Jo’s guide to your first TT

Jo’s guide to your first TT race

1. Make sure you note where the HQ is

2. Be at the HQs at least an hour before the event / an hour before your start time – allow yourself enough time to sign in, pin your number and warm up.

3. Your start time will be confirmed on the start sheet sent to you prior the race, but the general rule is – if the event start time is 14:00 the first rider, number 1, is off at 14:01… so if your start number is 15 it means your start time is 14:15

4. Analyse the course in advance, often you can find the course on Strava, “explore” “segment search” ensure you leave yourself enough time to get to the start line from the HQ – decide the minimum time you will need to get to the start. – if you are late you will have a time penalty – usually 2min in 10 mile TT – it is not worth it because it is a race after all!!

Be on the start line at least 5 min before your start time

Note: the route to the start line is never sign- posted so you need to navigate yourself to it by using a traditional map, your phone google maps or your bike computer.

5. ALWAYS read the race pack provided by the organiser even if you are an experienced racer. Look for special conditions – for example on some roundabouts you are not allowed to be on your tri bars otherwise you will be disqualified etc

DOs and DON’Ts

• Your bike must have front and back light – use some lightweight ones

• You must wear a helmet

• You can ride whatever bike you like except an ebike

• The race number must be pinned to your back. In some races you will also have to attach an arm number. Organisers always provide safety pins but I always carry a few in my car just in case. If you race regularly, it is worth investing in a number belt or a skinsuit with a race number pocket. A few ideas are shown below

You must wear your club kit or a “neutral” kit (manufacturer’s logo is fine like Lusso, Nopinz Castelli, Rapha etc) but you can’t wear pro team kit like Jumbo Visma, Ineos etc – unless you officially race for them of course! Event kit, like Mallorca 312, Fred Whitton or whatever should be avoided as well as they contain sponsors logos…. CTT doesn’t like sponsors logos!

DOs and DON’Ts

• DO NOT warm up on the TT course. It is not allowed to pass the start line on your warm up, or you will be disqualified. I always find a quiet lane away from the start line – again use the google maps in advance to plan for it.

• Before your start reset you bike computer to zero. It helps a lot to pace your race. You will see your distance and average speed which are the 2 most important numbers. For example to target 24 min in 10 mile TT race you will have to average 25mph. As you progress you will start looking into your heart rate and power as well.

• On the start line you will have a time keeper and a “pusher”. You won’t have a ramp and a fancy banner you might have seen on the TV! The pusher will hold your bike when you clip in. You don’t have to use the pusher if you don’t like someone holding your bike and you can just start the race as you like. The time keeper will call you in 1 min before the start. then let you know when you have 30 seconds to go followed by a countdown from 10 to 1 and then say Go!

I usually press my Garmin start button at 10 sec to go. First image shows a start without a pusher the second image is with a pusher

• Go as fast as you like until you pass the finish line – there will be another time keeper there.

• Shout your number as you cross the line

Do not start breaking rapidly crossing the finish line – as there may be a rider behind you,

Just roll on gently soft pedalling until you see a safe place to stop

ON RETURN TO THE HQs you must return your race number and sign out on the sign in sheet.

Health and Safety note: TTs are addictive, you will find yourself booking multiple events

after your fist one!