Prologue London Dynamo Richmond Park Time Trial
28th Jun 2011 Posted in: Sport 1
Prologue London Dynamo Richmond Park Time Trial

Richmond Park – close to where we live – is a fantastic location for cycling and on any day of the week you’ll always find people out cycling – whether for pleasure, commuting or training. One thing that doesn’t happen often in the park is racing – there’s a speed limit of 20mph in the park and police are often there looking out for law-breakers. This didn’t stop professional cyclist David Millar doing a circuit of the park at just under 30mph a couple of weeks ago (it was filmed and available to watch on the BBC website but subsequently taken offline).

If you want to legally race your bike around the park as far as I know you could either enter the London Duathlon or take part in one of the excellent Prologue London Dynamo Richmond Park Time Trial (TT) events. These events started in August 2009 and now seem to be firmly established in the cycling time trials calendar. The most recent event and first of 2011 was on Sunday (26 June).

Although Richmond Park wasn’t closed, the main gates don’t open until 7am so cyclists have a free reign of the park before this time (that is if you ignore the 600+ deer that roam the park!). With the first cyclist off at 6am I was up bright and early to get myself in position at the top of the steepest hill of the course.

Although the weather forecast was for bright sunshine thankfully there was cloud cover first thing so my planned photo spot (looking directly into the sun) was fine. Had the sun been out then I had a secondary spot lined up, but Sawyers Hill was where I wanted to be.

Anyway, from the time the first rider came past me at 6:08am to the last one an hour later it was great to see these people working so hard over the 10.4 mile course. Although I did my best to offer words of encouragement most of the riders were seriously giving it their all and unable to respond (they’re better off using their energy to cycle as fast as possible). At about 6:50am the roads slowly opened to traffic which may have been a slight hindrance for some of the riders who set off later but the park seemed quiet enough for it to not really be an issue – at least from where I was taking photos.

Once the last of the riders had passed I headed over to the finishing area to catch the prize-giving. The winner in the mens time trial bike category was Angus Macalister (Norwood Paragon) in 23:59 followed by Alan Buckly (London Dynamo) in 24:36 and Nigel Reynolds (Worthing Excelsior) in 25:14. Liam Mayband (Twickenham CC) shared third spot in 25:14. As well as other prizes for best improver, road bikes and local league standings there was a hand-bike category which was won by Mark Telford.

In the female time trial bike category the winners were Detta Guerrini (London Dynamo) in 26:31, Rachel Turner (The Altitude Centre) in 26:40 and Rachael Elliott (Newbury RC) in 26:59.

The female road bike podium was mostly overrun by women riding for Look Mum No Hands! – and they were having a right laugh as they collected their prizes. If I was handing out prizes for best cycling clothing it would have to be theirs by a mile! I love it.

Straight after the prize-giving I headed off to do my exercise for the day… which turned into a 22 mile run and 45 mile bike ride – on one of the hottest days of the year so far!

Over 400 photos covering the cycling and prizegiving are now available to view in the gallery.

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