RTTC National 24 hour Championship (Mersey Roads)(Entries close 27/06/23) (Including the VTTA National Championship)

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  • Date: 22-Jul-23
  • Time: 13:00
  • Distance: 0
  • Course: D24HR
  • Closing Date: 27-Jun-23 23:59
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Mitchell and Murray battle to victories in RTTC National 24 Hour Championship

  • Published: 23 Jul 23
  • Written By: Snowdon Sports
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Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell (Auchencrow Thistle CC) and Chris Murray (Army Cycling) regained their RTTC National 24-Hour Championship titles after a long night in Shropshire.

Both competitors won the titles two years ago and once again wrote their names on the trophies with convincing displays.

Mitchell, aged 41, posted a winning distance of 519.26 miles which was eight miles further than his nearest competitors in the men’s event.

Meanwhile, Murray covered 465.27 miles which was 46 miles further than her nearest challenger in the women’s race.

The Mersey Roads 24 was first established in 1937 and has an illustrious list of winners with competitors starting in Farndon, Cheshire.

An updated course removed the second section with riders instead heading over to Prees Heath in Shropshire.

The majority of the race saw competitors compete on the A49 from Prees Heath to Battlefield before the finishing circuit back towards Wrexham.

Christina Murray

The undulating nature of the course was made more difficult when the rain started two hours into the event and lasted through the night until around 4am.

The course and windy conditions meant that distances weren’t as high as some expected with Mitchell finishing ahead of Mark Turnbull (TORQ Performance) in second (511.01) while Timothy Welsh (Cambridge CC) finished third with 501.43 miles.

“Everybody wants to do well and quite a few of us wanted to win it,” said Mitchell, from Duns in Berwickshire.

“It went well, but it was grim through the night. It was a shame that there were so many circuits of the Battlefield loop which made it quite hilly.

“My local roads on the boarders are quite hilly, but it wasn’t great for people wanting to do a massive distance. As it happens we’ve done quite well distance-wise, but it would have been nice to get on the nice tarmac on the other loop and got some nice miles in.

“I think it was twice the elevation it would have been had it been on the other course. The first four or five hours were nice with little showers, but through the night there was heavy rain.

“You know you’ve got to do these laps and you’re in for the long haul. It’s a huge historical event to win, the names that are on that trophy are the great and good of cycling for such a long time.”

In the women’s event Murray, aged 46, was a clear victor winning her third National 24-hour crown after also winning the event in 2019 and 2021.

Such was the pace of Murray, from Chippenham, she also placed sixth overall and won the women’s event by 46 miles.

Joanna Cebrat (360cycling) led the battle behind taking second with 419.12 miles, while Amy Hudson (Velo Bavarian) finishing on 381.52 miles.

“The start was dry because it was in a different location, but it rained from around 3pm until 4am,” said Murray.

“It was really heavy rain, flooded roads and just persistent with strong winds as forecasted. I’ve done the odd years so 2019, 2021 when I broke the competition record on both events, but this year was never going to be that because of the weather.

“To have won it for the third time is really cool. It’s a unique thing and being involved in the Mersey Roads Club 24 is really special, to win it is the highlight of my cycling time.

“The first one I rode in 2019 was normal weather, it was perfect. Now I’ve done a hot one and a wet one. I’ve got the full set.

“It’s not just about the rider, Mersey Road had a massive amount of marshals along with all the support crews who stay awake all night to cheer you on. It’s not just about a rider turning up.

“You can’t do it without the support crews, or it was would be very difficult to be competitive. The riders were moving, while they were all stood still so it was an uncomfortable night for everybody.”

* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission.

* A gallery of images from this event is available here