Time trialling. The race of truth

Time trialling. The race of truth

Grimsby (Flex-Tech Ettridge) cyclists attempt the daunting 100mile time trial discipline.



Unlike road racing Time-trialing is a test of a rider not against other cyclists but the watch, it has also been called the race of truth. This cycling discipline was brought into public focus by sir Bradley Wiggins when he claimed one of Great Britain’s first gold medals in the 2012 London Olympics

Hundreds of time trials are organized during the summer months over many distances, many national time trials are held and these tend to be over 10, 25, 50 and the blue ribbon distance of 100 miles.

Popularity of the shorter distances 10,25 and 50 miles is immense but many riders never compete over the 100 mile distance due to the huge effort needed both physically and mentally to cope with this distance.

The prized time that any time triallist would like to achieve is less than 4 hours for 100 miles meaning they need to average just over 25mph for the whole distance.

Undeterred by this daunting task two riders from the Grimsby area took part in the Burton and district cycling alliance organized event on 6th September, held on the roads around Etwall in Derbyshire. The event attracted 116 riders including Stephen Cook of Lindsey roads and Dave Robinson of the Flex-tech Ettridge cycling team. Both local riders have attempted this distance before and were looking to dip under the magical 4 hour time.

The course consisted of two enormous 50 mile laps, so having completed the first lap there is always going to be a big temptation to stop and not attempted the second lap. This is the first test of will power, can you carry on and do the second lap?

Stephen Cook’s best time was just outside of 4 hours and 10 minutes whilst Dave Robinson’s best was 4hours 11 minutes.

The two riders were separated in the event by several minutes with Steve leaving the starting line 16 minutes before Dave Robinson.935086_10151654178136660_2012821402_n

With the first lap completed both Grimsby lads were riding well but as the second lap commences the fatigue begins to hit the competitors and the effort needed to maintain the 25mph average really starts to hurt. As Dave commented “your mind is telling you to stop because it hurts and that is difficult to cope with”.

As Stephen crossed finishing line he had produced his personal best time of 4 hours 7 minutes and 52seconds, meanwhile Dave Robinson was still out on the course with 85 miles completed Dave was beginning to believe that he would be able to maintain just above the 25mph average required, but this was now pushing him into the red using up every ounce of this seasons race fitness but as Dave crossed the line he had indeed achieved a time of 3hours 57 minutes and 22 seconds with a race speed average of 25.3mph.

Dave now joins an elite group of cyclists who have competed 100 miles in less than 4 hours and will be one of very few riders in our region to have this achievement under his belt, given Dave’s age of 58 that is a very rewarding way to bring this seasons racing to a conclusion.