V718 Time Trial and a 10 PB

In my first season of time trials (2004), I managed to do 24.11 for 10 miles, just below 25mph. It was a dream to go under 20 minutes and do a ’19′ – a 30mph ride. At the time, I thought it would be almost unreachable. But, the next season (2005), I took exactly 3 minutes off to get a pb of 21.11. I thought it would come very quickly, but it ended up taking seven years.

In 2008, I did little racing but managed to do 20.19 on  the fast P613 course. Two years later I took off 10 seconds ( 20.09) and 2011 I managed an extra 2 seconds to get down to 20.07 (2011). It was coming down very slowly – partly because I don’t ride too many ‘fast’ Tens I prefer hillier courses. This year I got down to 20.00 – 1 second off that 19.

In 2011, I actually actually averaged over 30mph in a 25 mile TT  (49.33) and unofficially did a 19 minute ten in the middle of doing a 25 mile Time trial on the H25/8. The allure of setting a 19 was slightly reduced, it was kind of ‘in the bag’ so to speak. I’d actually started working out if an 18 was possible.


The V718 near Hull, has a reputation for being the fastest course in the land. Michael Hutchinson has set the competition record -  17.57 on the V718 – and has done innumerable low 18s – in an effort to improve on this record.

In 8 years of timetrialling, I was never inspired to travel up to Yorkshire, just to ride a fast course. But, I found myself up in Yorkshire this weekend, and wanted to do a race. The only one within driving distance was a Saturday afternoon on the V718 and so I entered without too much thought.

The day was warm and quite windy. Though regulars said the wind was in the right direction from the east. (At any time trial, the dominant conversation is always about not just the weather, but wind direction in particular).

I warmed up by cycling the 5 miles from HQ to the start.  Because it was going to be a fast day, I’d stripped down my bike as much as possible. I was lucky to get some masking tape off another competitor to cover up hole in the discwheel to make it more aerodynamic.

The start is on a layby. You get a nice downhill to help get you up to speed then you join the straight dual carriageway. At 4.6 miles you come off the dual carriageway and go round two roundabouts to come back the other way. As I exited the second roundabout at about half way, I saw 10.40 (average around 47km/h) for the first half of the race – not an amazing time for a 10 mile time trial.

But, on the way back, I suddenly felt the full force of the easterly wind. Before I could think, I was doing 38mph and  flying in my biggest gear (56*11). There was a hard section in the middle of the return leg, where my speed dropped to ‘only’ 30mph. But, generally, I was in the mid 30s. I averaged close to 56 km/h for return leg. That was crazily fast.

Unexpectedly I came across the finish flag, sooner than expected. I looked down at my watch and saw a time of 19.07 – 53 seconds off my pb. I Nearly missed a 19 by getting into the 18s.

It’s taken 8 years to ride the V718, but now I quite fancy getting an 18. I might find myself just happening to be in Yorkshire during future events. Strange world timetrialling. The next day I cycled a 100 miles around the Lake District, I enjoyed those hilly 100 miles more than setting a pb. But, the V718 was a real blast in a scary kind of way.


The V718 is fast because:

  • Mostly flat. Only 20m of climbing. Finish is slightly lower than finish.
  • Lots of traffic coming off M62
  • Fairly sheltered from wind
  • Good smooth road surface (though on way back I went over a crater and was lucky not to puncture)

V718 – Map My Ride [link]

My Personal Bests for 10 Mile Time Trials

  • 2004 – 24.11 (H10/17)
  • 2005 – 21.11 (H10/8)
  • 2008 – 20.19 (P613)
  • 2010 – 20.09 (U47)
  • 2011 – 20.07 (F20/10)
  • 2012 – 20.00 (F11/10)
  • 2012 – 19.07 (V718) – average speed 50.7 km/h – 31.5mph


3 Responses to V718 Time Trial and a 10 PB

  1. Mark A August 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Found the link and looks like i am wrong – “old faithful” was in fact a Bell!


    Would still be interested in knowing more though please and any comments you may have on your current helmet which looks like a Giro?

    Best Wishes

    • tejvan August 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm #


      When I was in windtunnel, they suggested that helmet gave slight advantage over Bell.

      When I came out of windtunnel, I was going much faster – but that was mainly due to lower head position. It’s hard to isolate the impact of swapping helmets.

  2. Mark A August 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Congratulations on your ride. It was quite a breeze pushing us back!

    Question please which hooks in with your other posts on wind tunnel testing and review of aero helmets:

    iirc you found an improvement in the tunnel switching helmet? Did you ever change to use a different one or just concentrate on adapting your head position?

    I only ask as noticed in photo from Sat (http://www.photoboxgallery.com/Craigzad/photo?photo_id=3504897419&vendor%5Fid=3028326) that you appear to have “old faithful” back on your bonce?

Leave a Reply

4 + 9 =