Your first Time Trial


Often known as the Race of Truth, time trials are simple competitions where you ride on your own, over a fixed distance against the clock.

Events range from 10-100 miles normally and there are also 12hr and 24hr events.

Courses are on public roads. They are usually out and back routes, using a roundabout to turn at halfway, or circuits with left turns.  Courses are known by codes, a system of letters and numbers, dating back to when racing was banned on British roads and time trials were conducted in secret!

Normally you need to be a member of a Cycling Time Trials affiliated cycling club, but you can do a ‘Come and Try It’ event without any membership or affiliation. Entry to Club events is usually on the line on the day of the event (usually £3-£5). Entry to an Open event must be by an official CTT Entry Form (usually £9-£15); with a closing date that is usually about two weeks before the event. If the event is over-subscribed, the fastest entrants will be accepted, unless otherwise specified.

Basic Rules

You must be over 12 years old (U18s require parents consent)

You can take part on any roadworthy bike except a recumbent

You must follow the highway code/rules of the road (marshals will not the stop the traffic for you)

Deep sections wheels are allowed, but solid disc wheels are only allowed on the rear

Tri bars/aero bars etc are allowed

Sleeveless tops are not permitted

It is the riders’ responsibility to know the route (there may not be marshals on all junctions)

You must not take shelter or pace from other competitors or vehicles. If one competitor is caught by another the overtaken rider must drop back so they are not getting shelter from the faster rider

Full rules and all open events can be found on the CTT website

Before the Day

Don’t do a hard ride or workout within 2 days of the TT and expect to do a great time! Ideally you want to be on the start line well rested and raring to go, not exhausted!

Do a course recce if possible and make sure you know where the start is! Often it is just a mark on the kerbstone; also make sure you know where the finish is! It is usually in a slightly different place to the start!

On the Day

You don’t want to race on a full stomach, but you don’t want to race when you’re starving either. For a morning TT have your normal breakfast (ideally simple carbohydrates, so easy to digest) 2-3 hours beforehand, for an evening event a carbohydrate-rich snack, like a banana or small sandwich, 2-3 hours before the event is a good idea and drink plenty of water during the day so you start hydrated.

Most local events require that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start. Build in some spare time. You’ll probably sign on for the race with the timekeeper beside a car boot for a Club event or in a race HQ for an Open event. The timekeeper will then hand out race numbers. These are safety-pinned to the back of your jersey, right at the bottom, not high up on the back. Ask someone to pin yours on for you or take off your jersey to do it. Make sure it is not flapping around!

For a short (10mi TT) you will probably not need to carry food or drink, you may wish to carry puncture repair kit.

Riders usually start at one-minute intervals. Check your exact start time.

Warm up for at least 20 minutes, this could be by riding to the event, riding near the course before the start or using a turbo or rollers. Ensure you build intensity gradually up to race pace and do a few short sharp bursts of effort.

Get to the start line with a few minutes to spare. You will then be able to watch the riders in front of you and how they start. At one minute to go, you’ll get in position. Make sure you’re in a gear you can accelerate away in. At 30 seconds, the starter will hold you up (usually from the left side so they can be on the kerb). It is not compulsory to be held (but it is faster).  Clip into and set your pedals so your leading foot is ready to push down hard to start. Look straight ahead along the road.

The timekeeper will call “ten seconds………, five, four, three, two, one…”

Accelerate hard out of the saddle to build speed, but don’t give 100% and go into oxygen debt in the first 100m. The first mile shouldn’t feel ridiculously hard; use it to find a rhythm for your breathing and pedalling that’s hard but sustainable.

Other riders might come past you. Don’t worry about it; concentrate on riding your own race at your own pace, this is what time trialling is all about.

When you can see the finish, give it everything. Keep riding straight past the finish. It is traditional to shout out your number as you pass the timekeeper in case it is not easily visible.

Don’t distract the timekeeper or try to talk to them while riders are still finishing, they will return to the meeting point with the results once everyone has finished.

Have a drink and something to eat within 30 minutes of finishing to refuel and start the repair process. Ideally something containing both carbohydrate and protein.

Remember the officials, marshals and helpers are all volunteers, please thank them.

Don’t worry about anyone else! You are only racing against yourself and the clock. If you can ride 10miles on the road you can do a Time Trial and you are guaranteed a PB in your first one! Good luck!


Why Race in Winter?

Why Race in the Winter?  – Holly Seear Spring Cycle Coaching 

Last winter within hours of the events being open on Rider HQ, entries for the 4th cat race hosted by Imperial Racing Team at Hillingdon started to fill up. 24 hours later the 1st race for 4th cats was full and word was getting round – enter fast or face disappointment!

So why do people flock to the Imperial Cycles Winter series?

It’s fast and quick so you don’t have to give up the whole weekend to feel like you’ve done something, you can ride there to add to the training and gain kudos in the process.

The series has history with some serious sponsors and has built up a solid following and that adds to the camaraderie; meet up with your team mates and cycling buddies, and get the opportunity to beat them in the process and gain the bragging rights on the Sunday morning ride!

Then there’s the recognition, everyone is placed in the results so you can judge your progress through the winter plus a weekly roundup report.

There are some great prizes, not all of which relate to your finishing position!

The race programme endeavours to cater for as many riders as possible. New 4th cats have their own race so don’t have to ride with the big boys and women have a 4th & 3rd cat race.

British Cycling points are reset at the end of November, so even the December points count toward your 2016 results (assuming you have a full BC racing licence), so you get a head start for 2016 in terms of experience and points.

The circuit is 0.9miles, mostly flat and fast with just enough corners and undulations to make it interesting.

Racing over winter is a great way to keep up the speed work without sitting on your turbo and keep your fitness without putting in so many long, wet, gloomy rides.

If you can race in the cold, sometimes poor conditions, of winter then spring and summer races will seem easier by comparison!

Entries open November 1st, make a note in your diary as they will sell out fast!

Join us on Sunday 8 November for Race Training on the Hillingdon Circuit; Surrey League accredited, ideal for novice 4th and 3rd riders.

Imperial Winter Series Calander

Coached Session: Advancing Group Riding Skills – Sunday 5 July

Group riding

Aimed at road riders who would like to increase their skills and confidence riding in groups, the session will be coached by 3 fully qualified British Cycling Coaches, along with expert riders to ensure all attendees are fully supported.
The session will build from basic group group riding skills to give you the ability to ride in close proximity with others.
It is recommended all riders considering riding in a group develop these skills to ensure their own safety as well as others; ultimately making the rides more relaxed and enjoyable.
This session would be ideal for anyone considering road or circuit racing or those interested in team time trials.
Session Date: Sunday 5 July 09.00 – 12.00
Location: Windsor Race Course, Maidenhead Road, SL4 5JJ
Cost: £30
Limited spaces available, please email Vikki at to book your place.

Would you like greater confidence in group riding? Why not join our coached sessions?

Group Riding#1                     Group Riding #2

We will be running two skills sessions dedicated to mastering the art of close quarters group riding. Unlike riding with two or three other friends, or in disorganised bunches in Sportives; group riding requires etiquette, awareness and a level of skill and confidence to be safe in the bunch.

Across the two sessions, in a safe and traffic free environment, riders will develop the basics of leading and following other riders, riding in close proximity to other riders (bar-to-bar and wheel-to-wheel) and increasing awareness and communication when overtaking riders and moving within the group.

With the opportunity to practice techniques away from the road and traffic, you will confidently be able join a group of riders and manouveur safely within the bunch helping you to become a more complete rider and enabling you to enjoy the road with others!

Session dates are 3 & 10 June 18.30-19.30, in Windsor. The second session progresses from the first: £30 for both sessions. Please contact Vikki, to book your place.

Ever been curious about the value of training with Power to develop your cycling ability?

All cyclists love a gadget; bike computers, heart rate monitors, GPS, smartphone Apps and indeed anything that might be the next magic bullet or give them bragging rights.

One gadget stands head and shoulders above the rest; the power meter; probably the best investment you can make to reach your potential as a cyclist. 

A power meter will take your training to a new level, allow you to finely tune your training programme, quantitatively track your fitness improvements, define your weaknesses and focus your training to specifically target the weak areas. 

Come and try out the latest technology and how it can benefit, at 700 HQ on the evening of Thursday 21 May 18.00 – 20.00; with guest speakers including British Cycling Coach – Holly Seear, and industry representatives from Garmin and Stages. 

It is FREE to attend, but spaces will be limited, please email us on to book your place!

Vectors Stages SpringCycleCoaching_whiteback

Coached Cycling Skill Sessions; improve your bike handling

Posted by Holly Seear : British Cycling Level 3 Coach and owner of

We will be covering fundamental techniques such as braking, before building to some more advanced skills.

(Course details below)

Brake Lever


The front brake (right hand side in the UK) provides most of the braking power and the back brake assists and provides stability.

In dry conditions greater than 2/3 of the braking power is provided by the front brake and around 1/3 by back brake.

This does not mean the front needs to be squeezed harder, just that the front brake provides most of the braking for a similar pressure.

The bike will be more stable if the rider applies the back brake (left hand in the UK) just before the front and/or moves body weight back prior to applying the brakes.

A lot of newer cyclists shy away from putting too much front brake on, fearing they will go over the bars or the front wheel will slide out from under them. In normal, dry conditions, applying more front brake when riding in a straight line, or even solely front brake, will stop you faster and 99 per cent of the time will not result in a skid.

When traction is poor (eg. in wet conditions, when there is a lot of loose gravel on the road, or in the unusual circumstance of braking whilst cornering), the front brake is a riskier strategy, and may well end up in a skid. In these conditions, use the back brake to slow you down. Rather than grabbing handfuls of brake, increase the pressure slowly, giving yourself plenty of time to slow and stop.

Practice braking hard, and then releasing the brake and reapplying it. This is a good strategy for a faster stop, as it can help you gain some control over your bike and prevent a skid situation, a little like the ABS brakes on a car.

Top Tips

  • Look ahead so you can anticipate hazards
  • Assess the surface conditions (ie wet surfaces increase the stopping distance and loose surfaces increase the likelihood of skidding)
  • Keep your hands over the brake levers
  • When applying the front brake hard to stop as quickly as possible, lock your arms out in front of you to brace yourself against the deceleration.
  • Keep your weight towards the rear of your bike, by keeping your centre of gravity low and far back, you’ll maximise your traction and minimise the risk of going head over handlebars
  • If you skid release the brakes briefly and reapply (feathering your brakes)
  • Especially in a group ride, avoid grabbing handfuls of brake
  • Remember you can also use your body as a brake, by sitting up tall and increasing your surface area exposed to the wind

Where possible DO NOT BRAKE DURING CORNERING, aim to adjust speed prior to the corner. If a rider needs to brake during a corner the rear only should be applied gently, as using the front brake will reduce the lean of the bike, therefore straightening the line of travel.

In EMERGENCY BRAKING cyclists should move their weight back in anticipation of the braking forces which will try to propel them over the front of the bike. Practising emergency braking is a worthwhile exercise so it will be automatic should you ever need it!

Remember to keep an eye on the condition of your tyres and be aware that the pressure in them affects your braking as a higher pressure will mean less grip, as less of the tyre surface is in contact with the road.

Check your brake blocks regularly and check the pads are lined up properly with the rims. Be aware certain rim types require specific brake pads.

Ensure you can reach your brakes, often women and people with smaller hands find it hard to reach their brakes, especially when on the drops. It is worth asking the bike shop to adjust them or insert a shim to bring them closer or even consider smaller designs of handlebars.

Coached Cycling Skill Sessions

We have developed a series of cycling skill sessions to improve your bike handling technique. By breaking the techniques down, and introducing them to your regular rides, you will ultimately become a more efficient and confident bike handler; enabling you to ride further, faster and safer!

The course offers five coached sessions with Vikki Butcher and Holly Seear, British Cycling qualified coaches, that will focus on your balance and co-ordination, pedalling and gear selection, braking and cornering and group riding discipline.

The sessions would be suitable to any level of cycling experience; even elite riders can benefit from reviewing the basics.

Course Dates: Wednesday evenings; 6th,13th, 20th May (missing 27th May) 3rd, 10th June
Venue: Trevelyan Middle School, the gated entrance on St Leonards Road, Windsor.
Time: 18.30 – 19.30
Cost: £85 for the course of 5 sessions, DISCOUNTED to 700cc members to £75.

Spaces are limited, if you would like to reserve a place contact Vikki at

You can confirm your place by making payment in store.