A5 Rangers 31 mile hilly TT

Saturday was a 31 mile hilly around Towcester and the A5.  I’ve done this course a couple of times. It was one of my first ‘long hillies’ back in 2005. It’s a testing course with one tough climb and quite a few of the typical twisty lanes. Right in the middle of Towcester, the A5 have there own club room, which is pretty impressive for a local cycling club – beats hiring the local village hall.


The A5 club room.

A welcoming sight for those returning from the race. The cup of tea and cakes.

As you would expect from a local cycling club, there is quite a bit of cycling memorabilia. On that wall, I saw the results from the national Junior 10 mile and 25 mile time trial from different years. The winners of those years included Stephen Cummings 1999 (Birkenhead Wheelers) and Chris Boardman. Both riders have subsequently gone onto even greater things than winning the UK junior 10 mile TT. But, it’s a nice reminder how the local club scene can play an important role in supporting tomorrow’s pro-cyclists.

A5 Rangers Towcester

Chris Boardman Manchester Wheelers wins junior 25 mile TT in 54.20 (1985 I thin

(I think year was mid  1985) Colin Sturgess (2nd) wasn’t bad either – he went on to be world pursuit champion. (Colin Sturgess)

Despite heavy rain, before and after, the race was mercifully dry, making it reasonably respectable for early March. It was quite windy though, which was great on the way to the turn. With a strong tailwind, I was flying up the A5 making use of that big TT gear of 56*11. At the furthest point in Weeden, you turn off the A5 and take a twisty section through the village before coming to a tough climb out of the village. By this point, you’ve gone all the way from 56*11 down to close to your lowest gear 39*21 as you grovel up the climb. At the top of the climb, there’s no respite as a stiff headwind makes the lumpy return leg hard work.

My first lap was 36.20. The second lap 36.14, making it remarkably consistent. Usually, I tire in second lap. Part of the reason was that it is quite technical course. On the first lap I had forgotten quite a few corners and was taking it a litte careful on the damp roads. On the second lap I felt I went much faster on the tailwind section really enjoying being blown up the A5.

Matt Bottril, last years 100 mile TT champion, won the event in 1.10.19. I was second 1.12.34. That made me three minutes quicker than 2005! I think this is the third time I’ve finished second in the A5 hilly 31 mile TT. But, I did receive a very nice £30 cash, plus commemorative brick, which will come in very useful when repaving my drive. Not many people can repave their drive with a plaque which says they came second in a 31 mile TT. ;-)

A5 Rangers Towcester

The A5 Rangers 31 TT, a bit like Paris Roubaix, in that if you win you are awarded a brick. (Tom Boonen lifts Paris-Roubaix)



Matt Bottrill picking up his winning brick from organiser Stephen Cockell. I spoke to Matt after the race. His main targets for this year are the national 10 and 25 mile TT. Matt works as a postman and is not sure he can find time to train for 100 mile this year. There must be some parts of England, with a very speedy postman, is all I can say.


A5 memorabilia

Results Board
A5 Rangers Towcester


3 Responses to A5 Rangers 31 mile hilly TT

  1. Ian Franklin March 30, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Tejvan: Yes, I remember your ride in 2005 very well! I think I was the start timekeeper that year. Now I am still a member of the A5 Rangers but plying my cycling trade in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I am the coach at the velodrome and also manage to put in some 1000 miles + per month.
    Over here there is a great cycling scene and it is the ideal area for winter training: whilst you guys were suffering snow (ie the A5 RCC 10 was cancelled on the Saturday) Ion the same day I had heatstroke and couldn’t ride the national road race at Pichit. If you or anyone else fancies a spot of warm weather training at incredibly low cost then come to Chiang Mai next winter. Beats Majorca any day! Also Tejvan, well done on all your success over the years – I always look for your name in the results! Ian

  2. Becca March 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Great post and well done on the improvement. I still remember the fright I got when he zoomed (and I mean zoomed!) past me in a 10. Gone in the blink of an eye :-p Being part of a club/team is by far the most enjoyable part of cycling for me :-) Incredibly kind and welcoming people who donated old bits and pieces for my first Frankenbike

  3. sm March 17, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Lovely post Tejvan and great image of the club room. I can almost smell the tea and cake. As you say these clubs are the lifeblood of the sport, brilliant. Makes me want to start my own cycle club.

Leave a Reply

+ 7 = 10