The VTTA 12 hour National Championship was held on 23rd August in parallel with the RTTC 12 hour National Championship. The event was organised by the Mersey Roads Club team led by Jon and Ruth Williams on the D12/1 course. The course was changed on the day due to roadworks, resulting in the riders doing four circuits between Prees Heath and Battlefield Church instead of one. Conditions were overcast and rain showers, sometimes heavy, were occurring sporadically all day. Eighty-four riders were on the startsheet and sixty finished. The final results are as follows. The top three in the men’s VTTA championship were: Andrew Whiteside (Belle in Sella Racing)  +76.24, Darren Yarwood (Almerico Vive le Velo) +74.98, and Mark Smith (Crawley Wheelers) +74.16. The top three in the women’s VTTA championship were: Christina McKenzie (Stirling Bike Club) +62.76, Lynne Biddulph (Born to Bike – Bridgtown Cycles) +50.63, and Lisa Davis (trainSharp) +49.49. The winning VTTA group was the Yorkshire team of Darren Yarwood, Sean Sanders, and Andy Jackson with a total plus of 158.77. There was no winning VTTA club.

Andy Whiteside gave this account of his day: “I travelled down the day before with my long suffering wife (and helper for the race, who did a sterling job I hasten to add) and stopped in a camper van that a friend generously lent to us. The alarm clock went off at the ungodly hour of 4:30am and we arrived at the HQ to sign on, wake up with a coffee, have some porridge and get ready for my start time of 6:15am. Leading up to the event I was hoping for a distance PB for a 12 (that I set last year on this course) but due to a last minute amendment of the route because of roadworks  I didn’t think that would’ve been possible (the new route added nearly 1700ft) But it wouldn’t be for the want of trying I thought to myself as I set off ! The new part of the course (the Battlefield circuit) was tough, a very undulating, honest part of the race. Four hours went by and I was met by my wife for the first of only two feed stops. I use a camelback bladder down the front of my skinsuit for hydration then carry the necessary food and gels in a top tube bag. The changeover went well, and I set off again onto the day circuit. Around 1pm the rain that was forecast turned up and along with the increasing winds made it pretty unpleasant in places. I had the unfortunate event of one of my contact lenses coming out for fifteen miles but thankfully my wife supplied me with a fresh one at my last feed stop. Then it was onto the finishing circuit, by now it had stopped raining, but the wind had picked up quite a bit giving us all some challenging headwinds to contend with. When the 12hrs was up I was certainly glad I had a tailwind back to the HQ ! I would just like to thank the Organisers, timekeepers, and Marshals for putting on a fantastic event in these strange COVID times. Also, the support at the roadside around the course was second to none, the shouts of encouragement certainly gave me a lift when needed”. 

Christina also told her story: “Receiving the update that the course was going to be changed due to roadworks and we would be doing four circuits of the Battlefield loop I knew it was going to be a harder day that anticipated. That coupled with the weather forecast would mean my distance expectations would be reduced. The first few hours were “pleasant”, and I enjoyed the nice dry conditions although dealing with a westerly wind, but so was everyone else. Out of nowhere the heavens opened and it started to rain heavily, the pleasantness quickly turned to unpleasant as the rain pelted down.  Coming from the Outer Hebrides I am familiar to training in these kinds of conditions, so it was a case of head down and keep the pedals turning. The rain was persistent and let up on a few occasions for the next 4 hours, making it pretty grim riding. During this time, we were moved to another section of the course, where we would do smaller loops that also had its disadvantages from lots of corners and oncoming cars.  At this point I was unsure of my position as could not see any of the other females, unlike the out and back. I had to just stick to my plan and concentrate on my own race and keep it consistent.  It was a sigh of relief when we marshalled onto the final straight to take us to the finishing circuit, but still having 3 hours to go I knew the remaining few hours could be tough.  At this point I was aware I had a lead, but not given the opportunity to cruise the last hour my support time were giving me encouragement to keep going hard to get to 250 miles. At 11 hours in and 238 miles completed I knew this was doable but would hurt. Not wanting to disappoint my team I continue the charge to get to 250 miles, enjoying the tailwind on one side of the circuit then paying dearly for the headwind on the ascent on the other side. The shorter circuit meant seeing more riders and support which was also a great advantage and a fantastic moral boost getting encouragement from other riders supports team and the riders too. I was watching my Garmin and willing the time to complete 12 hours once I achieved 251 miles, I got to the final check point and relieved to hear I could stop. Time was up and I completed 251.64miles, under the circumstance with the course change and weather conditions I was delighted to achieve that distance and learn that it was 1st place female.”

Defending CTT champion Andy Jackson was credited with (for him) a lowly 240 miles and only third place in the winning team.  He reports crashing out of the event after about four laps of the finishing circuit when "some idiot decided to turn right across me whilst I was doing just under 30mph.  I managed to avoid being hit but smashed into the curb, went over the bars and totalled the bike.  I have quite a few cuts and bruises and badly torn ligaments in my shoulder, otherwise I'm okay."

Here are the full men’s championship final results:

#

Rider

Age

Club

Group

Distance

PlusD

1

Andrew Whiteside

46

Bella in Sella Racing

North Lancs & Lakes

284.32

+76.24

2

Darren Yarwood

46

Almerico Vive Le Velo

Yorkshire

283.06

+74.98

3

Mark Smith

46

Crawley Wheelers

Surrey/Sussex

282.24

+74.16

4

Carl Donaldson

40

GS Metro

North

290.20

+73.10

5

Angus Wilson

51

Dundee Thistle

Scotland

264.04

+62.37

6

Arthur Winstanley

64

Liverpool Phoenix CC (Aintree)

Merseyside

240.16

+57.24

7

Sean Sanders

50

Drighlington BC

Yorkshire

255.25

+52.32

8

Victor Chetta

42

Pirate juice cc

Merseyside

257.66

+43.85

9

Graham Hurrell

61

Basildon CC

East Anglian

230.13

+42.19

10

Ian Peacock

68

Leek CC - Den Engel Belgian Bar

Manchester & North West

217.13

+41.94

11

Robert Jones

68

Cardiff 100 Miles RCC

South Wales

215.38

+40.19

12

Jez Willows

55

Sherwood CC

Nottingham & East Midlands

235.00

+38.45

13

Paul Russell

53

Springfield Financial Racing Team

North Lancs & Lakes

236.19

+37.05

14

Nigel Briggs

59

South Pennine RC

Nottingham & East Midlands

226.98

+35.98

15

Tim Fowler

55

PSSA Cycling Club

London & Home Counties

228.83

+32.28

16

David Barry

71

sportfagley

Nottingham & East Midlands

200.51

+32.06

17

Andy Jackson

45

AeroCoach

Yorkshire

240.90

+31.47

18

Kevin Munt

63

Farnham RC

Wessex

215.65

+30.98

19

Stuart Peckham

50

Velo Club St Raphael

Wessex

232.53

+29.60

20

Ian Casson

68

Birkenhead Victoria CC

Merseyside

202.69

+27.50

21

Steve Orriss

68

Fareham Wheelers CC

Wessex

202.06

+26.88

22

Martin  Beale

47

Velo Club St Raphael

Wessex

207.47

+0.71

 

Harry Cowley

72

Chester RC

Merseyside

dnf

 
 

John Forbes

55

Birkenhead North End CC

Merseyside

dnf

 
 

Malc McAllister

80

Seamons CC

Manchester & North West

dns

 
 

Nigel Sign

63

Fareham Wheelers CC

Wessex

dns

 
 

Robert Corry

56

Fareham Wheelers CC

Wessex

dnf

 
 

Simon Higgins

60

Liverpool Century RC

Merseyside

dns

 
 

Steve Cornish

64

Mid Shropshire Wheelers

Merseyside

dnf

 

Here are the full women’s championship final results:

#

Rider

Age

Club

Group

Distance

PlusD

1

Christina  MacKenzie

43

Stirling Bike Club

Scotland

251.93

+62.76

2

Lynne Biddulph

51

Born to Bike - Bridgtown Cycles

Midlands

230.33

+50.63

3

Lisa Davis

45

trainSharp

Surrey/Sussex

236.12

+49.49

4

Joanna Cebrat

41

Bury Clarion CC

Manchester & North West

236.69

+44.74

5

Brigid Night

55

Frodsham Wheelers

Merseyside

214.62

+39.48

6

Emma Bexson

45

Stratford Cycling Club

Midlands

217.81

+31.19

 

Mandy Bunn

51

Datalynx-Parenesis Cycling

East Anglian

dns

 
 

Michelle Lee

47

PDQ Cycle Coaching

West

dnf

 
 

Theresa Taylor

60

Ribble Valley Crossroads Care Cycling Team

North Lancs & Lakes

dns

 

Congratulations to all riders – it was a tough day, and thanks to the organisers and marshalls for the massive effort it takes to hold this long distance event.