So the curtain closes on another season of racing. My ninth riding opens and my second as a vet and a member of the VTTA. My personal highlights include winning the Welsh 10 and 100 championships, even making it into the pages of Cycling Weekly for the former result. I’m told the publication isn’t what it once was but still, ten years ago I would read the race reports never imagining that I would one day feature myself. Also completing my third 12 hour ranks up there with both those results. It might not have been the best performance but anyone who has ridden one knows the depths of strength it takes just to finish, particularly if it does not go exactly to plan. Anyway, with last season’s achievements fading into memory, thoughts turn to next year and the upcoming winter of turbo training and weekend training rides in the cold, wind and rain. Here’s to a great season just gone and another excellent one on the horizon!


My last report covered all of the group championships apart from the 12hr and on September 3rd my alarm blasted away at 4am so that myself, my wife and brother in law could bundle sleepily into the van with a long day ahead of us. Some real hitters of the long distance scene were lining up with last year’s CTT national champion Tim McEvoy (FTP (Fulfil The Potential) Race Team), last year’s VTTA champion and VTTA BBAR Anthony Jones (VMCC powered by Y Beic) and, although we did not know it at the time, runner up at this year’s CTT championship Tom Thornley (FTP (Fulfil The Potential) Race Team). The weather was forecast to be fine and I set off just after 6.30 feeling pretty relaxed about the prospect of a nice day on the bike in the sunshine. I was obviously hoping to win but I also had Andy Critchlow (Paceline RT) in my sights as I knew that as long as he did not beat me by 1.6 miles I should claim the CTT BBAR title. The first four hours ticked off quickly and during a short toilet stop I got the info that Andy was 4 minutes up. I was sure he had set off too fast and I was confident that it was still all to play for. The midday circuit on the South Wales course is what I always find the killer part. Six laps of the Hardwick to Mitchel Troy 25 mile course with long stretches on the undulating dual carriageway and a short sporting stretch on the back road past Raglan Castle. As the sun beat down in the afternoon I began to wilt. I could see that Andy was in a similar state as he passed me going in the opposite direction but the damage was already done. Anthony Jones and Tom Thornley looked unaffected and I felt nothing but admiration as I saw them both flying along well into the ninth hour. 


Somehow I managed to make it round the finishing circuit to finish on a rather underwhelming 295 miles, Andy Critchlow finished with 298 miles which was enough to clinch the BBAR by 0.021mph. Overall Anthony Jones won the event with an astonishing 304.22miles (a national age record if ratified), winning the group championship with an age adjusted distance of 317.42miles. This also cemented his 3rd place in the BBAR and 2nd in the VTTA BAR, an inspiring season from the 50 year old. Paul Coleman (Port Talbot Whs CC) took second in the group championship with 268.48 (AA 301.59). Despite riding countless 12 hr events this was Paul’s lifetime best aged 62. Mike Hall (Port Talbot Whs CC) was the fastest road bike on scratch with 238 miles but he could not best the age adjusted mileage of 85 year old Brian Hygate (Fareham Whs CC) who managed 182.43 miles (278.72 age adjusted). The furthest by a woman vet was 191.27 miles by Anita Turner (Eastborne Rovers CC). Another great event by Robin Field and sadly his last WCA 12 hour. There were concerns that this would mean the end of the event but I hear a new promoter has been found and the ‘Welsh 12’ will remain on the calendar for one more year at least.


With the group championships all wrapped up the VTTA season in South Wales was pretty much over. There was still time for Diane Hynam (Bynea CC) to set a new age record of 31:47 at 72 years old and Hugh Davies of the promoting club setting 24:16 for a 78 year old  in the Port Talbot Whs 10 on September 10th. A great event as afterwards competitors dashed to the top of the nearby Rhigos mountain to watch the Tour of Britain peloton fly past. It is not everyday that you get to see such generational talents as Wout van Aert in the flesh. Later in September I made the long journey to the F11/10 in Tring to set a new age record of 18:17. Not to be outdone, Tony Jones lowered the 10 record for 50 years old to 19:20 and Derek Morgan (Gannet CC)  posted a 31:49 at the age of 83 in the last event of the season; the Cardiff 100milers 10 on the R10/17 in the first week of October. The WCA 50 Championship was a good opportunity for John Aspell (Port Talbot Whs CC) to set a new record for a 55 year old of 1:55:51. In the same event Hugh Davies was also successful in setting another record with 2:18:00.


The full list of this season’s group record breakers is below.


10 Miles

Men - 41 Chris Gibbard 18:17

          50 Anthony Jones 19:20

          78 Hugh Davies 24:16

          83 Derek Morgan 31:49

          88 Bob Ibell 39:11

Women - 65 Susan Shook 26:00

               72 Dyane Hynam 31:47


15 Miles 

Men - 41 Chris Gibbard 29:20

          63 Ian Gibson (Abercynon RC) 35:39


25 Miles

Men - 41 Chris Gibbard 47:50

          50 Anthony Jones 49:42

          78 Hugh Davies 1:02:37

Women - 65 Susan Shook 1:04:23

                71 Diane Hynam 1:28:09


50 Miles 

Men - 49 Anthony Jones 1:39:50

          50 Anthony Jones 1:44:13

          55 John Aspell 1:55:51

          78 Hugh Davies 2:18:00


100 Miles 

Men - 41 Chris Gibbard 3:25:58

          50 Anthony Jones 3:36:17


12 Hour

Men - 50 Anthony Jones 304.22

          71 Robert Jones 213.94


And a full list of the group championship results


10 miles 


1st Christopher Gibbard 19:07 (+7:03)

2nd Anthony Jones 19:53 (+6:58)

3rd Hugh Davies 25:00 (+6:05)


1st Claire Greenwood 25:43 (+5:43)

2nd Susan Shook 26:00 (+5:15)

3rd Andrea Parish 28:11 (+1:43)


15 miles


1st Christopher Gibbard 29:20 (+10:04)

2nd Ian Gibson 35:39 (+6:53)

3rd Marco Marletta 36:27 (+4:50)


25 miles


1st Christopher Gibbard 48:28 (+17:43)

2nd Anthony Jones 50:17 (+17:39)

3rd Hugh Davies 1:02:37 (+16:25)


1st Bethan Ouseley 1:01:08 (+12:19)

2nd Emma Davies 1:04:48 (+10:37)


50 miles


1st Anthony Jones 1:44:13 (+34:27)

2nd Chris Gibbard 1:42:37 (+32:19)

3rd Hugh Davies 2:19:41 (+22:56)


100 miles


1st Anthony Jones 3:36:17 (+1:12:47)

2nd Chris Gibbard 3:34:44 (+1:05:54)

3rd Mike Hall 4:20:09 (+33:25)


12 Hour


1st Anthony Jones 304.22 (317.42AA)

2nd Paul Coleman 268.48 (301.59AA)

3rd Chris Gibbard 295.68 (296.64AA)


Congratulations to all the winners and record breakers and thanks to all the event organisers and to Bob Jones for organising the group championships. Well done to Anthony Jones for an outstanding season at a national level with another national age record in the 12 hour and backing up last year’s VTTA BAR with 2nd place in this year’s competition. I look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s events in South Wales.


Chris Gibbard, Bynea CC