Alice Lethbridge sets new national record in 100-mile time trial
- Credit: Archant
Two fine riders duelled in the sun in the East District Cycling Association 100 mile time trial and the result was a new national competition record of 3:42:03 for Alice Lethbridge of the Drag2Zero team, writes Fergus Muir.
It was a gripping morning for those following progress – the established cyclist and 12 hour record-holder Lethbridge pitted against Norfolk professional triathlete and occasional time-triallist Kimberley Morrison.
Conditions on the Snetterton-Browick course were undoubtedly good with little wind at the 6am start and what there was later on coming from a direction that helped riders up the difficult drag away from the Snetterton turn. However it soon became hot and keeping up hydration levels was vitally important.
Morrison was slightly up on Lethbridge on their first time at Wymondham at 18 miles, but next time, 40 miles, Lethbridge was fastest and by 62 miles she had exactly one minute’s advantage.
By 84 miles the gap was 1:31 and at the finish Lethbridge beat her own record by 34 seconds to set a new women’s record.
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Morrison finished in 3:44:50 while third place went to Becky Murley of Wisbech Wheelers Murley whose time of 3:58:53 would have been headline news on any other day.
As it is she should be women’s 100 mile champion of both the East District CA and the Eastern Counties CA .
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However it must be emphasised that official results were not available at the time of writing and all times and awards quoted are provisional – more so than usual.
Alice, a 32-year-old teacher, had an eventful ride. A gear-shifter came loose and, while still on the move she had to rob some tape from elsewhere on the bike and secure it. Later she had to cope with a tri-bar coming loose.
She says that 100 miles is her favourite distance and that she does not like racing on hot days – while at the same time acknowledging that some of her best results have come in such conditions.
Men’s winner was Charles Mitchell of Portsmouth road club A3crg whose time was 3:26:04. The East District Championship looks to have been won by Ben Stancombe of VeloVelocity 3:32:11. Probable Eastern Counties CA Champion is Kevin Baumber (Shaftesbury CC) 3:46:55.
Fastest member of the Orwell Velo was Simon Boyle (4:21:35) and from the Wolsey RC Andy Ellis (4:36:45). Fastest from West Suffolk Wheelers were Dale Sturman (3:51:51) and Mandy Bunn (4:25:15).
Times by older riders catching the eye included 4:46:26 from 69 year old Graham Mann and 5:22:07 from Peter Horsnell – aged 88.
John Golder finished with 3:57:22 on his computer, on the eve of his retirement from work. His rivals must be wondering what John will do when he has more time to train.
Among the helpers were CC Breckland members Mark Fairhead and Don Saunders who had ridden through Friday night to successfully complete the Hereward the Wake 300 kilometre (192 miles) Audax ride based at Great Dunmow. Another participant summed up the event “Lovely lanes, great company and a gorgeous sunrise.”
Temporary traffic lights scuppered the VC Baracchi road race, but there was good win for Pedal Power Ipswich rider Jack Hardwick in the St Ives CC evening event.
A break went on the first lap, but proved too big to survive. Next lap a smaller break escaped, to which Hardwicke and teammate Gabriel Key were able to cross.
This group worked well and built a lead of two minutes. Approaching the finish Andy Taylor (VC Norwich) attacked. Hardwicke responded and took the flag, with Dale Johnson third. Key was fifth and another local rider Ian Perry (Velo Schils) was eighth.
In the Suffolk CRS, fifth round, Jake Crossley won the Under 16s from Arthur Hitchen of Ipswich BC with Charlie Johnson (Ipswich CSC) third and Martha Lebentz Hadleigh CC) top girl. In the Senior races there were repeat wins for Charlie Wright, Rebecca Johnson and Paul Hanks.