TIME TRIALLING FACT SHEET
All the time trialling in this country is controlled by Cycling Time Trials (CTT).
There are various ways to start time trialling all of which are run by organisations affiliated to the CTT.
Their website has more information
about starting to compete in time trials.
There are two categories of time trials:
- Type A
These are Open and Association time-trials.
You'll need to be a member of a club affiliated to the CTT to enter these. Some experience is
a good idea - particularly over the standard distances of 10, 25, 50 & 100 miles - to qualify
for a start place. Other distances, on sporting courses, may take novice riders but you
should contact the event organiser first.
There will be an HQ and the junctions are marshalled.
Courses are normally on fast trunk roads.
The events are listed on the CTT website.
- Type B
These are Club events. This is where you're likely to start your TT experience,
normally over 10 miles. If you're not a member of a cycling club affiliated to the CTT, then look
out for 'Come & Try It' events; these are organised with the beginner in mind. Otherwise
clubs anticipate you can average over 20mph, this might seem a little exclusive, but club events
usually run in the evening and are timed to be after the rush hour and before sunset - a slower rider
might be still on the course as the light fades.
Courses are on sporting routes, but some are on faster routes.
The events are listed on the London West District (LWDC) website.
How to enter
- Contact the Club and arrange for a suitable event and check the start time and location.
If they've no C&TI events,
then they may reserve you a start number near the beginning of the field (if they do, please turn up!).
- Ride the course route in training - club events are seldom marshalled so you need to know the route.
- Juniors (age 12-17) must get their parents to sign a
parental consent form.
- Turn up at least 15 minutes before the start time; you'll need to pay (about £2) and sign the
start sheet. Be prepared to give your name, address, age and an emergency contact number.
- You'll be given a number, pin this on your lower back (don't worry about asking for help).
- Listen for the timekeeper announcing the start - with 1 minute start intervals, you can
work out your start time. Warm up and arrive at the line 2 or 3 minutes before you're called.
- You may have the option to be held, with both feet clipped in. This can be unnerving if
you've not done it before - do what you're happy with.
- The timekeeper will call you to the start-line after the previous rider has left, and then
countdown at 30 ... 10 ... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go.
- After you finish, return your number to the timekeeper. You may get your time immediately,
but some timekeepers prefer for the whole field to finish before worrying about working out
Open time trials are run on a much more formal basis, with an event head quarters where you collect your
race number and the results are shown after the event (details of your start time and HQ location are sent
by post prior the event). Details of these events nationwide can be found in the CTT yearbook which is
also available from your Club's racing secretary at the beginning of the year.
To enable you to get some times on the faster (and thus more popular) courses, there are local
associations like the West London Cycling Association (WLCA),
who run open events but give preference to riders from local clubs. Look out for their events in the yearbook
when planning your season if you need to get some qualifying times.
- You must be a member of a club affiliated to the CTT to enter an Open event.
- You must wear appropriate clothing, this is usually your Club's top but if you don't have one a plain
top is acceptable so long as it covers your upper arms, neck, body and thighs. So a tri-suit wouldn't be
allowed (as it leaves the shoulder uncovered), nor would a pro-team replica top (because of the sponsors' logos).
- To allow the field to be selected and the starting
order determined you must be entered prior to the event (usually about two weeks) on a
CTT entry form.
This form asks you to list your best time for the distance entered, so you need to have entered a Club event
before entering an Open. Juniors must also get their parents to sign the consent section. All open time trials have a limit
on the number of riders allowed to take part, and if the event is over subscribed the organiser will usually
select the faster riders and return the other entries.
- The cost of Open events is about £7.50 and this must be sent in with the entry form.
(Unless otherwise stated the cheque should be made out to the organising Club.)
- If it's really important you get into an event (for a BAR or local trophy) ensure the entry is sent
in plenty of time, then ring the organiser a couple of days before the closing date. Sometimes entries
are lost in the post.
- A week or so before the event, you should receive a start sheet. This gives information about the
location of the HQ, course details (check it's where you expect) and your start number (and time).
The start order follows a formula - 10s are fastest, then 5s, with 'scratch', the fastest rider, being the
highest numbered 10. So if you get overtaken by a 10, don't be disheartened - they're the quick ones.
- On the day, make sure you get to the HQ in plenty of time to sign-on, collect your number and get to
the start on time. Sometimes the HQ can be several miles from the start line.
- Don't be late to the start - it incurs a penalty of the time difference between your start time and
the time you first report to the timekeeper. Plus you'll have to wait around for either a gap (from another
non-starter) or until the end of the field.
- At the end of the event, ride straight back to the HQ to return your number and wait for your
time to be posted on the finish board. Do not stop and ask the timekeeper (occasionally you may be
asked to carry times back to the HQ, but this is a rare occurrance now mobiles are available).
Alternatively your Club may be affiliated to the West London Combine (WLC). Entry to their events (details are also published
in the LWDC Handbook) is done on a block entry - if you want to enter a WLC event ask your secretary to submit
your name about three weeks before the event). These events are more informal as there is no H.Q. and
the details of start times, etc. are sent to the Club who will then inform you.
The cost of these events is similar to Club events.
Each event is, of course, a competition in its own right both against your season best (SB) and personal best (PB) times,
and against the other competitors that night. However, there are other competitions that also run at Club,
Association, District and National levels - at each level your times are compared to more and more riders.
Competitions may be for a single performance on a particular date,
averaged over the season, or a Best All Rounder (BAR). The BAR competitions are keenly fought as they
average the speed based on your season best performance at various distances - starting at ten and 25 mile
events for juniors, all the way to the 50/100/12 needed to win the BBAR (Best British All Rounder)
national competition held by the CTT.
For Juniors, there's the GHS competition where younger riders (12-17) compete at Club level to achieve
a standard time over 10 miles. This allows you to progress to the District qualifying round. If you are at the
top of your age category, you are eligible to race at the National GHS round in September. To show
progress you'll receive certificates and (sometimes) medals as you progress through the rounds.
We run a ten mile time trial every Thursday evening from April to September, details of which can be found
in the London West District's (LWDC) yearbook (available from the club secretary at the beginning of the year).
We also have a '10' on Boxing day and a hill climb in October. Entry to all these is on the line, turn up
about 15 minutes before that start time and sign in.