Feature – James Gullen


James Gullen of Pedal Heaven is convinced he can go quicker after becoming the fifth fastest man in 10-mile time trials on British soil 

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Feature – James Gullen

James Gullen is convinced he can go quicker after becoming the fifth fastest man in 10-mile time trials on British soil. The Pedal Heaven talent became the eighth member of the 17-minute club when he registered 17min 51sec in the City Road Club Open 10 in East Yorkshire last month.


He was just six seconds short of Michael Hutchinson’s course record and nine seconds adrift of Cannondale’s Ryan Mullen, who is third on the all-time list with 17.42. The standings are topped by Movistar’s four-time British time trial champion Alex Dowsett, who registered 17.20 in Cambridgeshire in 2014.

Matt Bottrill is second with 17.40, while Sir Bradley Wiggins’ quickest is the 17.58 mark he set in 2006. Russell Hampton has matched the Tour de France winner’s time, while Chris Boardman’s top recorded effort was 17.54. But while Gullen is proud of his rise into such high-profile company, he is not getting carried away with his result.

The 26-year-old, from Kippax, said: ‘It is a crazy list. It feels good to be on there. Obviously you don’t kid yourself you are better than Wiggins. We weren’t on the same course on the same day. But it looks good on paper, particularly to people on the outside. And officially it works out like that.”

“It would be good to have another go and have something to compare it to. I reckon I can go quicker.”



Gullen set his new personal best the day before the Chorley Grand Prix, which meant he was well rested for the short, sharp effort. However, he only made the trip across the Pennines from his Lancaster home because a pal was keen to race as well. Now he fancies a return trip and will pack a few upgrades to see if he can lower his time even further.

He added: ‘It was the day before Chorley but it wasn’t the actual race that bothered me. A 20-minute effort is similar to what you would do the day before a race anyway. It was the travelling that bothered me. I didn’t want to drive all the way to Hull before doing Chorley but with someone else there I could car-share”.

“So we went across and, for the time of year, the weather was amazing. It was sunny, a little cold but not bad and a bit windy but good enough. And it worked out perfectly. The last time I went over was a couple of years ago and I did an 18.16, so on the day you know it can be good. One guy said out of the 10 times he has been to the course, it was his third or fourth best ride. It wasn’t a bad day by any means but it looks like there is more you can get out of it”.

“But I was happy just to get the PB and get into the 17 club on my first time across. Now the pressure is off, so if I go and try again, there will be no panic. The course record is 17.45 and there was an extra £50 up for grabs if you broke that. So you never know. With new pedals and new shoes, all these little things add up!”

Gullen has been in scintillating form on his TT bike this season, racking up five consecutive victories and a string of course records. The Yorkshireman, who was sixth in the British championships in 2013, has also shown great form in road races and sits joint third in the Motorpoint Spring Cup standings after top-10 displays at the Chorley Grand Prix and Manx International.


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