With the 2018 time trialling season coming to an end this weekend, two Carmarthenshire riders saw their season long campaigns end by being crowned National and Welsh Champions.
St Clear's Schoolteacher Kieron DAVIES (Drag 2 Zero) clinched the British National Best All Rounder title and Carmarthen Financial Advisor Anthony JONES (Towy Riders CC) clinched the Welsh equivalent, both riders doing so having gained sufficient ground on their closest competitors that they did not have to compete in the last qualifying event of the season.
The title is given to the rider who covers the greatest distance at a continuous 12 hour event, the fastest time at 100 miles and then the same at 50 mile events. There follows a mathematical process to determine the overall winner.
The National event has qualifying rounds on courses across the UK, whilst the Welsh title is limited to achievements on Welsh courses alone. DAVIES' journey started back in April, where his time of 1hr 39mins 08secs for 50 miles at the Charlotteville event in Aldershot remained unmatched all season long by his closest competitor, reigning Para-Olympic track pursuit pilot Adam DUGGLEBY MBE.
At the National 12 hour Championships in June, DAVIES rode a staggering 319.69 miles to smash the British Record, holding it for 10 minutes until DUGGLEBY rode in at 321miles to take the event and British record; DAVIES having to settle for the silver medal this time.
There followed a tense period of competition between the pair throughout the summer, with DAVIES gaining advantage with a second place at the National 100 mile Championships in a time of 3hrs 23mins 08secs, gaining another silver medal to boot and then bettering this time with the Welsh record and overall title at the Welsh 100 mile time trial. HIs time of 3hrs 20mins 17secs, was a something that DUGGLEBY failed to match and put the pressure firmly back on his shoulders this weekend, where he needed a time of 1hr 35mins or less at the National 50 to secured the title. It was not to be, and his time of 1hr 38mins fell short, meaning that DAVIES' season long efforts ensured that the National Best All Rounder crown came to Wales for the first time in decades.
All in all quite a season for DAVIES, who also added the Welsh 30 mile crown to his achievements, setting a staggering course and competition record of 57mins 34secs in doing so. JONES' path was equally impressive and put the pressure on his closest rivals from the outset at the Welsh 12 hour Championship in July. He rode a Welsh record breaking ride of 297.29 miles on a baking hot day, beating his nearest rival, Victor CHETTA, by a staggering 17.5 miles.
From this point on JONES was in control but kept the pressure on with a personal best ride of 1hr 45mins 38secs at the Cardiff 100 milers 50 mile event in August at Raglan.
Luck, however, nearly turned her back on him at the Welsh 100 mile event in September, where a puncture halfway through nearly shattered his dreams. His strength and determination came through as he finished a strong 4th overall and best veteran with a time of 3hrs 43mins 22secs.
With the profile of cycling continually rising in the County, through the success of local youngsters and the quality of infrastructure and events being attracted, it is pleasing to see honours coming home following the dedication and talent of local riders, both young and old.