Cycling Time Trials

IMG_3017Our club is currently affiliated to the South District of the Cycling Time Trials organisation through to the end of 2019.

In a  TT   riders are set off at intervals, usually one minute apart, covering a set course normally on open roads, so that essentially you are riding alone, except when passing or being passed , as hard and as fast as you can maintain over any one of a  range of standard distances ( 10,25, 50, 100 miles . Less than 10 miles e.g. 10K sometimes held) and the winner is the rider with the fastest time of course but you are also riding against yourself not only because you are physically riding alone but also in terms of trying to beat a previous time or set a benchmark to improve on.

TTs are a good way of developing speed, strength and stamina and finding out where your current limits are, all of which is useful as part of Triathlon / Duathlon training. With the 2018 TT season now virtually finished it might seem an odd time to be writing about it but if you are planning your 2019 triathlon season now you might want to think about slotting some time trials in.IMG_3016

By virtue of being a member of an affiliated club you are eligible to compete in or at least apply to compete in a range of CTT events, subject to any qualifying time, age or gender restrictions that might apply.

Most events fall into one of two categories:

Type “B” events – usually called “Club” Events.  Newcomers to TT will start with these.  Members of the hosting club have priority entry but other riders can turn up and enter on the day, by completing the signing- in sheet and you are then categorised as a guest rider. Entry fees in 2018 were typically £5.  The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed (well when you’re not cycling the course) and refreshments are usually available afterwards at Race HQ where riders gather to wait for the official finishing times. Take a photo of those and you can use the information on the entry form for Type “A”  Open events – see below. Listed below are some local clubs and where they often have their TT Race HQ:

 Fareham Wheelers and Portsmouth North End Cycling Club – Wickham Community Hall;

 Hampshire Road Club – West Stoke Village Hall;

a3crg  – Greatham Village Hall.

You can get event listings from the South District website although the 2019 club TTs won’t be uploaded until next February.

Type “A”   – often called “Open” events, which is something of a misnomer as they are more restrictive than Type B” insofar as one has to enter on the approved CTT form (available on their website) with the deadline being two weeks before race day and submit on the form your fastest time at the nearest distance to the intended race distance over the last 3 years and since 1st Jan of the previous year and these may be used to select entrants if the event is oversubscribed.


The 2019 Open event calendar covering both the South District and the rest of the country should be uploaded to the national CTT website soon ( but  I’ll upload the South’s calendar to the Files section on  the Facebook open forum pages in the near future.

All cub members can create an account at nil cost on the above National CTT website, giving access to further news and information and an individual results recording service. Currently we have 21 members with accounts.

Road bikes are permitted, as well as time trial bikes and the Sporting Series of Open Events launched in 2018  categorise the road and TT bike times separately. A rear working light and helmet are not mandatory (except for Junior) but most riders use both.  Separate motions to make rear, front and helmets mandatory or at the discretion of the District Committee are to be voted on at the National Council in December 2018.

IMG_3014Having recently attended the South DC AGM and Council meeting as one of the club’s two Delegates (Jo Lovell is the other one) I can advise that there is a concern about the gradual decline in the number of club and Open events being organised .  South DC has 79 affiliated clubs but only about 20 organise time trials. One suggestion has been to charge non-organising clubs a significantly higher affiliation fee e.g. £200 – 300 instead of the uniform £30 p.a. but this has not been accepted to date by the National Council. With the National body having made loss of 97K in the year to March 2018 the result is that the levy or portion that they take from clubs’ race income will rise from £2 to £4 for Open events and from £2 to £3 for Club events n 2013, likely resulting in a corresponding rise in entry fees. There is no immediate prospect of Portsmouth Triathletes’ organising a Time trial  so they best we can do for now to keep this sport open to the likes of clubs like us is to get out there and take part in the time trials on offer.

Useful links:

Basic info for beginners:

Clothing tips:

Your first time trial

Paul Carter