06 July 2015 – Press Release by Event Organiser Ian Emmerson following criticism by certain media outlet. #RoadChamps
British Cycling National Time Trial Championships
I feel that the Cycling Weekly headline comment ‘Big names fail to show at National TT Champs’ together with the comment by British Cycling’s Jonny Clay that ‘more needs to be done to make it more attractive for the country’s best riders’ need a response from the organisation’s point of view.
This year’s championship was held on the date specified by the UCI for all northern hemisphere championships so that all foreign based riders may compete in their home event with no other priorities on the calendar. This is a good idea but perhaps the weekend before the start of the Tour de France is not ideal but the riders not appearing this year had no other racing commitments that weekend.
The date also caused the organisation a few problems as it coincided with the second day of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show which also has a massive effect on the county’s roads and would not have been a date we would have chosen ourselves.
It was certainly a disappointment for the organisation not to have more world tour riders at the event which with 10 days to go to the TdF should have given ample time for recovery and a great time trial experience. 2014 Champion Sir Bradley Wiggins was in town for the Sportive so could have been there, Geraint Thomas was entered but withdrawn to rest after the Tour de Suisse, Stephen Cummings was just a no show. Thank goodness Alex Dowsett had the commitment and will to win the event with an astonishing performance of a few seconds over one hour on the testing 28 mile course, designed for the country’s best riders to show their skill.
But that just makes a world tour rider entry of just 3 which was pretty poor added to by a total of 24 non starters who obviously thought better of it having entered and been accepted in good faith for the event. Thank goodness for the Under 23 Men and the Women who turned up in force and provided some great competitions.
The comment ‘that more needs to be done’ is interesting as a lot of effort went in to making this year’s event as attractive as possible with the iconic setting at Cadwell Park motor racing circuit amazing those who came to the event to see its natural undulating landscape and the fully closed surrounding roads providing an ultra safe course. This involved some long diversions for the many motorists normally using the A153 between Horncastle and Louth with some quite expensive signage and stewarding involved.
The enthusiastic East Lindsey District Council and Magna Vitae, its charitable trust dedicated to events in the area, did a superb job with 600 schoolchildren doing Samba, Fly Pasts by the Battle of Britain Flight Dakota, the Roar of the RAF Tornado and to top it all the RAF Red Arrows doing a ‘smoke on’ fly past, showing that Lincolnshire is still an airforce county and very proud of it too. This was all backed up by a small army of volunteers who had all given up their time to help out, a great pity that some of the entrants were not there to appreciate their support.
The day began with Go-ride events for local schools plus a 45 minute open event over the full Cadwell Park race circuit before the first rider in the Under 23 championship started at 12 noon exactly.
The Television coverage was a first for the time trial championships with full coverage streamed live to the internet with 2 big screens on site to show this to the 3000 strong crowd, followed by a one hour round up on Eurosport next day. A media presence of 30 journalists, photographers and broadcasters also attended showing the importance of the championship.
Rider comments after the event were all positive and pleased with their performances and the superb venue. As Jonny Clay says about the organisation ‘ They put on a good, safe event’
Two superb road races followed on Sunday with great performances all round but again there were 21 no shows in the women’s championship and 28 in the men’s.
One way forward would be to make the Elite Championships part of a contract between British Cycling and the professional teams both world tour and home based which might just encourage them to take part.
Our friends from Stockton were present all weekend and I hope went away with lots of ideas for 2016.
Ian Emmerson OBE, Event Organiser.
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