Interview: Champion Time Trialist Matt Bottrill


Talking to the country’s top time trialist Matt Bottrill who despite working full time, finds time to train to be the best in Britain

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Matt lives in Whitwick, near Coalville with his wife Kate and three chidren Isla, and twins Ave & Luke plus the dog Molly! Matt started cycling at the age of 12 with the CTC. he says “I was hyperactive at school and needed to challenge my energy into something constructive. My uncle was in the Coaville Wheelers and always had nice bikes. I said to him, ‘I would like to try cycling’. So one Sunday morning, my Grandad, (due to my uncle being away) took me along to the CTC and I’ve never looked back since!”


At what point did you decide to concentrate on time trialing?
Matt: Basically it came down to training time. My last real big year on the road was 2004. That was a good season with the highlight winning the crit in the Girvan-Premier Calender. Mark Cavindish won the morning stage and I took the yellow jersey off his back along with the stage win in the evening crit.

The year after, my wife lost her Mum, which was really unexpected. After that, I was unsure what direction to go in but decided the best thing I could do was time trial. I was reasonable at it and knew it would take up less training. Up until 2004, I was only doing 30 hrs on the post, but got the chance to go full time so had to cut down the hours I could commit.

Did you know before that when you were road racing you could do alright at Time Trialling
Matt: I was always better at time trialing even from my junior days when I won the junior national 10 in 1995. I also manged to set a junior championship record that day in a time of 19:55

What has been the highlight of 2013 for you – National Champs or some other event?
Matt: The highlight of the season for me was the British time trial championships. I went into the event really relaxed, I had a bad crash the Saturday before the race and really did not even expect to make the start. But my mind was set on going and on the morning of the event, I remember riding around the course, thinking this is really going to suit me. Then when I arrived, I was just blown away my all the people watching and tv cameras, it was just totally unexpected.

The other highlight was winning the National circuit championships at the end of the season. I knew going into that race, I was going to take some beating. I had just lost my grandad the week before, we were really close, and wanted the win for him. I could not feel anything that day. And knew Micheal Hutchinson was going to have to produce one of his best time trials ever if he wanted to beat me.

Any low points on the bike in 2013?
Matt: The Saturday before the BCF TT, crashing out in the VC10 mile time trial. I was flying that day, but hit a pot-hole at 34mph cracking my front wheel and blowing out both tubs. I was on the deck, and my body was in shreads. But even that ended up being a good day. Sean Yates picked me up in his van. I’ve known Yatesy for years, and always looked up to him. So was nice to have the chance to catch up. He seemed more pissed off than me about the ride and said I was flying!

Which event was the most fun to do?
Matt: The duthlon I did at the end of year, was really good. And something I plan doing more of in the future.


Is winter a shock to the body – going from competition on a week in, week out basis to no competition?
Matt: Its a shock after having a break but I get a real buzz from winter training. Especially training with power, you can track your form, from previous season’s and when you see the numbers are going up, I get a really buzz from that.

Do you train a little every day or in blocks on specific days of the week?
Matt: Always specific training. I ride to train. No junk miles and no recovery rides. My time is so restricted with a full time job and three kids. I need days of rest so train 5 days a week

Is the winter a good time to get away from the pressure of competition and relaxing to help give the head a rest from racing or does the training still have that pressure attached to it?
Matt: I like to swith off from racing. I dont see racing has pressure these days. I know when I arrive at a race, I will have done everything I can to be in good form and if I get beat, its down to that rider being better than me on the day. Anybody that knows me well, knows I never really switch off, I just love cycling and finding ways to improve.

You mention in your tips about riding the TT bike in training. What percentage of your bike training would be on the TT bike?
Matt: In the summer, around 75%, this time of year is around 50%

Clothing. What are your tips for staying warm and dry on the bike especially hands and feet which get cold easily.
Matt: Buy the best gloves and overshoes you can afford!

In time trialling, what is the most important thing when choosing a time trial bike… how aero it is, stiffness, its weight?
Matt: The frame needs to be aero and stiff so the power transfer is not lost, but the right wheels need to work with the bike. Thats why Enve have spent hours of windtunnel time making their wheels the best combination for all frames. You can have the most aero bike in the world, but if the position is not right, and clothing are wrong, you have just wasted your cash. Being aero is a combination of rider and machine.

Do you have a favourite ride in your area that you return to do again and again?
Matt: Yes I love going over Charwood forset in Leicetershire

When do you expect to start racing again in 2014?
Matt: March



The most fun event says Matt was the Duathlon!

Did the 2013 time trial champs have a different atmosphere being a BC run event rather than BC/RTTC?
Matt: Yes, it was totally awesome. Estimates of 3,000 just in the finish area. I’ve never seen a time trial like it in the UK

What do you expect the major goals for 2014 will be?
Matt: The BCF champs will be my big target for 2014. Im hoping all the best Pro’s ride, including Wiggings, Froome etc ride. It will be great seeing if I can compete against these guys. Ultimately, it would be awesome if I could do the ride I think I am capable of and earn selection for the Commenwealth Games, so I have to produce a ride in this event. After this, my focus will be on the National 25. I feel I need that on my Cv to be considered one of the best domestic time trialist of all time.

If you had free reign to change the regulations for time trialling (any govening body) what changes would you make.
Matt: I would love to see time trial’s having town starts rather than being in the middle of nowhere. Closed roads would also be good, but I dont see that happening. Basically, how the Scottish Cycling ran the national this year. Make’s me smile just thinking about it.

We’ve seen Joe Perrett pop up and take a championship. Do you see more of that happening in the coming years, younger riders challenging the favourites?
Matt: There are always going to be young riders coming through, I totally except that. I knew going into the National 25 this season, that Joe would do a ride. The biggest young talent out there in the UK is Ryan Mullen but with him riding for An-Post next season, I dont know how much time trialing he will be doing. He’s a top guy and his feet are firmly on the ground.

Finally, with a World pro team time trial championship, is it time for a British Team Time Trial Championship to make a big return like in the glory days.
Matt: Yes that would be awesome, I would love to have the opportunity to do something like this.


Results 2013

National Championship titles
1st Men’s National 50 Mile Championships
1st Men’s National circuit Championship tt
1st Ron Kitching trophy- Most consistent rider in 2013
1st Men’s National RTTC time trial series.

2nd British time trial championships- Against the pro’s, leading amateur
2nd Men’s National 10 mile championship
2nd Men’s National 25 mile championships

National team award’s
1st Men’s National 25 mile championships
1st Men’s National 50 Mile Championships
2nd Men’s National 3 up Championships

Personal best
10 mile’s 18:38
25 miles 46:10 ( 4th fastest time ever ridden in the Uk)
30 miles 57:44 (4th fastest time ever ridden in the Uk)
50 miles 1:36:44 (3rd fastest time ever ridden in the Uk)

Result 2013
1-1st Kettering hilly 20 mile tt ( course record)
2-1st Darley moor circuit race
3-1st A5 rangers 31 mile hilly
4-1st Hull Thursday Rc 10 mile tt 18:38
5-Bridget Bailey memorial 10 mile tt 20:45 ( course record)
6-MG Decor 10 mile tt 20:09 ( course record)
7-BDCA 25 mile tt 48:18
8-Rttc National time trial series round 2 31 mile tt 1:01:49 (course record)
9-VTTA 25 mile tt 49:50
10-Rttc National time trial series round 3 24mile tt 47:01 (course record)
11-South Pennine CC 25 mile tt 48:05
12-Melton Olympic 10 mile tt 19:27
13-Nev Crane memorial 25 mile tt 50:04 (course record)
14-Sherwood CC 10 mile tt 18:55
15-BDCA 50 mile tt 1:36:44 (course record)
16-Derby Mercury 25 mile tt 46:10 (course record)
17-North Notts Olympic 10 mile tt 19:15
18-Kettering CC 10 mile tt 20:21 (course record)
19-VC10 10 mile tt 18:41
20-Port Talbot whs 25 mile tt 46:13
21-Rttc National time trial series round 7 24.5 mile tt 51:22 (course record)
22-VTTA 25 mile tt 47:52 (course record)
23-Rttc National time trial series round 8 28.7 mile tt 58:29 (course record)

Other notable career performance’s
Holder of over 50 National championships medals
Won over 450 races
Represented Great Britain Cycling team on 31 occasions, including the world road race and time trial




Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

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