Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeInterviewsMichael Broadwith - British 24 Hour TT Champion with a distance of...

Michael Broadwith – British 24 Hour TT Champion with a distance of 537 miles!


Michael Broadwith
Michael Broadwith.

If you go out for a ‘steady state’ run of perhaps three hours and you average 22.4 mph then you’ve not been hanging about.

But how about holding that tempo for 24 hours ? that’s ‘twenty four’ hours, a full day or three consecutive shifts at work ?

That’s exactly what Michael Broadwith (Arctic Tacx) did in the recent British 24 Hour Time Trial Championship, recording an event record for the Merseyside course of 537 miles; mistakenly – and to my shame – I believed this to be the British record.

However, that actually belongs to Andy Wilkinson who recorded 3.8 miles more with 541 miles in 2011 – that one passed me by – but nonetheless we felt that anyone who can average 22.4 mph for 24 hours has to be worth speaking to.

Michael Broadwith
Michael (537.35) with Stuart Birnie (Willesden CC, 504.11) and Alex Kirk (Dulwich Paragon, 497) Photo©supplied

Congratulations, Michael, tell us a little about yourself, please.

“I’m 37 years-of-age, I live in Berkhamsted and work as a maths teacher in Watford.”

What’s your pedigree in long distance time trials?

“I’ve ridden four 12 hour TT’s before, the first in 2004; I came fourth in the BBAR in 2006, and won the team BBAR with Arctic.

“My best distance was in 2013 when I did 282.5 miles and got the Bronze in the National Championships.

“This was my first go at 24 hours.”

How do you train for a ‘24’?

“The bulk of my training is commuting into Watford.

“In the months leading up to the race I was trying to do between 50 and 60 km per day – 25 in and 30 or 35 back.

“Then on top of this I did regular one hour sessions on the turbo at sweet spot (90% of threshold) and I also did quite a bit of night riding on my TT bike to get used to this.

“My (pregnant) wife was going to bed at 10:30 and I was heading out to do 50 miles.

“I also did two longer (six hour) rides on the TT bike to try out feeding strategies etc.”

Michael Broadwith
Michael sets off on his adventure. Photo©Paul Lewis

Colossal distances…

“Yes, the previous Merseyside event record was 525 miles set by Andy Wilkinson in 1997 – I rode 537.35 miles which is about 22.4 mph.

“The event was the National and also the Mersey ‘24’.

“It was an event record for the Mersey but only the second longest ever – Andy Wilkinson has done 541 on the East Sussex course in 2011.

“I had a schedule for 520 miles as no one apart from Andy Wilkinson has gone further than this so I figured that if I could do that then I’d have a good chance of winning.

“As it was, I was up on schedule throughout the event.”

Michael Broadwith
Michael’s boys gave him support on the circuit. Photo©supplied

Tell us about your back up team.

“I had seven helpers, led by Sam Williamson of Hemel Hempstead CC who came top 10 in this event in 2012.

“These included a few friends, my mum and my aunt and uncle who live nearby.

“My wife drove up on the Sunday morning with my two sons to provide some much-appreciated extra cheering on the finishing circuit!”

Michael Broadwith
Michael’s backup team. Photo©supplied


“I ate 24 Torq energy gels, one every hour, and then 12 Mule bars (all mango) eating half a bar every hour.

“I was drinking SiS Go constantly throughout the race, aiming for a bottle (705ml) every hour.

“Apart from that, when I stopped, I had a can of cold soup, two tins of rice pudding, some coffee and a banana that a very nice man outside the HQ gave to me.”

Michael Broadwith
Michael takes on some fuel. Photo©Paul Lewis

How about that night time racing?

“Riding in the dark was good fun, I enjoy it – I kept warm and dry which was key, I think.

“I was pleased that I had done quite a bit of practice but bowling along at 40kph on the tri-bars is a little hairy in places.”

How do you maintain your focus for such a long time distance?

“Concentration wasn’t a problem, I just broke the ride down into small chunks – focussing on the next gel, the next bar or when I would next see my supporters.”

Michael Broadwith
Michael catches 40 winks at a feed stop. Photo©supplied

Any ‘bad patches’?

“I had two bad patches at eight hours to go and four hours to go; both were mental rather than physical and just when the whole thing seemed a bit overwhelming.

“I wasn’t really in danger of stopping, but I did need a stern talking too.

“The swings of emotion were pretty full on – you can go from feeling rubbish to feeling great in a matter of minutes.”

Michael Broadwith
Michael tells us he isn’t an “angry rider”. Photo©supplied

Tell us about your bike.

“My bike is a standard Planet X Exocet lo pro, but upgraded with Zipp wheels.

“I had to make a few adjustments to attach a very powerful mountain bike front light.

“I also added a container on the top tube to hold some gels and two rear saddle mounted cages to hold extra bottles.

“The gears were standard TT gears 54 on the front, and I didn’t go near the little ring.”


“It took three or four days I think to get over the adrenaline, caffeine, glucose mix running through my blood.

“However, it was definitely eased by the incredible number of messages and support that I have received – It’s been amazing how many people have been interested and have taken the time to get in touch.”

Next up?

“Well, we’ll see what to do next.

“I have always fancied the End to End but never dreamed that I would really be fast enough.

“Perhaps I will come back and defend my 24 title next year, although I have a small baby arriving in September to focus on first, and maybe I’ll have another crack at a 12.

“I went through 12 hours on this ride in 276 miles which suggests that perhaps I’ve got more than a 282 ride in the tank.

“We’ll see…”

And just to remind you, the late and much missed Archie Speed still holds the Scottish Veteran’s 24 Hour Record – but that’s even before my time !

Congratulations again to Michael on his mind-boggling distance.

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.

Related Articles

Phil Edwards

It was Phil Edwards’ friend and former team mate back in their amateur days, respected cycling photographer John Pierce who broke the sad news to us that the big man from Bristol, who won both the British Junior and Professional Road race Championships and was right hand man to Italian ‘campionissimo’ Francesco Moser at ‘super squadra’ Sanson for five seasons had died of a suspected heart attack at his home in Monaco on Sunday, April 23rd aged 67 – he was born 03:09:1949. Phil Edwards, British Champion, Olympian, respected member of an elite peloton, successful businessman and gentleman, rest in peace.

Phil Edwards – Part Two; All in the Service of Moser

In Part One of our Phil Edwards interview we heard how he was hugely successful on the 'truly amateur' British scene as he racked up the wins, competed in the fated Munich Olympics before heading to Italy in 1973 and making a name for himself in their savage amateur scene, winning big races by 1975. He was able to step smoothly up into the glamorous - but cutthroat - Italian professional world, but not just with any old team, with Sanson, the ice cream company sponsored squadra of Italian Capo, Francesco Moser...

Jake Tipper – Eddie Soens Winner on Life After Huub-Wattbike

Those HUUB/Ribble boys – our site has almost become the ‘Archibald & Gordon show,’ we’ve spoken to Jonny Wale and Dan Bigham is a regular. But what about that other lad, Jake Tipper? We’ve never spoken to him – then he went and won the Eddie Soens Handicap...

Bernie Nolan – Racing in Oz; “the happiest time of my life”

Bernie Nolan wanted to race as a Pro in Europe but prior to that he sought fame and fortune in the Antipodes – under the Aussie sun, and surely the racing down there wouldn’t be as savage as Belgium?

Graham Webb

The sad news came through from Belgium on Sunday morning that Graham Webb, British World road champion in 1967, had passed away. Our condolences go to his family and the many friends and fans he had in the cycling community. A great champion and a wonderful guy. Ed interviewed Graham back in 2009, and we thought that reproducing the interview now would be a good tribute to the man. In memory of Graham; his views on the sport back in 2009. 'Former World Road Race Champion,' yes, that would be nice to have that after your name!

Dave Rollinson – The Road That Led to Gold

We recently ran an interview with Liverpool Mercury stalwart, Ricky Garcia; we’re sure that Ricky would agree that perhaps the best rider The Mercury ever produced never really realised his full potential. His name is Dave Rollinson; twice British Amateur Road Race Champion, Tour de L’Avenir stage winner, French amateur Classic winner and twice a Worlds top 20 finisher.

At Random

Dan Patten Blog – Aiming For the Highest Level in the USA

Dan Patten has been a regular blogger on our site over the years. Dan came late to cycling, a talented runner but a niggling injury saw him turn to the bike. His first race was in July 2006, it took him 10 races to get his first win. We’ve always respected his single mindedness in pursuing his ‘Flatlands Dream’ – but for 2013 it’s ‘all change’ for the man from Essex.

The Namen Round of the GVA Series – 13th!

Hey folks, first round of the GVA series - it's one of the big three (World Cup, Superprestige and GVA) top 20's at these races were my aim for the year, I got 13th at Namen.

Matt DeCanio – Unchained!

Somehow Matt DeCanio and his 'Stolen Underground' website had passed me by. You may think that I keep abreast of all the forums and Twitter feeds which bang out the latest kitting gossip - usually behind half baked aliases - but I don't. I'd much rather talk to Michael Nicholson about how he's doing in Belgium or Doug Dewey about his new team in France.

Katie Archibald – “You’ve got to learn to be a leader”

This 23 year-old is a force of nature and has to be one of our best medal hopes at the Commonwealth Games; she’s been rampant recently in the European Championships and World Cups; Ms. Katie Archibald recently kindly took time to speak to VeloVeritas about her autumn adventures and her future ambitions:

The Two Day Theory: TdF 2010 Stage 4 (bunchie)

Two Day Theory. It is a very fortunate thing that the situation that Garmin-Transitions is in during this Tour is a first time for all of us involved. The fortune I speak of is partly that we've never had to deal with nigh on half of our team all being pretty badly wounded on the one descent, and partly that the fretting resulting from this would leave us, the staff, nervous wrecks. I have made up a totally anecdotal "two day" theory regarding peoples' responses to injury and trauma. It's completely without scientific evidence or backing, but does explain a pattern of behaviour that I have regularly seen over the years.

Andreas Kappes

It’s with much sadness that we report the death of former Six Day and road star, Germany’s Andreas Kappes at just 52 years of age. He was stung by a bee whilst on cycling team management duties and died from ‘allergic shock’ on 31st July. Kappes was one of the all-time great Six Day men, rated 18th in the last edition of the Six Day results ‘bible’ – ‘Statistieken.’