For three years now, for hundreds of cyclists the clocks going back means just one thing – the world’s longest one-day road race, Red Bull Timelaps, which returned to Windsor Great Park for its third edition this weekend.
1,000 cyclists took part in the event, which takes advantage of the extra hour created by the transition from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time to pack 25 hours of riding into a day – among them, the Team Ineos rider, Pavel Sivakov.
The event is held on a 6.3-kilometre circuit, with a shorter, 4.5-kilometre loop used for the Power Hour from 2am, when laps count double.
Early on, the riders had to contend with the wind and rain, although by the morning the weather had improved and the sky clear.
The overall team honours went to the British UCI Continental team, Vitus Pro Cycling, whose four riders clocked up 148 laps and rode a combined total of 894 kilometres, while the top women’s team was Bianchi Dama, who rode 126 laps and an aggregate distance of 768km.
Clapham Chasers won the mixed category with 134 laps, while honours in the men’s and women’s solo categories, new to this year’s edition, went to George Kikpatrick and Tamala McGee respectively with 101 and 79 laps.
Fourth in the solo category, by the way, was road.cc's own Big Dave Atkinson, who notched up 80 laps and has been in a bit of recovery mode today.
Vitus Pro Cycling’s Mikey Mottram, said: “I was surprised with just how hard the race was. We started the whole thing doing 60-90 minute stints, but then from early Sunday we started doing 2 hour shifts just because everybody wanted to do their last run and get warm. Red Bull Timelaps is certainly more challenging than you expect it to be, but definitely worth it.”
Georgina Panchaud of Bianchi Dama attributed their success to the Power Hour, and said: “It was tricky because it was a course that you hadn’t seen before and you’re heading downhill into it in the dark.
“A lot of it is about luck, if you get onto the right wheel or with the right group you can ride with them. The one thing you don’t want is to be is isolated out there because then it can be tough,” she added.
Sivakov rode as part of a team comprising other members of Team Ineos staff, and rode 257 kilometres himself.
“During the night, you’re asking yourself ‘Why did I come here?’ because it’s so hard,” he said afterwards.
“However on Sunday morning when the sun is shining you’re just happy and satisfied that you’ve completed such a hard challenge.”
You can find more information and full results here.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.