NEWBURY Road Club’s Rachael Elliott produced a stunning performance as she posted the fastest 25-mile time by a woman in the country this year at Belper in Derbyshire on Saturday.
Elliott won the ladies’ event by three minutes to stop the clock in 53 minutes 56 seconds – the 12th fastest in history.
Her performance surprised even herself as she has just returned to cycling after a three-year break because of health problems.
She said: “It was not the best day for a time trial as it was very windy.”
And the bad news for her rivals is that the 37-year-old from Manor Park, Newbury, believes she can go even faster.
This week she competes against a strong field in a 25-mile time trial in Cambridgeshire before setting her sights on the national 10-mile time trial at Marlborough in September.
To complete a tremendous day for Elliott at Belper, she helped clinch the team prize alongside Ian Greenstreet and Tristan Davenne who clocked 52:39 and 53:45.
The victory comes just a month after Elliott broke her-10 mile personal best at the Hemel Hempstead 10 with a time of 21:19.
It’s been a remarkable season so far for the former accomplished Team Kennet athlete, who was forced to give up running in 2011 because of a tendon injury.
She still holds the 5k, 10k and half marathon club records, but, because of her injury, her only involvement with athletics comes as an organiser of the Newbury Parkrun.
Her success in cycling is no fluke.
She covers between 300 and 350 miles each week in training, getting up at 5am to put in 1½ hours training before commuting to London for her job as a research manager for an accountancy firm.
She said: “I ride a folding bike to the station, and I have twice been world Brompton (folding bike) champion, in 2010 and 2011 when I was competing against 800 people from all over the world.”
Her success has inspired others at the club to produce top time trial performances.
Hefin Jones became one of a select number of riders to ride a 20-minute 10-mile time trial at Hemel Hempstead with a time of 20:40, while Tim Cartwright, who has only started time trialling recently, rode an excellent 52:01 to claim second place in the Oxonian CC 25-mile time trial on Sunday.
Neil Pugh also safely got under the hour with a time of 59:44, and Graham Morrison completed the Newbury line-up with 1:04:14.
The previous week, Adam Evans, Ian Lakey and Cliff Voller claimed the team prize at the Chris Hart Memorial 10-mile trial near Witney.
Away from the track, Greenstreet narrowly missed out on a gold medal in the National Masters Track Championships in the scratch race.
He was edged out in the final lap, but took the silver medal in a very strong field.