The national governing body for cycling time trials in England and Wales
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Time trialling is the simplest kind of bike race and an ideal introduction to competitive cycling – and it’s easy to get involved too.
It’s just you, your bike, and the stopwatch, a race against the clock, with riders starting a minute apart.
It’s known as ‘The Race of Truth’ because there’s nowhere to hide, no one to draft behind; just you and the bike and the thumping of your heart. Oh, and a clock ticking.
Time Trialling is the branch of cycle racing in which Sir Bradley Wiggins won his gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and went on to become World Time Trial Champion in 2014.
Most events are fixed distance, being 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles. There are also fixed time events -12 and 24 hours – with the objective being to ride the furthest you can. Courses are generally on public roads and are either ‘out and back’, using a roundabout to turn halfway, or circuits with consecutive left turns. However, there are a handful of events each year held on closed road circuits.
If you’re over 12 years old, you can have a go at time trialling without first joining a cycling club, because many run ‘Come and Try It’ events. The idea is that you come and try it to see if you want to join the club and take up time trialling.
Typically, a time trial start will see a group of cyclists in a layby on a midweek evening. The course start and finish might be small marks on a kerbstone. Only a few marshals in brightly coloured vests and some signs indicate that there’s anything going on. It’s not like popping down to the leisure centre. Yet it’s not as cliquey as it may appear, and most local cycling clubs are only too happy to see new faces.