The other day we were congratulating ourselves on the fact that we’d spoken to every CTT competition record holder from 10 miles to 12 hours, including Stuart Travis’s recent blitzing of the ‘30’ record.
However, we were reminded that all of those were men’s records and we should pay attention to the ladies.
Enter Ms. Alice Lethbridge, competition record holder at 15 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours – not to mention a member of the record breaking teams at 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles.
Here’s what she had to say to VeloVeritas, recently.
The basics first Alice: how old are you, where are you from and what do you do for a living?
”I’m 33, live in Surrey and I’m a teacher – Biology and Head of Year 11.”
You were a runner; at what level and why turn to cycling – when was that?
”I ran cross country, track and road and competed for England U20 at Cross Country and GB U23 Steeplechase.
“I was part of a very successful team at Aldershot, Farnham and District, for whom my team mate Vicky Gill also ran.
“I actually first met Vicky when I did the U20 cross country in Brussels and Vicky was part of the senior England team
“I had a series of bad injuries with my running – ruptured plantar fascia, ruptured ankle ligaments, stress fracture in my hip, broken metatarsal.
“Every time I just about got back to being ready to compete again something happened…
“In 2012 I was waiting for surgery on my foot when I went to watch the Olympic road race and time trial as they were only down the road.
“I joined a cycling club and it started there.
“I was still trying to get back running but was eventually persuaded to stop running and focus on cycling in 2014.”
We make you our championship successes:
- 2018: 10 mile silver and team plus individual silver in 2017
- 25 mile team (& 2017)
- 50 mile bronze and team
- 100 mile champion and team (& 2017)
- 12 hour champion (& 2017)
- BBAR (& 2017)
What have I missed?
”I was second at the RTTC Circuit Champs (also took silver in 2017 and bronze in 2016)
“10th at BC TT Champs only 10 days after the 12 hours.
“I also got bronze at the closed circuit in 2016 and 2017.”
Your competition records:
- 15 miles in 31:30 and team record
- 25 miles team record
- 50 miles team record
- 100 miles in 3:42:03 and team record
- 12 hours in 290.07
Have I missed anything?
“I also got the individual 100 and 12 hour records last year so this year was just improving those.”
20 wins off 24 starts in 2018 – how do you manage such consistency and which success gives you most satisfaction?
“The final tally is 21 time trial wins, three second places, one third place and one fourth place.
“Generally I really enjoy training and racing, and I think if you’re happy and healthy and want to do the training rather than see it as a chore you can be consistent.
“The consistency dwindled from August onward though as I was struggling with niggling injury and illness and started not to enjoy it so much.
“I had some not very good results at some big races and my result at the National ‘25’ was a real disappointment for me, as was the 50, but both of them I rode when not at my best and I realised that I needed to call time on my season after last weekend and prioritise my health over my cycling ambitions.
“The weekend in May when I did my 10 mile PB on the Saturday (19.40, fastest time by a women outside of the V718 and third equal fastest woman all time) and then the 25 PB the next day (50.10, third fastest of all time) were my best achievements this year.
“I’ve always been more of an endurance athlete naturally so it’s a much tougher challenge to be able to ride so well over the shorter distances.
“The ‘100’ record in July was also of great satisfaction because I don’t think anyone really thought I’d do it on that course and I had so many mechanical mishaps that race that I was lucky to even get to the finish.”
Have you thought about the road – UK time trialling doesn’t lead anywhere internationally, does it?
“I’ve done a few road races in the past and I actually won the only one I did this year which was an awesome feeling – it did end up as a 40