DOWSETT AND HOUVENAGHEL RULE
Alex Dowsett (Sky Pro Cycling) and Wendy Houvenaghel (Bike Chain Ricci) both retained their British Time Trial Championship titles on Sunday in Leicestershire and both were named on British Cycling’s long list for the up coming World Time Trial Championships on Monday.
Equally pleased was Espoir’s champion Sam Harrison (100% ME) who was also long-listed along with his team mate George Atkins, runner-up to Harrison on Sunday.
THREE FOR SKY
Dowsett’s win marked a hat trick of wins for Sky; Bradley Wiggins having won the title race in 2010. Houvenaghel’s success was her fourth BTTC win, having already won back in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Dowsett covered the tough 34 miles in 1-11-55, beating last year’s Espoir’s champion Douglas Dewey (Terra Footware) by 2-23 while former hill-climb champion Matt Clinton (MikeVaughan.co.uk) took the final podium place at 5-00.
The undulating course at Hose, north of Melton Mowbray was a surprise to those who had not been over the route, Dowsett remarked that “it would have been nice if you could have found an easier course,” as he accepted the Championship Jersey. “It was certainly a roadman’s course, the hill was a killer,” Dowsett added. “Beforehand I thought an under the hour ride could win, but there was no hope of that.”
Dowsett was not helped by the absence of Michael Hutchinson, Matt Bottrill and Lee Rowe who should have been off before Dowsett, giving something to chase. “Fortunately there were other riders on their second lap so it was not so lonely,” Dowsett said.
While for many the season is drawing to a close Dowsett a busy time ahead of him. “I’ve got two one day events in Canada this coming weekend (the Grand Prix of Quebec and the Grand Prix of Montreal), then the World’s, the Duo Normand and the Tour of Beijing,” Dowsett said.
Houvenaghel was up against her regular opponent, Julia Shaw (drag2zero), who was off two minutes ahead of her. At the finish after 21 miles Houvenaghel had cut the gap to 59 seconds with her winning 48-55, Shaw second with 49-Boels CT), 50-57. “I’m pleased with that, it has been a come-back season for me after breaking my collarbone,” Trott said. “I’ve been Under-23 Champion twice so its good to get a medal this time and I’m getting closer to Julia (Shaw) and I’m only a couple of minutes behind Wendy (Houvenaghel),” she added.
“It was a very technical course, you had to pace yourself to allow for that long hill and the headwind,” Shaw said. “But I felt good even if I did get held up on the fast downhill section. Now I’m hoping for World’s selection, we can have two riders.”
On Monday Shaw was long-listed for the World’s time trial along with Houvenaghel, Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley. Emma Trott was one of those listed for the road race.
Disappointed at being sidelined for the team pursuit at the Olympics, Houvenaghel was pleased with her performance. “It was good to see where I’m at with the World’s Time Trial coming up. This weekend I’m off to ride the Chrono Champenois (Shaw also rides),” Houvenaghel said. As for the future Houvenaghel said “watch this space.”
ONE TIME TRIAL ONE TITLE
You have done pretty well when riding your first time trial you end up the Under-23 champion. That is what happened to 20 year-old Eli Thorogood (Ystwyth CC). A 57-08 was worth ninth place and the Espoir’s Jersey.
“I’m really a triathlete but I kept injuring my legs running, so I thought I’d have a go at cycling,” Thorogood said. “I went over the course on Friday, I don’t live too far away. I certainly didn’t like that hill. I don’t have a time trial bike so I might have done a little better. I have been invited to join Rapha Condor next year, so I’ll give that a go,” Thorogood added.
British Cycling’s 100% ME dominated the Espoir’s title race taking first, second, fourth and fifth with Sam Harrison, George Atkins, Owain Handley and Alistair Slater.
Rapha Condor Sharp’s Richard Handley spoilt the party by taking third place. Harrison’s wining margin was 36 seconds over Atkins while Handley was at 1-05. For most of the event Harrison and Atkins were on level pegging according to British Cycling’s Keith Lambert.
“George (Atkins) was baulked by traffic and he just could not get going again over the last four miles,” Lambert said.
Pre-race favourite Joseph Perrett (PCA Ciclos Uno) was a puncture victim and non-finisher, but like Harrison and Atkins he has been long-listed for the Under-23 Time Trial World’s.
DAVIES ON TOP
The Junior title was taken by 17 year-old Scott Davies (M&D Kinetica RT), his winning 48-21 for the 21 miles putting him 23 seconds ahead of Kristian Woolf (Prestige VC) with Tom Ward (Team Echelon-Rotor) 1-09 back in third place.
Davies was well pleased with his ride; it rounds off a very impressive season for the Welsh youngster. “Most recently I finished fifth overall in the Junior Tour of Wales and have ridden a couple of foreign stage races in Germany and Belgium,” Davies said. Nearer home he won both the 10 and 25-mile Junior Welsh Championships and was second in the National Junior `10` and third in the `25`.
An all-rounder, Davies is looking forward to the Welsh Team Pursuit Championships and “doing a good ride in the Port Talbot Wheelers `25` this weekend.”
Best of the girls was 15 year-old Alice Cobb (Nottingham Clarion) with a 1-00-38. “I have only ridden a club `10` before today,” Cobb said as she proudly displayed her Champion’s jersey.
James Gilfillan (Contre La Montre) was the fastest of all the Masters with a 46-24 for the 21 miles. “I’m really pleased with that, I’ve been riding some longer time trials this season, some `50s` and even one `100`. When I did a 3-57,” Gilfillan said.
Gilfillan won the 30-34 year-old event but was closely challenged by Kevin Tye
(Datateam Allstars) who won the 50-55 age group with a 46-57 to retain his title. Recently Tye also retained his World’s title in Austria.
Datateam Allstars won another two age group titles thanks to former professional Reg Smith and Andrew Meilak. The other age group winners were the ageless John Woodburn (VC Meudon), Richard Glover (CC Ashwell), Peter Greenwood (Clayton Velo), David Pollard (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp), Simon Bridge (Manchester Wheelers) and Ben Anstie (Cadence Cannondale RT).