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Dan Bigham – the new mens’ 25 Mile Time Trial Champion for 2017

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We’re proud of our record here at VeloVeritas; we’ve interviewed every British 25 mile time trial champion since 2005.

Michael Hutchinson, Jason MacIntyre (rest in peace), Joe Perrett, Matt Bottrrill, Ryan Perry – and this year is no exception with Dan Bigham (Brother NRG Wattshop) taking time to chat to us about his seventh British title of the year [adding to CTT ‘50,’ CTT Circuit TT, TTT, kilometre, individual pursuit and team pursuit] and his ambitions for the future.

Bigham recorded 45:40 in Wales on Sunday to take the title by 19 seconds from Tim Cartwright (Newbury CC) with Scotland’s John Archibald (Pro Vision Cycle Clothing) a fine fourth with 46:23, just 12 seconds off bronze, which was taken by champion for the previous two years, Ryan Perry (Raleigh GAC), we’ll be running an interview on VeloVeritas with John about his excellent ride within the next few days.

Dan Bigham
Dan Bigham on his way to the win in the RTTC National Circuit TT Champs. Photo©Gary Main

Great ride, Dan congratulations – tell us about the course and the day, please.

“I didn’t think it was that great a morning, you had to push hard into the wind to the turn albeit there’s a ‘gift’ start with a long, fast drop where you’re topping 40 mph – you start at 200 metres altitude but finish at 60 metres altitude.

“There was a rain storm during my warm up and I was thinking; ‘great – I won’t be able to see and my brakes won’t work!

“But it only lasted 20 minutes and the roads dried quickly; I found it hard out to the turn, I didn’t drive hard on the long descent, but went full bore to the turn then clung on for the return leg.

“It was nice to open my legs up on the way back where I was sitting at 60 kph pretty much all the way.”

Did you do a ‘try out’ on the course?

“We arrived the day before but I know the course, I’ve ridden it four times before so I knew what to expect.”

Dan Bigham
Dan uses all the current methods in his time trialling. Photo©Gary Main

Still on the Scott Plasma?

“Yes, on my 60 x 11 to 23 with 170 cranks, I have short legs plus they’re a little more aero.

“I was on an ENVE 7.8 front wheel and a Lightweight Autobahn rear disc with Continental clinchers.

“I have something exciting coming up for time trials though, rear wheel-wise, Walker Brothers Wheels up in the North East are working on a TT rear disc wheel which only has five sprockets so they can widen the base of the disc to give a better lenticular and hence more aero profile – sounds like it’ll be an awesome product.”

Tim Cartwright (Newbury RC) ran you to 19 seconds as silver medallist, he’s not a rider I’ve heard of?

“I believe he was an elite swimmer who came to cycling, comes from Hampshire, I think?

“He put a minute into Gary Chambers in a ‘10’ recently – Gary is an 18 minute man – so the guy is quick and I knew of his potential.”

Were you getting time checks on anyone?

“No because all the guys I believed would be in the frame were off behind me; in the ‘50’ I took checks on Adam Duggleby because I thought he was the one to watch but in the 25 I just rode as hard as I could.”

Dan Bigham
Dan takes the win at the Thames Velo RR. Photo©Phil Haig.

Is 45:40 a personal best – and what about comp. record?

“No, I have a 45:32 to my name; I think a 44 minute ride is possible and I believe I could better Alex Dowsett’s 44:29 to make me fastest British rider – but Marcin Bialoblocki’s 44:04 is pretty scary. (Bialoblocki is Polish, ed.)

“I have a ‘10’ coming up on the V718, South Cave Village course in September and the organisers have invited all the fastest guys; James Gullen and Marcin included, it’ll be good if they all turn up – I’m looking for a ‘16’ that day.

“I’ll also be riding the National ’10.’”

How does one train for a 45 minute, championship winning ride?

“By training for four minute races!

“I’ve only been on the TT bike three times since the ‘50’ but have been doing a lot of track work for the pursuit.

“I also fitted in a stage race which was pretty hard and gives you volume – so I guess it’s not the traditional method of preparing for the ‘25’ champs. “

Dan Bigham
Dan got everything out at the RTTC National Circuit TT Champs. Photo©Gary Main

Tell us about your track ambitions.

“We’ve formed our own UCI registered track team and the guys has moved in to a team house in Derby so we’re close to the track and can train there.

“There’s a big track meet at Glasgow at the end of September then there are World Cups in Poland and Manchester in November so we’ll be riding all of those events.

“Unfortunately there are no individual pursuits in those World Cups so to get qualifying times I’ll have to ride the UCI ‘Class 1’ events in Switzerland and Portugal.

“But there’s a kilometre competition in the Manchester World Cup so I may ride that.

Dan Bigham
Dan lines up at the Shewsbury GP where he finished with a 9th place. Photo©Gary Main

Have BC released the qualifying times for the Commonwealth Games yet?

“They’re supposed to be coming out this week (commence 07/08, ed.) but I’m pretty confident that I can achieve whatever standard they set.

“I have no excuses not to perform; we have the best equipment, access to training facilities and coaching knowledge so we’ve pretty much nailed what’s needed to get results.”

Dan Bigham
Dan Bigham, RTTC National Circuit TT Champion. Photo©Gary Main

And is British title number eight an objective; in the ‘10’ – or maybe the hill climb?

“Oh yes!

“But I’m not riding up any hills!

“I’m hoping to get a result in the ‘10’ but there’s also the British Cycling Derny Championship, I’ll be riding that one for sure!”

Dan Bigham
Dan takes the dirt roads in his stride during the Rutland CiCle Classic. Photo©Richard Bennett

And to close, if you’re wondering who is also on seven British Championship wins in the one season, we make it Daryl Webster, season 1985 who won the individual pursuit, team pursuit, 25 mile time trial championships, the 50 mile time trial championship, hill climb and the British Cycling Federation AND Road Time Trials Council 100 kilometre team time trial championships.

But if Mr. Bigham wins the ‘10’ – or even the Derny – then that’ll be a Daryl Webster record broken – never an easy thing to accomplish.

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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