Event winner Nick Bowdler Event winner Nick Bowdler

Hounslow & District Wheelers 100 mile Time Trial
Sunday 31st May

Nik Bowdler (Farnborough & Camberley CC) showed himself to be a worthy British Best All Rounder champion when he won the Hounslow & District Wheelers 100 by a margin of almost nine minutes last Sunday.

His time of 3 hours 43 minutes 23 seconds was achieved in a strong north east wind which caused most of the field to suffer and record times well below their best.

Bowdler's ride was not without its difficulties. His chain came off (“It's never happened before.” he said) and he was forced to dismount because it was jammed against the frame. He also had a problem with his bottle cage and dropped two bottles on the road. Luckily he had an ultra experienced minder - Dick Poole, a former Land's End to John O'Groats recordman, and so potential disaster was averted.

Nik Bowdler had been unsure of his form and this was his first long distance event of the year. Last Sunday's ride must have given him the confidence that was lacking.

With Bowdler so far ahead the main competition was for the second place, with three contenders finishing within 1 minute 21 seconds of each other. These were: Aran Stanton (VC St Raphael) with 3.52.13, Hounslow's own Paul Holdsworth who was third with 3.52.46, and last year's winner Paul Dring (Echelon-Spiuk) fourth with 3.53.34.

Holdsworth said after the finish that he had not been given any time checks and regretted not knowing how close the race was for second place.

Stanton was clearly having a good day since he was one of the very few established riders to produce a personal best, achieving an improvement of just over 3 minutes.

“I tried to restrict myself to moderate gears to start with, but after the first lap my top gear (56 x 11, or 135") seemed comfortable except on the climbs”. Amazingly he had spent the previous twelve hours at work on a night shift, so for him this was perhaps the equivalent of an evening event. Aran Stanton is a relative newcomer to long distance time trialling having only a couple of seasons behind him. There is clearly potential for further improvement.

Another notable ride came from the Ladies winner, Lou Collins (TFN Tri Club) who recorded 4.23.04 for her very first attempt at the distance. Her qualifying time was 2.10.43 in a ‘50’, so she rode twice the distance with almost no drop in speed!

Congratulations should also go to Trevor Gilbert for his excellent work as event promoter.

It is sometime said that today there is no enthusiasm for longer distance time trials. With 95 entrants and excellent results there was no sign of this loss of keenness last Sunday.

View the full results here

Chris Lovibond