On Saturday afternoon www.drag2zero.com sent two teams to the British National Team Trial Championships, Team A consisted of Matthew Bottrill, Mark Holton and Charles McCulloch and team B which consisted of Scott Povey, Jon Simpkins and Jeff Jones.
The teams came with one mission: to put in the fastest performances possible. With all riders having been set up like Formula 1 race cars from their team sponsor Simon Smart, owner of Drag2zero.com, there could be no excuses on the day!
Covering 2 laps of a nearly 18-mile circuit starting in Preston Candover, North Hampshire, the course provided a mix of undulating climbs, twisting lanes and a fast descent. Full concentration would be needed to take the victory.
First to leave the starting area were Povey, Simpkins and team captain Jones. They were chasing In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT, who came through at the end of the first lap with the new best time of 37:02 (later equalled by High Wycombe CC), but it wasn’t quick enough and the Drag2Zero.com team overhauled it with 36:31.
One more lap and they stopped the clock at 1:15:32 to take the lead by 48 seconds from High Wycombe CC. Arctic SRAM RT where the next to finish in a time of 1:15:45 – good but not quite good enough to pip Povey, Simpkins and Jones. With two podium places now filled it was up to the Drag2Zero A team of Bottrill, Holton and McCulloch to decide the outcome of the silverware.
Leaving the starting area at 3:57pm, the trio were soon into their stride and thundering down the road like lightning on their Giant bikes and Enve wheels. On the first lap the team were on fire and riding through the stiff westerly wind. Coming into the finish area on the first lap, the news was good – team helper Pete Lavine gave the thumps up and a time of one minute up to lead the race! With the team on the rivet, all they had to do was keep upright and the keep the power going. Putting their full knowledge of aerodynamics into play, the team stopped the clock in 1:13:59 for victory!
Asked about the team’s performance, Matt Bottrill said: “Yes, we are pretty pleased with today’s result. Our team sponsor Simon Smart and Natalie Atkins have done a great job in getting the team into shape for this event, making sure every rider had the optimal position to perform and the clothing to match. So much help has gone into making this possible, from our sponsors Enve, Giant, ZipVit, Smart Aero, Bont, Ultimate Ceramic Bearings and Mg Decor, and this is a great way of saying thanks to all of them. The ride on the road went really well, I was a little over keen at times, but Charles played a good captain’s role and basically just told us what to do.”
Jeff Jones was delighted with his team’s result, saying: “Although we hadn’t ridden together before, we gelled really well on the day and all rode to the best of our abilities. To come away with silver was really satisfying: Arctic SRAM pushed us pretty close though!
“Jon was pretty nervous as he’d not ridden an event like this before. But after doing a practice lap of the course we settled well and he was strong throughout. Scott suffered more on the hills than Jon and I but he did sterling work into the headwind section on the A30, which helped us keep our speed along that section. I had good legs and was happy to shoulder more of the work while making sure we kept together. It worked out really well.”
A great result for the team and another set of national medals to add to their growing collection. Check in next week, as the team will be tacking the National 100 Championship with Matt Bottrill, Scott Povey and Derek Parkinson.