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An event long battle between defending champion Andy Bason and his Team Pedal  team mate  Nik Bowdler dominated the 2012 RTTC National 12-Hour Championship.

After the day long contest Bowdler emerged the winner by 0.85 of a mile with 301.71 miles to Bason’s 300.86 miles. The final individual men’s medal went to Steve Berry, with 286.96 miles who also led Team Swift to success in the team race, backed by Joel Wainman, 277.40 miles, and Alastair Wareham, 263.16 miles.

 It was the third time since 2007 that Team Swift had take the team honours in the `12` and the fourth team medal for Wainman, also a member of the winning Pete Read squad in 2001.


Top woman was Jill Wilkinson (Port Sunlight Wheelers) who covered 253.80 miles to beat Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers), 240.26, women’s champion in 2009 and 2010.


With some localised rain most riders had their share of wet conditions but generally the day was arm. “The weather wasn’t bad, it was the wind that was a bit of a pain,” Bason recalled.

Regular time checks showed how the contest was fought. Bason got off to a good start leading Bowdler by four minutes after 40 miles, having started 10 mintes behind him.

With 80 miles done Bason was just one minute behind his clubmate, 40 miles on and Bason had caught and dropped Bowdler by a couple of minutes. With 162 miles covered  Bason had 12 minutes in hand over Bowdler with Steve Berry 17 minutes adrift. Over the next 40 miles Bowdler cut his deficit on Bason to six minutes as the finishing circuit was reached. Bowdler had 3 hours and 58 minutes before his 12 hours were, Bason four hours and four minutes while Berry had three hours and 44 minutes to run.

With 30 minutes left Bason’s advantage over Bowdler was just three seconds and that evaporated as time ran out for both with 2008 and 2009 British Best All Rounder Bowdler pulling just over ¾ of a mile clear of Bason to claim the 2012 championship.

“I caught Nik (Bowdler) and then later he pulled me back. I had lost a bit of time thanks to a puncture with about 240 miles done and I was held up a little by traffic and caravans, especially in Melbourne,” Bason said.

Team Pedal Revolution’s hopes of retaining their team medals, won in 2010 and 2011, vanished when their third man, Mark Arnold pulled out after holding around fourth spot for over six hours. “Mark was suffering with back trouble and wisely stopped,” Bason added.

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