• The Mountain Time Trial

    The Mountain Time Trial

    Tyneside Vagabonds' Classic Time Trial
    Since 1947
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The Mountain Time Trial

The North East's premier cycling time trial
celebrates its 63rd edition in 2018

The 2019 Mountain Time Trial takes place on Sunday 19th May
Headquarters is at Belsay School
First rider starts at 10.01am



Ride the classic 47 mile course
Legendary post-race buffet for all riders
Extensive prize list and trophies for all categories



Entries are open now!
Enter online through the Cycling Time Trials website
Closing date for entries is Tuesday 7th May


The History

The Mountain Time Trial was first run in 1947



Initially run over a 67 mile course, the Mountain Time Trial was a ground-breaking event for the North East.  It took place in a different era when racing took place under much more secretive conditions!


In fact, the route was similar to the course currently used, taking in the climbs of Coldrife and Bilsmoor, but returning over the Ottercaps on the A696 rather than over WInter's Gibbet.  As ever, the event enjoyed "brilliant weather"! Pictured right is the feed zone on Coldrife during the inaugural event.

mtt 1947c

The winner, in a time of 3 hours 20 minutes and 33 seconds was Stan Bain of Barnesbury C.C.

The Course

The classic 47 mile course starts and finishes in Belsay, taking in Rothbury and Elsdon, and the climbs of Coldrife, Bilsmoor and Winter's Gibbet

The Trophies

Trophies are awarded for fastest man and woman, junior, and veteran on standard, as well as fastest man and woman on the timed ascent of Bilsmoor

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The Mountain Time Trial

A mixed bag of races and performances this week, from time trials and road races.

Wansbeck 21 mile TT

Mark Reed and Tania Tucker were flying the flag for the Race Team at the Wansbeck 21 on Saturday, with Tania finishing 7th lady.

Pos Name Category Time
26 Mark Reed M 0:52:02
77 Tania Tucker
WV 1:05:31

National Youth Circuit Race - Hetton

Josh Craven, Matty Wells, and Daniel Holmes were repesenting the club at the highest level at the National Youth Circuit races on Sunday at Hetton.

Matty put in another strong performance, where 70 riders battled their way around the narrow circuit.  Daniel was also making his season debut and digging deep in what was a very fast race.  Matty got a great start and quickly settled towards the front ready for the imminent break, which at 26mph didn't take long to materialise at 2 km with ~30 riders pulling clear.  With attacks coming thick fast and 2 prime laps the group was trimmed down but stayed together apart from one heroic sole break away.  At the bell Matty moved up to the front and lead up the penultimate hill but was unable to hold position on the decent and a coming together in the last 100 metres, which he somehow managed to control, meant he finished 22nd towards the back of the lead group.   Meanwhile Daniel was battling round, largely on his own, but will no doubt have benefitted from competing with other riders at this level.

Josh had a tough race with the Youth A boys, and retired part way through.

Philip Russell Memorial Road Race

Adam Wild took part in the Philip Russell road race at Stokesley in North Yorkshire.  The race came down to a bunch sprint with Adam finishing safely in the pack.

Jack Murray Memorial Junior Road Race

Craig took part in his first Junior Road Race on Saturday 18th April up in Scotland - report by Graeme Gow.

The event was the Jack Murray memorial Trophy, organised by Dunfermline CC.  Although a junior race, it was incorporated within a cat 3/4 senior race.  Not surprisingly Craig was the youngest competitor in the field and competing against Cat 2/3/4 juniors, however that did not phase him.  This was also Craig's first dabble into the world of "real road racing", complete with outriders, neutral service cars and a neutralised zone before the start to ensure all was fair at the off.

After a couple of miles at 15mph, the flag was dropped and the race proper started.  It was a 9 lap 7km course, which gave the spectators plenty to see.  Each lap also had 111m of ascent.  The peloton came past on lap 2 and Craig was well placed in 10th wheel looking extremely comfortable.

Due to the compact chain set that came with Craig's bike, his gearing would have given him a 3 inch advantage with every pedal revolution, so I changed it to a standard 39/52, to keep the commissaires happy (what sort of tangent is he off to now, I hear you asking?).  Well due to the rush job I didn't get the front mech adjusted correctly and unfortunately Craig's chain dropped off the front chainring.  Unable to get the chain back on without stopping, the inevitable happened and the peloton began to disappear into the distance.  The bunch came past on lap 3 and there was no sign of Craig.  Shortly afterwards he came past on his own and let me know his chain had come off

He continued to push hard and was eventually caught and lapped by the main group with three laps to go.  The positive side of this was he took it in his stride and stuck with them with ease for the remaining laps.  Many other dropped riders were also picked up by the pack, but were very quickly ejected out of the back again.  Craig showed he has the ability, just not the luck on the day.

Every day is a school day as they say and the whole experience was a great learning experience for Craig.  Next weekend he will return to Northumberland to take on the Sloan Trophy.  Let's hope the cycle gremlins stay away this week.

For the record, Craig finished as 14th Junior and picked up another 2 points for his licence - proof that it is worth finishing!

Legends of the Mountain TT

The Mountain TT has seen many great riders and performances over the years

Here are some of the highlights...

  • Jack Watson

    Jack Watson

    Jack Watson has been fastest veteran rider on standard in the MTT on no fewer than 11 occasions since 1998 and despite being in his 70s now, is quicker than many riders half his age
  • Chris Newton

    Chris Newton

    Former Olympic medallist and Commonwealth champion in the team pursuit, Chris Newton, from Stockton-on-Tees rode the MTT just once. In 2010, in what was his final year of racing, he set a new course record for the 47 mile course of 1:50:16, winning the event by more than 6 minutes.
  • Ron Longstaff

    Ron Longstaff

    Ron Longstaff, riding for Tyneside Vagabonds, won the second edition of the MTT in 1948, and again in 1954. He returned to ride the event in 2009 aged 80 and is the oldest rider to complete the MTT.
  • Martin Gibson

    Martin Gibson

    Martin Gibson rode and finished the Mountain TT in 21 consecutive events from 1993 until 2013, regularly placing in the top and winning the event in 2005.
  • David Cook

    David Cook

    Former National Road Race Champion David Cook won the Mountain TT on 3 consecutive occasions between 2000 and 2002.
  • Graeme Obree

    Graeme Obree

    Graeme Obree, who has too many accolades to mention, rode the event in 2007 on one of his unique bicycles. He finished 3rd after puncturing on the Gibbet, in what was his last solo time trial.
  • Ian Norris

    Ian Norris

    Ian Norris is one of 6 riders to have won the Mountain TT on 3 or more occasions, winning in 1986, 1989 and 1992.
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