Triathlete Skipper takes third place in Midlands time trial – Womack and Swanbury on form

Triathlete Joe Skipper kept his cycling sharp with a third place for Rock Estate in the BDCA 100-mile time trial in the Etwall and Uttoxeter areas, west of Derby and he went for a run afterwards.

Skipper’s time was an excellent 3-33:41, behind Charles Taylor of South Pennine CC 3-23:31 and Adam Topham of High Wycombe CC 3-22:40. Skipper used the event as part of his preparation for the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on October 10.

Skipper started his cycling with Velo Club Baracchi and is now a remarkable professional athlete, one of just 54 men worldwide to have qualified this year for the Kona event. His old club-mates are proud of him.

VC Baracchi veteran riders Chris Womack and John Swanbury both rode sub-hour times in the Team Velovelocity 25-mile open time trial on the E2/25 course, utilising the A14 and A11 dual carriageways from Newmarket.

With its reputation for speed and with the wind in the north, a favourable direction, the two 68-year-olds were certainly looking for fast times. Nobody seems to mind too much that the current version of the course is actually extended to 25.2 miles so that the timekeepers can sit somewhere safe.

Womack’s best time in the current and last three seasons is 58:01 and it was quick enough to get him into the event as of right. Swanbury’s 1-00:27 from a CC Breckland event in June got him into the reserves and he was called up to ride in place of a non-starter.

Womack achieved 59:16. His previous season’s best on the same course in June had been 59:41, so the new ride became his top 25 time of the season.

Swanbury came in later in the event with 59:51. Though he failed to emulate Womack this was an improvement over his best times for at least eighteen years.

Swanbury after the event - the old skinsuit came out after the zip on the new on stuck!

Swanbury after the event – the old skinsuit came out after the zip on the new one stuck!

The top riders in the event were certainly in another league. The winner was 37-year-old Matthew Smith from the promoting club with 47:15, his fastest current time by 55 seconds.

His team-mate Daniel Bloy was second with 49:57, which shaved just one second off his best. Gary Empson of Anglia Velo, who has hardly raced in recent years, took third place in 49:58.

The fastest woman was Julia Freeman of Easterly Road Club in 56:07, a good two minutes clear of Mary Bower of Chelmer CC with 58:31.

John Thompson took part in the Lincolnshire RRA 30-mile time trial near Boston and said, “It was another ride I was reasonably happy with but at the same time a bit frustrated, as my time was 1-30:12, i.e. a whisker outside “evens.”

The course is not a flat one, starting with “a brute of a hill as you briefly enter the Lincolnshire Wolds national park.” That is followed by a long exposed stretch, which was against the headwind and climbs very gradually for a long way.

Alexander Colman of Arrow Cycles won the event in 1-4:02.

Nine riders took part in the Velo Club Baracchi club run on Sunday, at 8.30am from the Cotmer Road roundabout. They rode to Norwich via Loddon and then down to Bungay via Stoke Holy Cross and Woodton, a total of 60 miles back to Lowestoft.

At Trowse, on the club run

At Trowse, on the club run

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