If you have ever coveted a bona fide national championship medal of your own, stand by. This year could be your best chance yet to claim a national time trial medal, following changes made by Cycling Time Trials to the way medals are awarded in title races.
The time trialling body has scrapped rules that limit the medals available in any given category according to how many people compete in it, meaning that the full complement of three medals will now be available, however many riders compete for them.
Previously, if there were fewer than 10 entrants in a particular category, only two medals would be awarded, while if there were fewer than five, only one medal was available.
It is part of a drive by CTT to make time trialling as inclusive and rewarding as possible, and follows recent strategies such as the creation of a separate road bike category for all events. The new rules on medals have been brought into immediate effect and will apply to all National Championships from this year onwards, including championships that have already been held, such as the National 24-hour, held last month.
One of the direct beneficiaries to the CTT's new rule changes is Amy Hudson, whose third place finish out of seven female competitors in the 24-hour would not previously have yielded any silverware (or indeed, 'bronze-ware').
She said: “Thank you CTT for listening and making this change, challenging this rule wasn’t about me getting a bronze medal, but about making sure women’s achievements are recognised in the sport. I’m looking forward to seeing three women on the podium going forwards and I hope more women feel inspired to give cycling a go."
CTT chair Andrea Parish hailed the move as a "really important development" for time trialling.
"A huge driving force for me in my role as Chair of CTT is in the celebration of domestic time trial cycling, and the celebration of rider achievement, for which this rule change is a clear advocate. It will help us to applaud all of those who deserve recognition for their amazing achievements, rather than being governed by numbers on a sheet."
Upcoming time trial championships, for aspiring medallists, include the National 12-hour Championship on Sunday 13 August, the National 25-mile Championship on Sat-Sun 26-27 August and the National 10-mile Championship on Sat-Sun 2-3 September.
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