Adam Topham scored his fourth successive victory in the Hounslow’s Ron Brown Memorial 100 last Sunday 25th May 2014.
His time was an impressive 3 hours 40 minutes 05 seconds on a hard day with a blustery south west wind, but as is so often the case this seemed to make a smaller difference to the fast men than the less gifted competitors. This result was to be expected, not just on the basis of past performances, but also because from the roadside he looked the fastest: Topham is a master in the matter of achieving an aerodynamic position (see photo).
However, looking at the full result it can be seen that he had little time for relaxation. He recorded an excellent 1.48.03 for the first fifty miles, but this effort only gave him a margin of about two and a half minutes over a pair of close rivals: Tejvan Pettinger with 1.50. 32 and Paul Gamlin just a further five seconds adrift with 1.50.37. In the second fifty there was only a small increase in Topham’s lead, with Gamlin just managing to get the better of Pettinger by 15 seconds.
After the finish Adam said he was very pleased with his day’s work, but said that ‘his power was down slightly’ and that he had no explanation for this. He felt his results so far this season had been better than ever and he is still full of enthusiasm with a third successive British Best All Rounder victory in his sights. Given that his time in this event, on a hard day, was 15 seconds faster than his best time last year, another BBAR crown seems well within his reach.
This was also his fourth win in the Hounslow 100. Gary Woodward (Chippenham and District Wheelers) and the Hounslow’s own Martyn Roach also have four victories in this event to their credit, so it will be interesting to see if Adam Topham can exceed this score in 2015.
This 100 was also the Veteran Time Trials Association National Championship at the distance, the outcome being decided on ‘age standard’, and the victor here was Shay Giles (VC Elan) who recorded 4.14.53, a very creditable time for a sixty nine year old. This gave him a plus of 1 hour 11 minutes and 40 seconds under the current vets’ standards, and a wafer thin victory of fourteen little seconds over Adam Topham.
Shay told me that because the new standards seemed to favour younger vets he had not even bothered to join the VTTA last year (membership is necessary to win the championship), and had only paid his subscription this year when prompted by a club mate who pointed out the possibility of club team successes in VTTA competitions. It has been said before that there is not much point in these competitions if the vets’ winner is the same as the outright winner on scratch, now a common result which was almost the outcome here. Readers may be interested to note that Shay Giles did not start his serious time trial career until he was thirty eight, the same age that Adam Topham began as a novice TT rider.
David Shepherd (GS Stella) took the bronze medal in this championship, his 3.54.42 at age fifty three giving him a plus of 1.05.07. He also led the GS Stella to the Vets Club Team victory with support from Ben Fielden, 72 years, 4.47.04, and Andy Payne, 53 years, 4.14.15.
The Ladies Prize went to Jody Conibear (Hemel Hempstead CC) who improved from her qualifying time by two minutes, to 4.22. 42. Jody is in her third season as a contender for the Ladies BBAR taking 19th place in 2012 and 10th position last year. One expert opinion was that, given the tough wind in the Hounslow event, she could be expected to do around 4.15 on a good day and course, which would certainly move her a good way up the Ladies BAR table. We wish her luck in this enterprise.