Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Andy gets hooked on TTs!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. A week of firsts for Andy as he joins a cycling club and completes a time trial...

Team member: Andy Ward

Serious cyclist, 41 year old Andy from Leicester, commutes to his job as a doctor, competes in a number of sportives, and enjoys the challenge of a hilly climb. Last year he did the London to Paris, and this year he has already achieved his goal of going on a cycling holiday to the Alps with his mates and now he's had a go at time trialling too

This week I managed to complete another of my goals for the season by finally managing to take part in a 10 mile time trial. Ivan, my next door neighbour is a keen cyclist and has time-trialled for many years. His cycling club hold a regular 10 mile time trial every Thursday evening through the summer months. My previous attempts to attend this had been scuppered by ill health and bad weather, so this was to be my first ever ride against the clock.

Unfortunately Ivan couldn’t make this week, so I cycled on my own to the start, a ride of about 10 miles. Ben, our coach, had given me some advice about how to prepare for the ride. I’d been off the bike for 3 weeks due to holidays, so he advised a quick session on the turbo trainer the night before, doing some short sprints. Despite this I wasn’t feeling optimistic about setting a good time.

I arrived early for the start – a gaggle of cyclists on a grass verge, with the signing on sheet in the boot of the timer’s car. It was a friendly welcome and I decided to join the Cycling Club – another first for me. There was a variety of bikes on show from normal road bikes to top-end time trial machines. It was clear that some riders took this very seriously indeed. Chatting to some of the regulars, I was told to just get round and try to finish within 30 minutes. This was some way short of the 25 minutes 42 seconds standard that the Veterans Time Trials Association ( has set for a 41 year old – a time I was hoping I might be able to beat some time this season. I began to feel nervous as my start time approached. Then it was my turn, the countdown began, the starter held me up and gave me a helpful push off. Ben told me to pace myself for the first half, so I was surprised (and a little concerned) to pass the two riders in front of me before halfway. I was feeling good though and they both shouted encouragement so I kept the pace up as I headed for the finish. I was sure I would be passed by  one of the riders in skinsuits, but it never happened. I crossed the line with a time of 25minutes 20 seconds. I was exhausted – my average heart rate was 176 for the 10 miles – but elated. I am now officially hooked. It has given my summer riding a real boost and I have entered an Open Time Trial on the 21st August. I have something tangible to aim and train for – to set a new personal best. 

Who are Team Cycling Plus?

Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page

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