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Time Trials

Known by some as the Race of Truth, others as great training for triathlons and the rest as a very painful type of torture!  Read on to find out about competing in cycling Time Trials.

Cycling Time Trials (CTT) is the governing body for Time Trials in England and Wales. Their website contains lots of useful information if you are interested in entering some time trials as well as a list of all Open events:

The minimum distance for a time trial is generally 10 miles but shorter races are permitted. Most races are at fixed distances (10. 25, 50 and 100 miles) or fixed time (12 and 24 hours). Riders start at one-minute intervals, or sometimes more, and cover the course alone and without taking pace from other competitors or vehicles. If one competitor is caught by another, the CTT regulations require the overtaken rider to fall back behind the other to a distance where they are getting no shelter or help from the faster rider. At least 50 yards/metres is suggested.

There are two classes of time trial events:

  • Club
  • Open

Club Events

As the name suggests these are organised by a club primarily for their own members or those of other local clubs.  You can normally turn up on the night and enter on the line as long as you are a member of another affiliated club (such as Manchester Triathlon Club) and the cost is usually only a few pounds.  Most Club events are held on midweek evenings and are often used by time-trialers and triathletes as training for open events or triathlons.

J2/1: Stockport Clarion 10m Time Trial

  • Almost every Monday evening between 4th May and 10th August 2009
  • Sign on from 6.45pm, first rider off at 7.30pm
  • See the clubs website for more details and results:

J2/1: Westmead Team 88 Club 10m Time Trial

  • Almost every Wednesday evenings* between 29th April 2009 and 26th August 2009.
  • Sign on from 6.30pm, first rider off at 7.15pm
  • See the clubs website for more details and results:

Seamons 8.75m Time Trial

  • Almost every Wednesday evening between 22nd April and 19th August 2009
  • See the clubs website for more details and results:

Manchester Wheelers 10m Time Trial

These are a series of 'sign on the line' events run on various Thursdays throughout the summer. They are open to all and all levels are welcome including beginners. They are on a 10 mile course starting at the Red Lion in Lower Withington. More details on these events can be found on the Manchester Wheelers website under Events. You can also post questions to members on the members site forum.

Open Events

These events need to be entered in advance by downloading and printing the official CTT entry form from their website and posting it to the race organisor.  The next hurdle to overcome is that the address of the race organsisor is not listed on the CTT website, but only in their handbook that has to be purchased online for £7 (or borrowed from a friend).  For most events entry closes about 14 days prior to the date of the race so it's important to enter early.  For certain events entries may not be accepted on a first come first served basis but instead may depend on your fastest time for the specified distance with only the fastest riders able to enter. Once you've got past all this then you are in and things are much simpler on the day! Some events are now making online entry available and hopefully in the future things will get simpler and a little more welcoming for beginners.

You can search the event section of the CTT website for details of Open Events over a wide variety of distance or alternatively buy a copy of their handbook.  Below is a list of local time trial events and series.  If you are planning on entering some time trials this year then these would be a great place to start.

The Manchester District of Cycling Time Trials

A full calendar of Manchester & District open time trials is available from their website calendar:

The Cheshire Points Series

The Cheshire Points Series involves 20 Manchester District open events where your best 10 results count towards your total.  View the poster here:

Latest results can be viewed here:

Manchester & District Ladies Cycling Association

For more information about this series visit:


Local Courses

The info below is courtesy of Chris Storey [October 2005]

10 Mile TTs

J2/1 - Chelford - Map of course

The fastest course in the area. I have been in two races where the winner did under 20 min (19:55 and 19:58). The course runs from a layby on the the A537 near to Bollington Lane. It crosses Chelford roundabout and passes through Chelford village and then on to the turn at Booths Hall roundabout. On the return, after going through Chelford Village you go across Chelford roundabout onto the A537 and on untill you get to the end about 1 mile from Chelford island. Its quite flat. Most of the evening club 10s are held on this course as are most of the open 10s in the area. There are usually a couple of 2up races in in mid-summer and a ladies invitation. Stuart Dangerfield holds the course record.

J2/3 - Yellow Broom - Map of course

About 1 min slower than J2/1 as the first couple of miles on Twemlow Lane to the A535 are very slow. It starts on Twemlow Lane and winds to the A535 where you turn left and continue to Chelford roundabout, encircle the roundabout, and then return up the A535. It is often used for early season events. Charles McCulloch, ex MTC, used to hold the course record with a 21:04 but in 2005 Gethin Butler did a fabulous ride and got under 21 min.

The first 2km is an uphill drag, there are 2 dips/clinbs on the way out at 4 and 6.5km, the turn is at 9.5km and the dips/climbs are at 12.5 and 14.5km.


This course, which runs from Gawsworth on the A536 to Congleton and back, looks like it would be slow as it has hardly any flat, it is either going up or down. But in fact it can be very fast - some would say as fast as J2/1. It is mainly used for club 10s during the summer.


This is a hardish slow course which starts on the A34 at Siddington. It goes south  to the roundabout at Congleton, encircles the island and back  northwards on A34 to Siddington and then turns left into Salters Lane (B5392) for 0.69m to the finish.

25 Mile TTs

J2/9 - Map of course

The standard Manchester 25 mile course. Starts on Badger Bank which is close to the entrance to the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, then does a 17 mile circuit via the A535 to Chelford then the A537 towards Knutsford. A mile before Knutsford you turn left into Seven Sisters Lane and then left again onto the A50. You turn left into Twemlow Lane and then left again back onto the A535. You then do a second half circuit to cover 25 miles. The course record has been broken a few times in recent years and is now held by Stuart Dangerfield who did 51.18 in August 2005.

J4/5 and J4/6

Alternatives to J2/9 which are used for a few events. They both run on circuits from Byley and in general have very poor road surface and both run along King St which can be very busy.

J8/13 - Gawsworth - Map of course

Hardest 25 mile course in the area. It is hilly and has lots of bends and so is quite demanding of bike handling skills. There is usually a 2up on this course early in the season. It starts near Gawsworth on the A536 heading towards Macclesfield. Turn left at Warren and then left again at Lower Pexhill. This gets you onto the B5392. You follow the road and turn left onto the A34. This takes you to Congleton where you turn left to get you back onto the A536. Then you do a second lap. For some events it is run as a 38km course.

50 Mile TTs

J4/16 - Map of course

Only 50 mile course in the Manchester district and is 3 times round the J2/9 circuit. The course record is held by Charles McCulloch (ex MTC) with 1.45.49. set in 2005.

Super fast courses!

L1015 - Levens

This fast 10 mile course is a few miles from Kendal, just before the lake district. It runs on the A590 near Levens and turns at the roundabout near Lindale. It is about 7 miles dual carriageway and 3 miles single carragway but its main attraction is its downhill start and a large roundabout which you can go around very fast. It is a very safe course. Its at least a min faster than J2/1 maybe even a min and 20sec faster. Course record is 18.20 by Bradley Wiggins set in 2005 (which is only 1 sec slower than the British 10 mile record.)


A course on the A1 across the pennines. Jeff Sherrin,Carine Van Schie and Dave Leak have set club records on this course and it is a good min faster than J2/1.

For more information on courses visit the Cycling Time Trials website: