The time trial is the ultimate ‘race of truth’, just rider and machine against the clock, nowhere to hide.
Time trials in England and Wales are governed by the Cycling Time Trials (CTT). There are 900 clubs affiliated to the CTT, as a rider you do not need a license to race, but you do need to be a paid up member of an affiliated club. North Cheshire Clarion is affiliated to the CTT and the local Manchester District.
There are two types of time trial event, ‘Club’ events which are informal ‘turn up and go’ races, usually staged mid week and‘Open’ events which have to be entered in advance. The standard distances for time trials are 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles as well as 12 hour and 24 hour events. Other distances and disciplines exist such as hill climbs, 30 miles and ‘sporting (or hilly) courses.
Whilst the courses and distances may differ the principles are always the same. Riders start at fixed intervals (usually a minute) and ride a fixed course against the clock. Time trial courses are largely free flow, and whilst they may have roundabouts, they won’t have traffic signals. Some are ‘out and back’ type courses whilst others consist of large loops or circuits. Nearly all time trial events are held on open roads with the majority of ‘Open’ events being held on Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings.
Individual courses have codes denoting the course and distance, these are detailed on the CTT website and in the CTT handbook which lists all events in the season (£9 for the 2012 edition, from the CTT shop).
The Veteran Time Trials Association (VTTA) provides age based competitions based on riders achievements against a set of ‘standards’ for distance and ages for both men and women (aged 40 and over).
‘Plus’ times denote improvement over the age standard for the given distance and allow riders of different ages to be compared against each other fairly. For instance, a +4:01 for a 10 mile TT for a 45 year old man means he achieved a time of 22:21 against the stated standrad for 26:22). For more details visit the VTTA website.
Local ‘Open’ Time Trial Courses
There are a number of local time trial courses that are used for ‘Open’ (entry in advance) events. These are used at different times of the week and vary across the season. ‘D’ courses are Merseyside District courses, ‘J’ are Manchester (North Cheshire Clarion being a member of the Manchester District.)
Entry is usually made via CTT entry forms (which can be found here) usually 10 days before the event is being staged (to allow time for the organiser to determine the race seeding). North Cheshire Clarion members can get further details on entering time trials via the Forums or through the Club Secretary.
For full details of the race calendar refer to the CTT website or the CTT handbook.
|Code||Distance||HQ & Notes|
|Rainford||D10/1||10 miles||HQ: Usually the lay-by on the southbound A570 north of the Intake Lane / Bushey Lane junction (mid way along the course).|
Notes: technical but fast course most of which is on the A570 dual carriageway. Fast downhill descend to start, slight uphill on the finish.
|Chelford||J2/1||10 miles||HQ: various village halls in the immediate area, may be some distance from the start/finish.|
Notes: technical, rolling course on the narrow, sometimes busy A537. Out and back course with two roundabouts.
|Twemlow||J2/9||25 miles||HQ: various village halls in the immediate area, may be some distance from the start/finish.|
Notes: triangular course using part of J2/1 and the A50 and A535, one and half laps in all. Some rolling sections and technical left hand turns.
|Goostrey||J4/16||50 miles||HQ: various village halls in the immediate area, may be some distance from the start/finish.|
Notes: nearly three laps of a similar course to J2/9 except it is extended nearer to Knutsford. Some rolling sections and technical left hand turns.
There are various other courses further afield in the North West and right across the UK. For full details refer to the CTT website or the CTT handbook.
Mid-week, evening ‘Club’ Time Trials
The table below provides details of mid-week evening time trials organised by local clubs. These are ‘Club’ events meaning you can turn up on the evening, sign on, pay a nominal fee and race. These races are run under the same CTT rules as ‘Open’ races but are generally a little more informal.
|Monday||Chelford||J2/1||10 miles||Astra Zeneca, HQ, just off the A34 Congleton Road, north of the A537||*19:00 / 19.30||Stockport Clarion|
|Tuesday||Rainford||D10/1||10 miles||Bickerstaffe Football Club Pavilion near Bickerstaff Church, top of Intake Lane off the A570||*19:00||Prescot Eagle CC|
|Wednesday||Kilton||–||8.75 miles||The Kilton Pub, on the A50||*19:00 / 19:30||Seamons CC|
|Wednesday||Rainford||D10/1||10 miles||Lay-by on the southbound A570 north of the Intake Lane / Bushey Lane junction (mid way along the course)||*19:00||Wigan Whlrs|
*start time and dates dependent upon time of year, refer to organisers website
North Cheshire Clarion mid-week competition
North Cheshire Clarion uses the Kilton mid-week series (above) as it’s own club competition series with awards being made at the end of the year for the fastest and most improved riders as well as the most consistent in the points competition – the fastest North Cheshire rider gaining 30 points, the second 29 points, the 3rd , 28 points etc. each week with points being accrued over the season.
The event series is run by Seamons CC and runs from the 18th April to the 15th August, except 6th and 20th June, first riders off at 19:00 or 19:30 depending upon the date (see Seamons CC website for details)
For those new to Time Trailing the mid-week event is a great introduction to the discipline. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect;
- To guarantee a ride turn up at least an hour before the first rider is off, park in the car park nearest to the approach from Warrington
- Queue up, sign on and pay your entry fee – you’ll then be issued with a race number
- Pin the number on your jersey (back middle at the bottom)
- Remember to use a rear light in the early and late season when daylight is poor
- Warm up – but not on the course
- Go to the start – which is about 3/4 mile south of the Kilton pub (turn left outside the pub then down the drag)
- Race (enjoy – this is optional)
- Return to the start (which is opposite the finish) and return your number
- Then, either wait for the results in the car park – or wait for them to be online (Seamons website – usually by the next morning, we post links here as well as a cut of our results on our own pages).
Remember: Don’t do u-turns near the start finish / Don’t go past the start unless you’ve finished yourself and you are returning to the HQ / Heads up at all times / Use a back light in the early and late season / Take care at the roundabout where lorries turn and there can be diesel spillage.