Eastern District Cycling Association 100 mile time trial championship – 17 July 2016

Eastern District Cycling Association 100 mile time trial championship – 17 July 2016 – course b100/4 – Bruce Williams
Eighty time triallists duly turned up to compete in the EDCA ‘100’ two Sundays ago, held on the B100/4 course on the A11, which holds the prospect of fast times given helpful weather conditions.  I also turned up to carry out marshalling duty on behalf of the NNW as required, making it to the Morley village hall hq before 6 am with the first rider off at 6.06 am – no wonder road cyclists think that testers are a strange lot.  At least I went out on the day in what Mike P referred to as my ‘vintage’ car, so I had some sort of excuse.
The course was slightly revised last year, with the start now at the Spooner Row junction before heading south west to turn at Snetterton – a turn consisting of 4 or 5 roundabouts – in order to retrace north east on the A11 to make the top end turn, as usual, at the Browick road / Mulbarton junction (where I marshal).  In simple terms, it is like a 25 mile course x 4 to make up the full distance (and all on dual carriageway) thus I have the onerous task of ticking off the riders four times at the top turn, and noting the approx times of the leading riders, in order to ensure that all have covered the requisite route and distance.  You need training and strong psychology for work like this but, sadly for the EDCA, they have to make do with me.  Mind you, some of the other marshals really need checking out.
Contenders in the men’s event included Mark Turnbull of TORQ Performance and Ian Hollbrook of Stone Wheelers, both travelling some distance to compete in this event as part of their BAR attempts for the season, with EDCA top performer, Daniel Bloy (Team Velovelocity) also going for the win.  Other senior EDCA riders included Dave Green of TVV, with several more notable TVV riders present including Ben Keeley, Andrew Leggett and 2nd claim NNW club member, Laurence Wright.  Not much doubt where the team prize would end up with such a group.  Laurence was doing his 2nd ‘100’ of the season having produced a ride of 3 hours 48 minutes (3.48) in the ECCA ‘100’ on the Newmarket A11 course a few weeks earlier. 
Daniel Bloy was doing his 2nd ‘100’ in 7 days, having competed in the National ‘100’ mile championship in Stockton on Tees the previous Sunday.  These men and women are fit and strong, but I could not help but wonder what effect this would have on his performance with another tough event coming so quickly.  I do not recall riders doing two hundreds on successive weekends in my day, but times have changed and Daniel has made clear that he is in training for his first 12 hour, and so first tilt at a top BAR placing, this year.  Although he has ridden this event a few times in recent seasons, Charlie Nurse of the NNW was not present this year, focussing his training and attention on performance in the shorter distance events.
Contenders in the women’s event included Dr Katja Rietdorf of Born to Bike and Jill Wilkinson (wife of 12 hour competition record-holder, Andy Wilkinson – I believe that Jill also has the 3rd or 4th highest women’s 12 hour mileage behind the late Beryl Burton OBE) of the Chester Road club.
Early morning conditions looked ideal with mild to warm temperatures and low wind speeds.  I was thinking of fast times and lots of pb’s.  However, temperatures rapidly increased to 25-28 Dec C combining with high humidity and the wind got up significantly making for a tough north westerly leg up to Browick road and a fast return in the Snetterton direction. All in all, a tough day for a ‘100’.
In the circumstances, the winning time of Mark Turnbull at 3.36.59 (average speed of 27.65mph) was remarkable, with Daniel Bloy second with 3.38.11 and 52 year old vet, Dave Green, third in 3.40.42.  Daniel has been about 5 minutes faster on this course a year or two ago when weather conditions were more favourable, but the event the previous week may also have been a factor.  Doing his first EDCA ‘100’ for a few seasons, Laurence produced a solid 3.53.02 (a personal best for him on this course) to finish in 12th place, commenting that he was struggling badly the last 20 miles, not having the regular racing in his legs of some of his rivals and contemporaries.  Several of the TVV men are evenly matched with Ben Keeley producing a very fine 3.50 and Andrew Leggett edging out Laurence by seconds having trailed him with 15 miles to go.
Katja Rietdorf, a university lecturer originally from Berlin, won the women’s event with a fine 4.09.55 (an average speed of 24mph and 32nd overall) ahead of Jill Wilkinson with 4.12.23.  John Golder, 63, of Chelmer CC (he promotes a number of very popular ECCA events on the E2) finished in a time of 4.08.24, commenting rather bravely on the TT Forum that he ‘didn’t get chicked’ !  Katja, aged 45, responded that she would hunt him down, or words to that effect.  Ah well, John, look on the bright side – there are no penalty shoot outs in time trials.  For the avoidance of doubt (and please do not write in to our editor) I would not have had the courage to use John’s wording, but I sadly confess that I admire the man who does.
Third placed woman was Mary Bower, Chelmer CC, with 4.17.54, about 5 minutes slower than her time of the previous year, because of the heat and windy conditions this time around, whilst Jennifer Smart of VC Norwich was well pleased with her time of 4.24.57 in her first ever ‘100’.
Katja is the current National 12 hour champion, a winner this season of team championships in both the ‘100’ and ‘50’ distances and is contender for a high finish in this year’s women’s BAR.  The British Best All Rounder is based on times and aggregate average speed, for women over the ‘25’, ‘50’ and ‘100’ mile distances (for men it is the ‘50’, ‘100’ and the 12 hour events).  Despite its name, it is presumably open to non British Nationals as I note that Jasmijn Muller, resident of the UK for some years, was the women’s BAR champion in 2014, despite being a Dutch National !  This much I know to be true because she told me – after I had attempted to speak to her in my not very good German a couple of years ago ! 
For the avoidance of doubt, I am no expert in CTT rules and nor am I complaining !  Please do not write into the editor.
This coming weekend features the National ‘25’ mile time trial championships for women on Saturday and men, on the A11 course in Norfolk, on Sunday.  These two 25 mile championships are regarded as the blue riband event of the time trialling season so to have the men’s event back in Norfolk promoted locally is a bit of a coup for the EDCA.