Dan Bigham and Joscelin Lowden, who are both riding the inaugural World Championship mixed team time trial for Great Britain in Yorkshire next Sunday, smashed the men’s and women’s course records on the G25/89 course in East Sussex this morning (Sunday September 15).
Bigham clocked 48-19 on the rolling, mostly single-carriageway 25-mile course beating the 48-55 set by Graeme Obree when he won the National 25 on the same course in 1996.
Bigham said: "I’ve not done a 25 since the early season but with the Worlds TTT the coach wanted me to get out to see where the legs are at. I went out really conservatively and rode a power PB, 10 watts more than I’ve ever done for a 25 so I’m very happy. It was 370 watts today and I had a lot left in the tank – I undercooked the whole thing. The last minute was something like 450 so I should have dug a bit earlier.
“First time I rode this course was about seven o’clock this morning. We stayed with a friend just round the corner. I checked all the roundabouts on the way up, thought, OK, I can straightline most of them and that’s it really. I’m quite good at the rolling courses, they’re like team pursuiting where you’re doing overs and unders, versus dual carriageway where you’re just trying to do a set power, so I quite enjoy it.
“I wanted Obree’s record; that’s what we’re about – riding fast, smashing records and enjoying it. By about halfway I thought, it’s doable, the legs felt good and it kept getting quicker and quicker. About 10 minutes out I was like yeah, I’ve got the record, now I’ll see what I can really do.
"It was a bloody good ride by Obree so I’m really happy to take some time out of that, and he’s a legend of the sport so if you can take any time off him you’re in a good place. So I’m excited to see what we can do next weekend. I’ve ridden the [Yorkshire] course plenty of times, obviously Harry [Tanfield] is going well after the Tour of Britain, John [Archibald] is in really good form and we’re generally just confident and excited for what we can achieve.
Lowden, who rode for local club Lewes Wanderers CC before joining the national time trialling phenomenon that is The Independent Pedaler, knows the course better than Bigham and with her 54-03 took a large chunk out of her own record of 55-42, set earlier this year. That time also placed her fourth overall in a strong field of 56.
Lowden said: "I didn't really get into it till near the end. I'm pleased with the ride but it was a little bit over what I was hoping to do. I just felt a bit sleepy.
"I've done the 10 course a few times but that's the second time I've done the 25 version – the first time was April this year when I broke the record so I had an idea of what I thought I'd do, and I thought a 53-and-a-half.
"I'm looking forward to next weekend. I like the course, it's a good one for me and the team that we've got is a real mix: the other two girls [Lauren Dolan and Anna Henderson] are really good at the technical bits and through the town at the end. It's a good team.
What does Lowden think of the new mixed relay format? "Oh, it's a bit of fun. It's going to be interesting. The men's team are going to absolutely fly round. Hopefully we'll be able to do the same.
"I've got absolutely no idea how we'll do compared to anyone else. You've just got to completely focus on what you can do yourselves and not pay attention to anyone else."
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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