Tickhill Velo rider Andy Birdsall makes his final preparations before taking on time trial world champion Sir Bradley Wiggins at this Saturday's City RC 10-mile time trial near Hull

Tickhill Velo club rider Andy Birdsall is making the last minute preparations for the time trial of his life this weekend where he lines up as the minute man for Sir Bradley Wiggins at the City RC 10-mile time trial on Saturday.

Birdsall, a 43 year-old sales representative for an electronics company by day, has borrowed a friend’s time trial bike and underwent a bike fitting session with Andy Bishop at his home last night in advance of his ride on the V718 course near Hull.

“It’s like the Willy Wonka golden ticket of cycling,” Birdsall told Cycling Weekly. “Someone said to me, ‘you couldn’t buy that ticket.’

“It’s not worth a penny in one way, but it’s also worth its weight in gold. And I’ll get a results sheet with Wiggins’ name on it.”

While Wiggins has been completing 200km rides in Majorca, Birdsall will take his new bike out for its first spin for an hour or two this evening near his home in Rotherham. In fact, when he first found out he would be up against the time trial world champion, Birdsall was tucking into a full English breakfast.

“I got the startsheet emailed through and I was scrolling through the rider list. I picked up my name on the second page, saw who my minute man was… I thought, ‘well I don’t know him.’ Then I thought, ‘oh I wonder who’s behind me,’ and then ‘oh my god, what are the chances of that happening?'”

Birdsall and his club, Tickhill Velo, have launched a Twitter and Facebook competition in relation to the upcoming time trial in order to promote their club and event, the YESSS Tickhill Grand Prix. To win VIP tickets to the event in September, plus a bike fit at Giant Sheffield (and some other goodies), all you have to do is guess how long Birdsall will last before Wiggins overtakes him.

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Andy Birdsall getting fitted to his time trial steed by Andy Bishop. Credit: Andy Birdsall

“People are asking if I’m going to ride for a fast 10 or a fast pass,” Birdsall explained. “Should I put the hammer down for a few minutes before he catches me, and prolong the inevitable?

“I think I’ll just ride a normal 10, I understand it’s a fast course so I’ll ride my normal pace. You could ride a really fast couple of miles but then end up with a really bad time. I’ll always remember what time I did in the event, so I’m hoping to ride it like I normally would.”

Birdsall normally competes on his road bike with clip on aero bars and admits that he’s not entirely sure of his personal best over 10 miles – his open event record is 26-05 but he recalls going faster in some club events.

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He also added that his hopes of buying his own time trial bike went down the drain when he recently spent £10,000 on a new bathroom, although last year he did get his aero helmet custom painted to match his club kit.

“I keep saying to my partner Emma that the bathroom’s lovely but all I can see is a bike,” he laughed. “Those tiles are a nice set of wheels, you know.”

He aims to film his ride with two GoPro cameras mounted on his bike, to capture for posterity the moment the world champion flies past in the rainbow bands with, he estimates, a relative speed of around 10 mph quicker.

“I’ve roughly calculated when he [Wiggins] might pass me, but I shan’t be looking over my shoulder, I’ll probably just here the whoosh of the disc wheel,” he added. “I haven’t thought what I’m going to say to him, if I have enough breath. I’ll probably be gasping for air!”

  • Tim lewis

    Nothing dangerous about a dual carriageway.. Are you having a laugh!! Cars going past at 70 mph !! Get real mate

  • Zogzog

    It’ll probably be like when Lance (pre-EPO) got passed by Indurain in the TdF TT, wooooosh!

  • Frank Anderson

    Nothing dangerous about a dual carriageway, it just stays still. You sound like a very bitter person. The fact he came so close on what was, by all accounts, a very windy day shows his calibre. Credit where credit due, he stayed around at HQ. This will have made many riders and spectators day.

  • Tim lewis

    so Bradley wiggins goes from winning the Tour de farce in 2012 to riding up and down dangerous dual carriageways on a Saturday afternoon.. Something I think a non sulking spoilt brat professional cyclist would never do.. And he still couldn’t beat the previous record!!!

  • Julian Dean

    Anyone know Wiggo well enough to ask him to do it?

  • neil barnett

    Would be so cool if he did!

  • Julian Dean

    Let’s hope Wiggo says “”Liquorice Allsort Andy?” as he blows by, 10+mph faster.

  • Julian Dean

    “Liquorice Allsort Mac?”…………..as Beryl said to Mike MacNamara as she passed him in a 12hr TT – both of them setting new comp records for their genders that day. It just happened, due to the incomparable Beryl Burton, that the women’s record was further than the men’s. And it stood for two years.

  • Graeme Patchett

    My guess is Brad will manage to catch at least 4 or 5 of the riders in front!! Bet they all have a great day. I think a bike cam is in order

  • agfkl

    What an experience! Enjoy the day Andy!

  • Mick Rock

    Enjoy the moment when he passes you Andy. Something to tell the grandchildren!

  • neil barnett

    Wonder if Brad will offer a liquorice allsort as he passes? Either way it will be a TT to remember for this minute man. Enjoy the day fella!