Buxton Cycling Club’s Tom Thornely achieved a magnificent 4th place in the 2019 National 12 Hour Time Trial race held recently in Norfolk. He rode a staggering 298.9 miles against a field of the fastest long-distance specialists in the country. This means he kept up an average of 24.9 mph for 12 hours in an aerodynamic tuck with eating, drinking etc. done either whilst still riding or, with the clock ticking, by the side of the road.
Tom and the other 112 entrants were ably assisted by family and friends who passed them food and bottles of drink so that they could keep moving and eating up the miles. To prepare for his long 12 hours, Tom trained on most days of the last year, including the most miserable months of the High Peak winter, riding alone or with groups of Buxton CC clubmates to ensure peak condition.
Tom’s ride in the event was an improvement of 10 miles on his first attempt at a 12 hour time trial last year when he briefly held the Buxton CC record before teammate Mat Ivings added another 2 miles later in the race. But this year, Tom claimed a new record beating Mat’s 2018 mark by a massive 7.5 miles.
Conditions were challenging on the day with winds of more than 20 mph blowing across the exposed East Anglian course, strong enough to cause a number of accidents. Some riders understandably gave up their attempts due to the difficult conditions, including Buxton CC’s Mat Ivings and Chris Lea, who also lost a lot of time assisting an injured rider.
Miles Haslam, another Buxton CC member, completed his first 12 hour time trial. More accustomed to ultra-long, multi-day events ridden at a more modest pace, he instead built himself an aero racing machine and powered to a highly creditable 214.9 miles. He too stopped to help another rider who had been a victim of the strong winds, losing 20 valuable minutes, but he is already showing enthusiasm for another attempt next year.