British National TT Championship

Newton gets his revenge
By Paul Cahill for Snowdon Sports Editorial. Pictures by Phil O'Connor

Chris Newton made up for his disappointment at the national 25' in June by retaining the BCF time trial title in Lancashire on Saturday, after taking two minutes out of former champion Stuart Dangerfield - who promptly abandoned.

DEFENDING champion Chris Newton (Middridge CRT) won the BCF national time trial title in the most convincing manner on Saturday, starting two minutes behind 1998 winner Stuart Dangerfield and catching his rival after 22 miles.

Newton covered the 33.3-mile course near Carnforth, Lancashire, in 1-12-39 to beat surprise silver medallist Tim Buckle (Paul Moy Associates) by 1-47, with Newton's Middridge team-mate Matt Bottrill a further 24 seconds off the pace in third place.

Paul Manning (unattached) was fourth fastest with 1-15-54, ahead of World Class Performance Plan riders Tom Southam and Dan Bridges, riding in their AlsagerAdidas MRT colours.

The BCF championship was staged on a 6.3-mile anticlockwise circuit on minor roads based on the picturesque village of Over Kellett which, after an 1.8-mile opening leg, the men covered five times and the women three.

"Rolling" was the polite description of the roads, but most found them tougher than that. There was no single climb of great significance, but neither was there any letup in the switchback course. After earlier torrential rain, riders enjoyed mainly dry but blustery conditions.

Buckle the man to beat Buckle was the third man off, and obviously in a different class than the other early starters. He was already minutes clear with a time of 16-48 after the opening leg and the first circuit.

His progress was consistent - 31-08 after two laps and 45-41 after three. With some of the bigger names now into their early laps and failing to match,him, Buckle was clearly a contender for the title.

There was disappointment as some notable non-starters were announced. Julian Ramsbottom (Pete Read RT) was one who could have been a threat. Bryan Steel (Team Chilwell) had set off for Carnforth but had major problems with his car, and Jon Clay (South Leeds BM) was ruled out with sinus trouble.

The next man to impress was Matt Bottrill. Starting 20 places but 48 minutes behind Buckle, he was 49 seconds slower after a lap and 1-05 down after two. A remarkable finishing effort then reduced his deficit to 26 seconds at the bell and 24 seconds on the line.

Big things had been expected of Steve Cummings (Alsager MRT) and Kristian House (KVC Vlug en VrijMidera RT) but neither was in the hunt for medals.

Between them, Keiran Page (SP Systems-Wightlink RT) did have a good day, 10th overall in 1-18-17 to take the junior title.

Manning almost saw his fourth place slip away when he was in danger of being held up by a herd of cows. Fortunately for him, the farmer got the last cow into its field in the nick of time.

Now all eyes were on Dangerfield and Newton. The first time check showed Newton to be in devastating form, 18 seconds faster than early leader Buckle and already 38 seconds up on Dangerfield.

After two laps, the relentless Newton was 37 seconds faster than Buckle and 1-04 up on Dangerfield - more than halfway to bridging the gap.

Four-minute warning

With three laps completed, Newton was only 14 seconds short of catching the hapless Dangerfield. Bradley Wiggins (unattached), who had started four minutes ahead of Newton, was then caught just before the end of the fourth lap.

Defending champion Yvonne McGregor was relegated to third place in the 21.7-mile women's event but helped the Alsager Women's RT to a clean sweep of the medals.

Ceris Gilfillan was a decisive winner in 50-50, finishing 1-29 clear, but the battle for silver went down to tenths of a second, with Sara Symington logging 52-19.38 and defending champion Yvonne McGregor 52-19.78.

1. Chris Newton (Middridge CRT) ... 1 12 39
2. T. Buckle (Paul Moy Associates).... 1 14 26
3. M. Bottrill (Middridge CRT) ....... 1 14 50
4. P. Manning (unatt) .............. 1 15 54
5. T. Southam (Alsager MRT) ........ 1 16 49
6. D. Bridges (Alsager MRT)......... 1 16 55
7. B. Wiggins (unatt) .............. 1 17 06
8. J. Gilfillan (Team Hed) ........... 1 17 52
9. S. Cummings (Alsager MRT) ...... 1 18 15
10. K. Page (SP Systems-Wightlink).... 1 18 27
11. G. Stirzaker (Angliasport) ......... 1 19 26
12. J. McConnell (Kings Moss CC)..... 1 20 03
13. N. Swithenbank (Alsager MRT)..... 1 21 18
14. K. House (KVC Vlug en Vrij) ....... 1 21 45
15. S. Jones (Clarke Contracts) ....... 1 22 00
16. S. Lindsay (West Down Wh) ....... 1 22 28
17. R. Anderson (Velo Ecosse)........ 1 22 51
18. B. Hallam (DataPhonics RT) ....... 1 23 21
19. G. McKeegan (Team Madigan) ..... 1 23 25
20. A. Rowe (VC Londres) ........... 1 23 48
21. B. Duncan (Deeside Thistle) ....... 1 25 34
22. S. Morrison (Team Omega)..... . . . 1 25 44
23. J. Cartwright (Royal Sutton CC) .... 1 26 18
24. M. Charity (VC Nottingham) ....... 1 26 54
25. G. Smith (DataPhonics RT) ....... 1 27 04
26. J. Leach (Rossendale RC) ..... . . . 1 29 10
27. P Mashiter (Lancaster CC)........ 1 29 40

What they said

CHRIS Newton had no easy ride, despite the size of his winning margin. "It felt hard all the way," he admitted. "There were no places where you could just get into a position and settle down.

"When I saw the five laps, I was sceptical - I thought there would be more people on the circuit, but it was OK and the marshals were brilliant.

"After one lap, I heard someone shout that I was up, but didn't know by how much. Then I heard it was one minute, and soon after the next lap I caught Stuart Dangerfield. thought he might fight back, but he just freewheeled," Newton underlined his recent impressive form. "I had two road race wins in Belgium last week," he revealed. "I was with the track squad, based in Ghent. I won a trophy in the form of a massive cobblestone, because the race was on cobbles, and then I won a race in Liege as well,

"I really didn't have a place to go at the beginning of the year - at 26, it's impossible to get on the road squad – and going back to the track has given me a bit of an objective.

"I won two stages of the Tour of Holland in May and the two races in Belgium as well as the Lincoln GP, and hopefully the word will get round that I am still up there! I like riding my bike. That's what it comes down to. I'm not in it for the money."