ONE-TWO FOR DRAG2ZERO
Matthew Bottrill led a drag2zero one-two on Saturday when the team filled the first two places in the RTTC Team Time Trial Championships at Preston Candover, in Hampshire.
Backed by Mark Holton and Charles McCulloch, Bottrill led the squad to victory covering the 35.4 miles in 1-13-59 to beat silver medallists, club mates Scott Povey, Jon Simpkins and British Best All Rounder Jeff Jones by 1-33.
The final podium place went to Arctic-SRAM RT’s Darren Barclay, Danny Axford and Tim Bayley, third with 1-15-45.
While Bottrill has had to settle for the lesser-coloured medals in the individual championships, this is his third team time trial `gold`. Back in 1997 he was a member of the winning four-man North Wirral Velo team when the event was over 100 kilometres. In 2008 he won when with the De Rosa RT.
Charles McCulloch can go one better having four team time `golds` to his credit, winning in 2004, with Blue Sky Cycles; 2006, with Arctic-Shorter Rochford; 2009 with Shorter Rochford plus this year’s.
For a change it wasn’t raining, the day was sunny but there was a nagging wind that took its toll of teams on the second part of the H19/11 circuit, down the A33. But the recent rain had left plenty of muck on the roads which lead to six teams suffering punctures to be put out of the running for final honours, each with only two finishers when three were needed.
Teams affected were Pedal Heaven RT, In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp, third last year, Poole Wheelers, Adalta CC, a3crg and two of the five Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA entered.
Poole Wheelers’s victim was former British Best All Rounder and 25-mile record holder Gary Dighton, who in 1991 was also in the winning Manchester Wheelers team in the 100-kilometre Team Time Trial Championships.
Apart from the usual RTTC championship awards the championship promoters, the North Hampshire Road Club had a special prize for the first of the women’s teams. That went to the Guernsey Velo Club trio of Karina Bowie, Ann Bowditch and Sam Herridge.
“Its nice to at last win a national championship,” Bottrill said. “It made a change not to ride in the rain, it was a great course. Now I’m going out to win the `100`, it is very much a different kind of event to my usual; you have got to be careful to pace yourself. Luckily I’ve got a good team of helpers who will be giving me all the time checks I need,” Bottrill added.
What did his teammates Holton and McCulloch think of their performance? Veteran McCulloch was happy to be in the medals once more even if the effort had left him with little breath. “I couldn’t ask them to slow up, I couldn’t raise a shout,” he laughed. For Holton it was very simple “Matt was the engine.”
Silver medallist Jeff Jones admitted, “he had enjoyed it although we had never ridden together before apart from doing a trial lap.”
“I took a right kicking over the first lap, then fortunately it settled down,” Scott Povey said.
The Arctic SRAM RT bronze medal winners were pleased with their efforts. “ The boys are coming to form at last,” said team manager Peter Ruffhead.
Fourth placed High Wycombe CC’s Adam Topham, Lee Tunicliffe and Jonathan Shubert went away with high hopes of doing better next year. “We have never ridden together before,” Topham confessed.