VTTA 100 mile National Championships
Sunday 16th August

Two Hounslow & District Wheelers members had successful rides in the VTTA 100 championship last Sunday.

Rob Gilmour recorded 4 hours 5 minutes 49 seconds which was good enough to win the 50 - 59 years age category on veterans' standard (see below) and gave him 5th place overall on standard. Although Rob did not achieve his ambition of a sub four hour ride, he did show that a 3.59 is not an impossible dream for him, as it would be for most 58 year olds. “Perhaps I should have tried harder in the early stages,” he said afterwards, “my third 25 was slower than the last 25, so maybe I had too much left at the finish”.

Paul Holdsworth also had a good day finishing in 3.48.39 which was the second fastest actual time in the championship, the best coming from Mick St. Leger (VC St Raphael) who did 3.45.11. Unfortunately for the Hounslow man the championship is decided on age standard, so his apparent second place went unrewarded. However, Paul's main interest is the British Best All Rounder competition and this ride was an improvement of 4 minutes 17 seconds on his previous 100 this year, so Sunday's performance should consolidate his position in the top twelve of the competition.

The course used consisted of four laps of a circuit based on the A419 near Cricklade. A rising westerly wind did not help the riders.

Veterans' Standard: an explanation...

In cycling time trials a rider is classed as a veteran on reaching his or her fortieth birthday. For every year of a competitor's age from forty onwards, for each of the usual distances, there is a ‘standard time’ laid down by the national body, the VTTA. A rider's actual time in a time trial is compared to the standard time, and by subtraction or, less commonly, addition the vets plus (or minus) is arrived at. Example: at 40 years of age the standard man's time for 25 miles is 1 hour 6 minutes, so a 40 year old finishing a 25 in exactly 1 hour will have a veterans' plus of 6 minutes. For further information see the VTTA website. There is nothing very scientific about this system, and the standards themselves were laid down long ago so they now seem slow. However since the method is accepted by the riders it gives, in practice, an excellent method by which those whose youth is long behind them can compete as athletes.

Chris Lovibond