Talkingshop: Matt Botttrill’s Shock at a Silver Medal

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Full time postman Matt Bottrill takes the race to the full time pros in the 2013 British Time Trial Championship in Stewarton (Scotland)

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Even 24 hours later, the Silver medal for Matt Bottrill had not sunk in and he said in a text the day after he wishes he was ten years younger. And why not with the young British pros doing so well in Europe and earning a good living from being full time bike riders. Matt had certainly shown what he can do.

Matt, a former GB rider had shown he can live with these guys despite little training and working full time as well as looking after his young family including twins from last year. “I’m dead shocked” he told VeloUK afterwards. “For me this is massive. You know what time trialling is like in the UK and you come to something like this, it’s amazing.”

“At normal time trials, it’s one man and his dog while today I was told there are three and a half thousand watching and it will be on TV. It’s massive and I’m overwhelmed…”

“When I went off the start line, I had to hold back. I could hear the crowd and it’s like you just want to sprint as hard as you can and show them what you can do. I really am in shock. For me coming into this there was no pressure. I just kept telling myself it’s up to the pros to try and beat me.”

Only one, Alex Dowsett, did so. “Everyone looks at testers as riding up and down dual carriageways but people seem to forget my background on the road so I know how to handle a bike.”

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After the ride Matt, like so many of the riders, was completely spent and had to be helped ff his bike. 

It’s been a mixed few weeks for Matt. He beat his nemesis Michael Hutchinson in the 25 champs but was beaten by youngster Joe Perrett to the Gold medal by just ten seconds and then the week before the championships, had crashed hard in a very fast 10 (Hemel Hempstead) after hitting a pot hole and double puncturing which caused him to crash.

That was ironic because it was a tyre problem that took out Alex Dowsett in the Championship event which he came back well from. Matt was not sure at the time of his crash though whether he’d be okay to race at the championships but race he did and how.

Matt was riding a different Giant Trinity to the one he rode in the 25 champs. This he explained was due to the ‘black’ one meeting the UCI regs which so many bikes had problems with on the day. One person quipped to me that he’d been asked by six or so riders if he had a hacksaw! Matt’s bike though was fine and asked to take us through his ride, Matt explained “It was a matter of not starting too quick. After about five minutes, it was about staying aero and the back end of the circuit was quick.”

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Matt in action at the 25 championships….

Matt races for Drag2ero so being aero is a key to his riding but there are also the hills to conquer and he trained for that too. “It was a very undulating circuit so in training I have been doing a lot of short intervals for hitting the climbs hard and keeping the speed up. That seemed to pay off.”

Matt was riding a 56 tooth O.Symetric chain ring with the 11 on the back and explained how he didn’t have to get in the little chain ring and on this kind of circuit, the O.Symetric really worked well. “It is like riding fixed all the time where you can just click into the gear and power away on the climbs and the bike handled mint.”

The trip up from the East Midlands says Matt had cost him an arm and a leg but it was one that was well worth it. “This has for sure been worth it and will make a massive difference to me and shows people who sponsor me what I can do.

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Matt (left), full time postal worker, on the podium with a Grand Tour stage winner (Alex Dowsett) and one of the worlds top sprinters, Ben Swift.   

LINK: http://www.velouk.net/2013/06/20/british-time-trial-championships/

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