THE WORLD of time-trialling can be about those ‘marginal gains’ to be squeezed out of the latest hi-tech equipment, targeted training and special diets. But sometimes it just comes down to what Conrad Moss described as ‘some serious welly’!

The 44-year-old veteran from Paignton tries to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of those all-important seconds, but when Exeter Wheelers’ 25-mile TT, doubling up as the South West District Championships, dawned balmy and dry at Buckfastleigh, Moss knew that it was no time to over-analyse.

‘I just gave it some serious welly,’ said the Mid- Devon CC rider.

The result was a big new ‘S4’ course record and a fourth successive South West title.

Moss stopped the clock at 48 minutes and three seconds, slashing 51 seconds off the 48.54 he set on the same A38 from Dean Prior to Chudleigh Bridge and back last September.

Only eight weeks ago, on an even faster course in South Wales, Moss went under 48 minutes, clocking 47.46, but his latest A38 effort was too good for any of his regular regional rivals.

They’re a persistent bunch, men like Niall Todd and Matt Slater who often occupy the lower steps of the proverbial podium beneath Moss, but occasionally sur- prise him.

Alex Jones (Team Elite/Paul Bethell Electrical) was second on this occasion in 49.21, with Todd (Tavistock Wheelers) third in 50.36 and Slater (Revo Racing) fourth in 50.49.

The Ladies’ championship went to Bideford’s Crystal Spearman (NOPINZ), whose 57.04 was quick enough to place her 28th overall.
Second was Zoe Betteridge (southforkracing. in 58.14, with Mid-Devon’s Ruth Burrows third in 58.53.

Other leading times: 5, Lubos Obornik (CS Dynamo), 50.52; 6, Gavin MacDougall (Tavistock Wheelers), 51.02; 7, Gary Fouracres (St Austell Wheelers), 51.26; 8, Andrew Perkins (Mid-Devon), 51.33; 9, Ian Cullen (Mid-Devon), 51.43; 10, Lee Adams (Tavistock Wheelers), 52.03.


The combination of Moss, Perkins and Cullen also sealed the team award for the Mid-Devon club.

Today Moss and several of his fellow riders from that ‘25’ are off to the Welsh CA 100-mile Championship TT.

Moss rated his winning time of three hours, 37 minutes and 40 seconds there last year as one of the highlights of his career, placing him in the UK all-time top ten list.

Among the SW riders lining up with him at Raglan, near Abergavenny, will be MacDougall, Stuart Hall (De- von/Somerset Fire & Res- cue), Ian Lindsay (Royal Navy/Royal Marines CA), Richard Babbage (Exeter Wheelers), supervet Chris Scawn (Plymouth Corinthi- ans) and Mid-Devon’s Ruth Burrows.

Tavistock Wheelers’ Niall Todd is also organising his club’s ten-mile TT on the A30 west of Okehampton today.

There is a strong field of 60 riders, with the host club’s Cordelia Preece first off at 8.00 am.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.