Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Matt Bottrill – National Champion and Record Breaker Joins the Legends

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Matt Bottrill
Matt Bottrill.

We can’t keep up with that man Matt Bottrill – but then not many can – no sooner had the ink gone dry on this interview we did with him after he won the 25 champs than he’d won the 10 mile champs in the second fastest time ever (17:40) and then added the ‘blue riband’ – the 25 record with 45:43 to join Bonner, Engers, Boardman and Hutchinson as a TT ‘legend.’

Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas soon after the 25 Champs:

Congratulations Matt, that’s you on the same list as Bonner, Engers, Yates, Boardman and Hutchinson – that must feel nice?

“Yes that’s always what I wanted to be remembered as – a legend of time trialling.

“I always said to myself if I didn’t win the 25 Champs, then I wouldn’t achieve that status.

“It’s taken 18 years but it’s been worth the wait.”

If I was you, I’d be a wee bit disappointed at the coverage the national cycling press gave me for winning the ’25’?

“I don’t really think about it, the coverage I needed was all on my sponsor’s websites.

“And the people that mattered knew about it.

“Social media is now the best way of getting coverage.”

Matt Bottrill
Matt is multi British Champion. Photo©Cycle Power Meters

Matt Bottrill
Matt at the British TT Champs last year. Photo©Martin Williamson

When and where was your first TT – what did you record?

“That was a 10 mile time trial-club event at Coalville wheelers – I did 24:00.”

Your first win?

“It was a criterium at Shipley park in 1992.”

Your first RTTC/CTT medal?

“In the Junior National 25 in 1995 won by David Miller.

“I then went on to win the junior 10, with a championship record of 19:55.”

Who were your TT heroes?

“Sean Yates and Chris Boardman.”

You won the famous Soens handicap road race at Aintree in 1998…

“Yes I won a lot of road races, but people forget that.

“The Soens was quite emotional; I’d just lost my team manager Pete Longbottom – he was run down and killed whilst out training – so I wanted to win to honour his memory, I was flying that day.”

[Peter Longbottom was an outstanding British amateur rider of the 80’s and 90’s he was a Commonwealth games and Olympics competitor and broke Alf Engers 25 mile competition record of 49:24 with 49:13 in 1990. ed.]

And you won a stage in the top line stage race, the Girvan Three Day – why turn to testing?

“Yes, I won the criterium stage in the Girvan, taking the yellow jersey from Mark Cavendish; I was always good at crits.

“I turned to time trialling in 2008, after the birth of our first child.

“Trying to juggle the training load needed for road racing and work, plus wanting to be a good dad was too much.

“I wanted to become the best at something, so testing was the best choice.”

Matt Bottrill
Matt’s win in the 2003 Severn Bridge RR. Photo©Matt Bottrill/VeloUK

Remind us of your personal best times, please.

“For 10 miles it’s 17:40; for 25 miles it’s 46:10 [but now 45:43! ed.] and for 50 miles it’s 1:34:36.”

Tell us about the ’50’ record – 44 seconds is a big chunk to take off.

“Yes, it was motivated by anger – I was mad after the British TT Champs, where I was only sixth, I wanted to be closer to the pros but the course was just too hilly for me.”

Two minutes into ‘Hutch’ in the ’50’ champs – a big result.

“I knew I would have a good result that day, I’d trained so hard for it and the course suited me – it was really rolling.”

Matt Bottrill
Eight hours in the wind tunnel well spent. Photo©Cycle Power Meters

The ’25’ record must occupy a space in your mind – how far away from it are you?

“That’s a big goal; I’m going for it this weekend if the weather’s kind. [as they say; ‘and the rest is history!’ ed.]”

Give us an insight into your training – did I read that you ‘overload’ by towing a ‘kiddie trailer?’

“Yes, I take the kids out power training.

“But all my training is very structured with no junk miles at all.

“I have such limited time ever second has to count.”

Do you have a coach?

“Yes – Bob Tobin, from Cycle Power Meters.”

Matt Bottrill
Matt doesn’t do any ‘junk miles’. Photo©Martin Williamson

How much does your training vary 10 to 25 to 50?

“All are different, but the 10, was the hardest to train for with lots of short efforts above threshold.”

Have you ever considered riding 100’s?

“I won the National 100 Champs in 2010.

“My coach wants me to do another to try and smash comp. record – but I’m not so keen!”

Matt Bottrill
Matt gives it full gas on a climb. Photo©John Pick

How do you gauge your effort in races?

“With the power meter and on my speed.”

That’s one extreme position you have, how much wind tunnel time went into it?

“In total, around eight hours.”

Matt Bottrill
Matt’s extreme position. Photo©John Pick

That’s still on the Matt Bottrill ‘to do’ list?

“That’s a good question.

“I’m just about to start a coaching company, so I want to help other riders achieve their goals.

“I would also like to do an Ironman at some point, with the ultimate aim of going to Kona, as an age group competitor.

“Turning to tri is also something I would like to do…”

And that would be time trialling’s loss; with congratulations again from VeloVeritas on a brilliant season for Mr. Matthew Bottrill.

And thanks to him for giving of to us some of that most precious commodity – time.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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