite the biblical conditions, BtB’s Sue Semple managed a cracking course PB in 23:58 with a standard of +4.55 (and if you don’t know what that means you are probably too young to need to worry)!

BtB’s Chris Melia decided that 10 miles just wasn’t long enough in such nice conditions and decided to add a small detour through Foston Village, up a steep hill. Her finishing time was 24:07, +4:56 on standard, earning her the ‘foolish old bird’ rider award.

The event was won by 85 year old Ron Hallam with a time of 27:06, +6:41 on standard. Bronwen Ewing was the first woman with a time of 22:28, +6:25 on standard.

(The brighter non VTTA members will probably have worked out by now that rankings in VTTA championships are based on variations to ‘standards’ which are set according to age. Its a system which allows riders over the age of 40 to keep competing year after year on an ‘even playing field’ with younger riders).