Feature – Bottrill Realises the Dream


After 18 years of trying to win the Blue Ribbon event of time trialing, I finally won it and realised my dream says Matt Bottrill

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Feature – Bottrill Realises the Dream

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Matt writes … As I write this, I still can stop smiling even if I do feel like I’ve been run over by a bus. The mental build up and training reaches its climax when you ride a National Championship and the day after if it’s gone to plan, I always feel wasted!


Above: The bike above was set up the same as it has been all year says Matt.

This weekend, after 18 years of trying to win the Blue Ribbon event of time trialing, I finally took to the top step and reached my dream of winning the Men’s National 25 mile championships. Ever since I turned senior, it’s always been my number one target.

It’s been a hard road getting here but I’ve never given up hope that one day I could pull off winning this race. All the great legends of time trialing have won the race, (Alf Engers, Eddie Atkins, John Pritchard, Chris Boardman, Graham Obree, Stuart Dangerfield, Chris Newton, Jason Macyntyre and Michael Hutchison to name but a few) and it’s great to have joined the club of some of the best time trialists that Great Britain has ever produced.

I’ve had so many top five places and medals I’ve lost count but to finally pull off the win, it is a moment in my cycling career I will never forget. It’s fair to say I could quite happily retire tomorrow and know I’ve done everything I’ve ever set out to do in cycling. It proves that you should never quit no matter how long it takes.


Always have the belief that you can reach your dreams. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment but with the right approach, dedication and backing, anybody can reach their goals. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my Family, Friends, Supporters and Sponsors for all of your support on the journey.

The event was held in Cumbria on some of the most beautiful roads for racing with the scenic views. The first rider set off just after 8am with torrential rain falling and the first few riders would get the worst of the conditions. The times being posted were a good indication that it was going to be a really hard days racing.

The final 10 riders would set off at two minute intervals and it was super Vet Charles McCulloch (www.drag2zero.com) with 49:58 who would set a standard so high that only two riders would be able to beat it.

The final few riders came and went but no rider would match the time of McCulloch. It was the last two riders to start who would have the greatest battle – Matthew Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) and Matthew Bottrill (www.drag2zero.com) to decide the championship.

After just six miles, it was Bottrill, who took charge with a 16 seconds advantage over Clinton who would push hard all the way ’til the finish. With a winning margin of 41 seconds over the flying Clinton, Bottrill punched the air with joy has he crossed the finish with a new course record time of 48:15 to Clintons 48:56.


VeloUK’s take on the day with post race interviews
That above was Matt Bottrill’s report from the race but the story is not complete without hearing the reactions from both the Matts after the race and a few words on the day. I camped out on the course overnight after arriving there at midnight after photographing the Women’s event the day before in Cheshire.

The rain started to come down shortly after, not great when in a van even if it is insulated, and the morning dawned with dark clouds and rain constantly falling. There was some wind about but that strengthened the more the morning went on. Matt refers to the days of Engers and Atkins and I remember wondering as a young rider in Australia what sort of courses they had to record such fast times. I now know.

At midnight, I’d driven the course and it was quite simple. A main road, the A66 between Keswick and Cockermouth out and back. Roundabouts both ends and a section of fast tarmac but twisting dual carriage way in the middle for a few miles, nothing more. The rest of it was single carriageway, seemingly okay but not having ridden it, I can’t tell you how fast that tarmac was because we know some road surfaces are grippier than others!


What I can say was there was lots of traffic where I was parked.

As an idea, I’d try and photograph the riders coming back the other way from the opposite side of the road and it was pot luck if I could get one as most of the time a car was overtaking the rider at the time they passed me.

The road had 40 foot trucks, cars with caravans and lots of cars of all sizes. At one stage I saw a truck stuck behind a rider, unable to pull out to go around it because of oncoming traffic and the traffic behind the track coming to a standstill.

That could only hinder riders not help them but I will say that at least one rider said it wasn’t as bad as he expected.

One thing everyone will agree on though was the weather was awful although better for the later starters even if the wind was stronger. A cross wind as well, and the trees were really bending under the force of it.

It left me in awe that riders like Charles McCulloch (below) the same age as me, could go under 50 minutes on such a day. The course was not pan flat, draggy really; and cold and windy too and yet these riders knock out such quick times. Respect!


After the event, still soaked through from the weather but high on elation from winning, Matt Bottrill said “I’m mega pleased. I felt good from the off and knew as soon as I started it was going to be a good day. This is the best ride I have done this year when it comes to power and everything.”

“It has been a very long year starting early to build up for the BCF champs and then have a break before mentally building yourself up for this again” Matt explained.

“The course was quite draggy up to the turn and there were crosswinds. It was a fast finish though.”


On strategy, he says “I probably started a little too quick! You just need to look at the course and work out wind direction and it wasn’t headwind/tailwind today so it was pretty much even pacing. I was working on power and aerodynamics. You always know roughly what you can do coming into the race and you know in the first five minutes of the warm up, whether it’s going to be a good day or great day and soon as you know that, you can work out what you can do.”

“We planned our race meticulously today. I had a spare bike here, people out on the course with wheels and you have to be prepared but you have to take risks as well and run your best kit”.

Matt Clinton
Not far away was a rider who pushed Matt probably more than he has all year, Matt Clinton. Asked if that was the ride of the year for him he replied “30 seconds off my PB on a course like this, in conditions like this, yes, I’m pleased with that. And highest power by about ten watts so happy.”


“I thought before I’d be pushed to run him for a minute so to get that close was a surprise. He put 25 seconds into me in a ten last week so doing 41 seconds on a 25 is really good. I think with the conditions being cooler – I was suffering when it was 28 degrees at races the last few weeks – I had the best power ever and hit the peak at the right time”.

“I switched to a 55 chain ring a few weeks ago from a 54 as I was running out of gears a few times especially on fast sections, but I think I was only in the 55 x 11 a few times today”.

“It was tough out there and the drags were very long but I’m really pleased to get a podium”.


An early starter,  James McKenzie CC Ashwell, gets the full force of an awful day in the Lake District.


Edmund Bradbury Cambridge University gets aero – he was 26th.


Good ride by Simon Wilson whose sponsors Wheelbase are based in the Lake District. Simon was 5th


Bling, bling … Brett Harwood who was 10th.

Live Pictures (over 100 images)

Result (team was Drag2Zero)

1 Matthew Bottrill www.drag2zero.com 00:48:15 Sen
2 Matt Clinton Mike Vaughan Cycles 00:48:56 Sen
3 Charles McCulloch www.drag2zero.com 00:49:58 V50-54
4 Kieron Davies Team NBCC 00:50:07 Sen
5 Simon Wilson Team Corley Cycles 00:50:16 Sen
6 David Crawley Fibrax-Wrexham RC 00:50:19 Sen
7 Adam Gascoigne Pedal Power Loughborough 00:50:21 Sen
8 Jeff Jones www.drag2zero.com 00:50:31 V40-44
9 Jason Bouttell Team Velovelocity.co.uk 00:50:32 Sen
10 Brett Harwood Terry Wright Cycles RC 00:50:44 Sen
11 Sean Childs Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA 00:51:04 V40-44
12 Blake Pond North Devon Wheelers 00:51:12 Sen
13 Harry Bulstrode Peter Hansford RT 00:51:23 Sen
14 Matt Sinclair Lutterworth Cycle Centre Racing Team 00:51:23 Sen
15 Ben Anstie Cadence RT 00:51:37 Sen
16 Matthew Smith Team Velovelocity.co.uk 00:51:46 Sen
17 James Perkins Team Zenith 00:51:47 Sen
18 Simon Bridge Manchester Wheelers Club 00:51:57 V40-44
19 Dean Robson Somerset RC 00:52:02 Sen
20 James Ratcliffe Fred Williams Racing 00:52:02 Sen
21 Wojciech Szlachta Cambridge University RT- 00:52:03 Sen
22 Rob Carter TS Racing Team – Vankru 00:52:05 Sen
23 Nick English AW Cycles.co.uk 00:52:10 Sen
24 Silas Goldsworthy Sandy Wallace cycles – SCU 00:52:13 Sen
25 Jon Sturman Activ Cycles – Lloyd Honda RT 00:52:15 V40-44
26 Edmund Bradbury Cambridge University RT-Hunter 00:52:17 Sen
27 Chris McNamara Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:52:28 Sen
28 Scott Burns Manchester Wheelers Club 00:52:28 Sen
29 Alan Thomson Sandy Wallace Cycles – SCU 00:52:30 Sen
30 Edward Perry Manx Viking Wheelers 00:52:31 Sen
31 Peter Tadros In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT 00:52:37 V40-44
32 Jamie Wilkins Procycling Magazine RT 00:52:40 Sen
33 Peter Lawrence Team Swift 00:52:41 V40-44
34 Simon Norman Bedfordshire Road CC 00:52:52 V40-44
35 Christopher Isats Berwick Whs 00:52:53 V40-44
36 Christopher Fennell PMR @ Toachim House 00:53:02 Sen
37 William Bjergfelt Metaltek 00:53:03 Sen
38 Ian Cox North Lancs RC 00:53:03 V40-44
39 Stephen Colbert Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 00:53:04 Sen
40 Andrew Green Lutterworth Cycle Centre Racing Team 00:53:05 Sen
41 Simon McNamara South Downs Bikes 00:53:07 Sen
42 Richard Harrison Oxford City RC 00:53:22 Sen
43 Richard Bickley Border City Whs CC 00:53:23 Sen
44 Daniel Barnett www.drag2zero.com 00:53:23 V40-44
45 Derek Parkinson www.drag2zero.com 00:53:25 V40-44
46 Phil Brown Didcot Phoenix CC 00:53:40 V40-44
47 David Williams Fibrax-Wrexham RC 00:53:44 Sen
48 David Watson Coventry RC 00:53:44 V45-49
49 Angus MacInnes RAF CA 00:53:52 V45-49
50 Ewan Farrow Ilkley CC 00:53:53 Sen
51 Robert West RST Sport/Aero-Coach 00:54:09 Sen
52 Paul Thirling Stockton Wheelers CC 00:54:12 Sen
53 David Pollard In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT 00:54:18 V55-59
54 Warren Gell Coveryourcar.co.uk RT 00:54:20 Sen
55 Tim Ashton Royal Sutton CC 00:54:24 Sen
56 Joshua Williams Revolutions Racing 00:54:26 Sen
57 Jack O’Neill Buxton CC 00:54:30 Sen
58 Tom Black Team Manx Telecom Manx Road Club 00:54:30 Sen
59 Robert Moore Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:54:50 Sen
60 Michael Dodson Bolsover & District CC 00:54:55 V40-44
61 Alexander Foster Border City Whs CC 00:54:57 J
62 Patrick Pennefather Rock to Roll Cycles 00:55:01 Sen
63 Simon Mitchell Lutterworth Cycle Centre Racing Team 00:55:06 Sen
64 Anthony Gill Pedalsport CC 00:55:08 V45-49
65 Steve Daintith Warrington RC 00:55:11 V40-44
66 David Kinloch PH-MAS Cycling 00:55:14 V40-44
67 Nick Frewin Bournmouth Jubilee Whs 00:55:14 V55-59
68 Dan Taylor Team Bikebox Alan/Whiston Velo 00:55:19 Sen
69 Robert Hayes Manchester Wheelers Club 00:55:20 Sen
70 Ben Lane GS Metro 00:55:23 V40-44
71 Richard Gifford In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT 00:55:28 V50-54
72 Marc Colclough Rhos-on-Sea CC 00:55:30 Sen
73 Tim Summerhayes Kingston Wheelers CC 00:55:34 Sen
74 Stephen Wood Yorkshire Velo 00:55:55 V40-44
75 Matthew Rowley Oxonian CC 00:55:55 V45-49
76 Mark Flannery Richmond Tri Kudu 00:55:56 V40-44
77 Simon Coates Cleveland Wheelers CC 00:55:56 V40-44
78 Nev Martin Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue CC 00:56:01 V55-59
79 Gavin Shirley www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk – SCU 00:56:03 Sen
80 Phil Pearce Coveryourcar.co.uk RT 00:56:24 V40-44
81 Liam Maybank Twickenham CC 00:56:24 V40-44
82 Tim Wilcock Tyneside Vagabonds CC 00:56:30 Sen
83 Greg Plummer Cleveleys RC 00:56:32 V50-54
84 Lenny Brown Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA 00:56:42 V40-44
85 Will Bamber VC Norwich 00:56:48 Sen
86 Paul Taylor North Lancs RC 00:56:57 V45-49
87 Mark Shepherd Banjo Cycles.com 00:57:23 V40-44
88 Chris Scawn Plymouth Corinthian CC 00:57:45 V60-64
89 Richard Yates Witham Wheelers – Echo Personnel 00:57:48 V45-49
90 Mike Cotgreave Westmead Team 88 00:58:12 V70-74
91 Jimmy George VO2 Maximum RT 00:58:16 Sen
92 Thomas Brook Lancaster CC 00:58:17 Sen
93 Russell Newlove Honister 92 00:58:22 V40-44
94 Michael Black Cleveleys RC 00:58:28 V65-69
95 Bill Seddon Bolsover & District CC 00:58:29 V45-49
96 Ian Wilcock Nelson Whs CC 00:58:36 V45-49
97 Randle Shenton Team Swift 00:58:53 V55-59
98 Nicolas Percy Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA 00:58:59 V40-44
99 Kenneth Brown Velo Club Cumbria 00:59:02 Sen
100 James McKenzie CC Ashwell 00:59:07 V60-64
101 Michael Gore Abellio – SFA Racing Team 00:59:27 Sen
102 James Gash Cleveland Wheelers CC 00:59:29 Sen
103 Tom Cox Northover VT/Rudy Project 00:59:30 V60-64
104 Simon Lester Team Jewson – MI Racing 00:59:49 V60-64
105 Peter Harridge Icknield RC 00:59:49 V55-59
106 Jonathan Ellis Royal Sutton CC 01:00:18 Sen
107 Greg Melia Clifton C.C. York 01:00:25 Sen
108 Jeff Belt Stockton Wheelers CC 01:00:44 V40-44
109 Mike Westmorland Border City Whs CC 01:00:44 V65-69
110 Jocky Johnstone Icarus Racing 01:01:37 V70-74
111 Peter Heywood Nelson Whs CC 01:01:45 V45-49
112 David J Shorrock Team Jewson – MI Racing 01:04:23 V65-69
113 Richard Glover CC Ashwell 01:04:26 V70-74
114 John Newsome Rhos-on-Sea CC 01:04:32 V50-54
115 Andrew Vaughan City RC (Hull) 01:05:26 V45-49
116 David R Logan Derwentside CC 01:07:13 V65-69
117 Richard Bennett Newbury RC 01:08:22 V40-44


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