Interview – Time Trial Legend Matt Bottrill


Defending 25 champion Matt Bottrill (Drag2Zero) talks about coming second to Ryan Perry and the disappointment and relief

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Interview – Time Trial Legend Matt Bottrill

It was a strange day Sunday. The event I was at, along with others like Andy Jones of cycling weekly, was one with an honours list that is like a who’s who of British cycling. Legends are made in this race and in 2014, Matt Bottrill finally cracked it after 18 years of trying.

2015 and Matt was in Marlow along with a lot of riders who had shown during the year they were able to win. Ryan Perry had beaten Matt in the British Time Trial Championships and others like Ashley Cox had tied with Matt.

The race was always going to be a tough one and combine that with a course with 14 roundabouts where a rider can be either lucky getting a clear run at them or unlucky and forced to slow, there were variables beyond a rider’s ability to turn the pedals.


Matt went in to defending the title, knowing the 25 champs was going to be his last one for a while, with next season him making the switch to triathlon. “I came into it ready to give it full gas” he says.  “I knew it was going to be a close battle between myself, Ryan Perry, my team mate Kieron Davies, my coached rider Josh Williams and Matthew Clinton (2nd in 2014).”

“I came to the race in good shape even though it’s been a testing few months (his mother is battling cancer) but today I felt good. It was going to be a testing course with 14 roundabouts to negotiate but what I was not expecting was the following car, transmitting a live feed to the event headquarters”.

“It sounds good but while holding the traffic behind, that can affect the air while your passing through. By the time I hit the half way point, I also got caught in a load of classic buses that were off on some type of tour!”

“That really made negotiating the turn quite difficult but the good news was I was leading by a second from Kieron and Ryan Perry. On the return, I nearly had a car pull out on me at speed which was a bit of an eye opener. With just five miles to go, I was up on Kieron by five seconds but Perry had pulled back the time”.

After 25 miles, Ryan Perry stopped the clock in 48:04, Matt was second with 48:24, Kieron Davies 48:36 and Josh Williams 48:45.


Afterwards Matt said “You always want to win and you come here with a belief you can win. I know I’m not in the best shape of my life and if I had been, I think it would have been a lot closer. I’m not in the form I was last year and this is why I want to move on because I don’t want to come second or third. It’s all about winning”.

“Of course I’m disappointed with not winning. It would have been the perfect way to sign off but I also feel relieved as there’s a lot of pressure that comes with defending a title. I’m also excited to be moving onto to the next chapter of my life (triathlon).

“It was dangerous at points and makes you wonder why you do it sometimes. Racing doesn’t need to be on these roads. The Tour of Cambridge was superb and even the BC champs could learn from that event because it was that good. That is what racing at national level should be aiming for”.

Matt had a 58 chain ring on his Giant TT bike and says that he probably used most of the cassette at the back as it was quite a rolling course. He also wasn’t surprised to see Ryan winning. “I knew after seeing Ryan after the BC nationals that he is a star of the future and there are lots of good young riders coming though”.


“There will be some good battles in the championships next year because they all want it. I will still ride time trials after I move on but I don’t want the pressure though at the nationals and the expectation”.

“It’s very hard to get up for these races and I have found that a lot this year. I am looking forward to the excitement of moving on to triathlon and if I want to ride a smaller event, I may do. I may even do a road race or go training with others as I want to put the fun back into the sport again”.

Matt explained how much of a head game it was and the battle with himself asking ‘can I do it’? He didn’t win but was closest to Ryan and did get a Gold medal in the team event with a new championship record with his 48:24, Kieron’s 48:36 and Mark Jones’ 51:05.”

The challenge of the 25 championship may have finished, for now or forever, but Matt still has plenty of other challenges. “I still have the National 10 title to defend and I’m also going to the World Amateur championships”.


“Then my new venture starts seeing if I can turn into an Ironman! With the future of my coaching business progressing a rapid rate, I’m also looking to helping my riders achieve their goals. It’s going to be one exiting ride”.

“Josh Williams, is a prime example of what can be achieved. 54th in the Nationals last year 4th this. And I’m already buzzing thinking of how he can take over and win. It’s very hard to become a champion, but what I’m finding is the riders that go beyond their limits and have the mental belief that they can achieve their goals are the ones that succeed”.

“Whether your trying to become a world champion, national champion or just to break a goal you have always wanted,. stay focused and believe in your ability. I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded but it was learning from the mistakes that made me into a champion.”

Next stop the 10 mile time trial championship at Hinkley on August 30. It promises to be a corker!

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