Monday, 12th April 2021 6:30 pm
With Newburians opening their curtains to heavy snowfall in the morning, there was a palpable disenthusiasm amongst the time trialling community pre-noon. With many racers and helpers also involved in the positively arctic experience of the Newbury Velo-hosted veterans' National 15 Mile Championship the day previously, all hopes were on the forecast being correct - the evening would be filled with sunshine.
And much sunshine there was! Whilst some racers may still have the right to use the excuse "it was a tad chilly" if they didn't get the time they wanted, the experience was definitely preferable than those that many had raced in the week prior.
We had a wonderfully mixed field today: all the way from Ethan Kuitjen riding in his first EVER TT having just turned 12 (and what a storming ride he did - finishing with a smile) to our Walbury Hill Climb winner and top performer on the big stage, Matt Coulson. A massive 12% of the field today were represented by under 18s which shows the future of the sport is looking bright (bright pink, actually).
Matt Coulson (Oxford University Cycling Club) showed his prowess by beating the rest of the field by nearly two minutes (his time of 20:38 is the ninth fastest on the Strava segment for the course which, on a cold night, is very impressive indeed). Second-placed Paul Lloyd (Banjo Cycles/Raceware/Specialized) put in a time that on another evening would have seen him at the top of the podium (22:31) but today had to settle for second place. Third place went to Joshua Knowles (Will Houghton Racing Team) who finished just three seconds behind Paul for third place.
We did not have any senior women racing tonight (a bit of a shame - come on Newbury Velo girls!), but this means the juveniles and juniors have a chance to shine! First place went to Freya Eccleston (Palmer Park Velo) who put in an outstanding ride to clock 28:04, with Emma Davies (Newbury Velo) taking second in a highly creditable 30:30. Hero of the evening must be Evie Moran, however: she rode her first time trial this evening to cross the line in 32:31 (and she was grinning her face off - we like to think she'll be back!).
Amongst the Newbury Velo contingent (who made up a whopping 35% of tonight's field), it was Matt Fisher who top the top step in what is becoming an increasingly competitive field amongst the Newbury Velo men. Matt Fisher rode an excellent ride of 23:01, with the incoming prodigy, Rick Cornes*, finishing just seven seconds adrift in 23:08. Tim Davies* clocked 24:38 with Andrew Reardon just two seconds behind in 24:40.
Tonight wouldn't have been tonight if it hadn't been for our wonderful team of volunteers. Glen Knight as event co-ordinator, Rachael Elliott as start timekeeper, Ian Greenstreet as finish timekeeper, Sarah Edwards as finish timekeeper assistant, Jamie Doel as number spotter, Anthony Hackett as start area co-ordinator, Gemma & Caitlyn Davies and Yvonne Wilkins at registration and car park duty. An extra special thanks to Gemma for providing the wonderful Millionaires' Shortbread and Caitlyn for the very special brownies.
We'd also like to thank Andy Tucker, Teresa Robbins and Graham Stent for being out on course and snapping some wonderful pictures which are all available on this page.
Full results can be found here: https://bit.ly/3a7GJYj
*MOMENT OF THE WEEK
This a new sideshow where we feature one "special" occurrence of the night. It might be a comedy unclipping affair, it might be someone bringing odd shoes, it might be a woman "chicking" her partner....BUT....tonight, and (probably not) for tonight only, the Newbury Velo Moment of the Week goes to Rick Cornes and Tim Davies. Rick is fast improving and had put the "fear" into Newbury Velo clubmate Tim Davies (well, he hadn't meant to - but Glen Knight had positioned one behind the other on the startsheet). Tim was left a quivering wreck as he was starting a minute ahead of Rick (where he secretly admitted to the timekeeper he'd be happy to keep him off until halfway) whilst Rick stood triumphantly behind with a stare akin to that of the prematurely retired great German sprinter, Kristina Vogel; eyeing his foe. In the end, both were winners (well, we're softening the blow a bit for Tim): Rick won the duel by exactly 90 seconds, whilst Tim managed to hold Rick off longer than planned (7.15 miles) making him the definite "people's winner".