Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sid Latchford Memorial TT

The Weather. Always a topic for discussion at any bike race, but TTs have a particular dependence on the weather. There's nowhere to hide. Some might say at least you don't eat the whatsit off a load of back wheels, but for most that seems to be a relatively minor consideration. It's all about what time you can post and when you're in the wind all the way round, it feels a darn sight worse than a road race. More on that later.

Our riders. And a bloke who nipped down the road for 10 minutes to see what happened

So, to this morning. Two degrees as dawn broke with a brisk Northerly Wind. Not exactly appetising, but we can report with pride that an unprecedented seven TMG riders took to the start line to face the first 4 miles straight into that very headwind.

Matt Rushton had the worst of it, setting off just after 8, followed shortly by Darren Powell. Matt clearly wasn't thinking of anything more than a hard hour of training as he decided to use his winter bike. Darren's a powerhouse, but no mountain goat, and he suffered more than most on the climbs over Bison Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon. Hilly TTs like this are particularly demanding, mainly because just when you settle into that somewhere-around-threshold-on-the-limit zone, the gradient sends you into overload and screws the whole thing up.

For Michael Skipsey and Stuart Auger, this was their first open TT and something of a shock to the system: "I'm not used to pushing that hard for extended periods," said Mick afterwards. "On the plus side, I'm sure I can get a lot better at it, not that I'm desperate to have another go at this precise moment. It's just such ****** hard work!"

Luke and Ross, on the other hand, are masters at the Chrono business and, whilst it was a pretty nasty morning for everyone in the cold and wet, they seemed to enjoy the challenge, coming home with 5th and 8th. "It's nice to have an event close to home," said Ross. "And a lot of decent riders came out to test themselves, which added the local derby feel."

Chris Grange stepped up to the challenge and got nicely under the hour, despite not having tribars, which netted TMG the team prize: "Pleased with that," he grinned afterwards. "Makes it a bit more worthwhile!"

Luke, Ross & Chris - winners of the team prize

 Our thanks go to the organiser Sam Williamson and the team from Hemel Hempstead CC for making such a success of a new [resurrected] event and doing it right on our doorstep. Maybe the weather will be kinder next year...


1. Michael Broadwith  Arctic Tacx 50:03
2. Danny Axford Arctic Tacx 51:23
3. Richard Wood Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 51:55
4. Douglas Coleman CC Luton 52:07
5. Ross Clarke TMG Horizon CT 52:43
6. Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles 52:45
7. Jack Steven East London Velo 52:50
8. Luke Clarke TMG Horizon CT 53:02
9. Jason Gurney Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 53:20
10. Tim Davies Icknield RC 54:56
21. Chris Grange TMG Horizon CT 57:48
36. Darren Powell TMG Horizon CT 1:01:37
38. Michael Skipsey TMG Horizon CT 1:01:59
43. Stuart Auger TMG Horizon CT 1:03:45
51. Matt Rushton TMG Horizon CT 1:07:01

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