NIK Gardiner covered 510.095 miles in the National 24-Hour Time Trial Championship to secure his fourth victory in the event, and promptly announced it was his last full-day event.
Gardiner?s distance gave him a comfortable victory over second-placed John Warnock (Twickenham CC) who covered 487.83, but in reality none of the riders were comfortable on a scorching hot day in Shropshire.
?It was really hard,? said the John?s Bikes rider a couple of hours afterwards. ?It?s always hard to do a 24, but this one was the hardest yet. There?s nothing else left in me to give – that?s the last 24 I?m doing, so I?m pleased to have won so I can finish on a high.?
45 riders finished the event, with many suffering in the heat and one collapsing at the finish. But Gardiner added: ?I was concentrating so hard on the job in hand that I didn?t think too much about the heat.
?When I got towards the end I was just ticking the miles off in my head. The last four hours were very hard. I had a good idea of what my distance was going to be, but I didn?t want to ease off at all – you?ve got to squeeze every last bit out of yourself.?
Neil Skellern took third with 464.19 miles, and led Congleton CC to the team prize alongside fifth-placed Karl Austin (450.49) and eight-placed Graham Barker with 439.87.