VIDEO & PICTURES: Riders brave the elements in Buxton Mountain Time Trial

A star-studded field of riders braved the elements to compete in a Peak District cycling event billed as the toughest time trial in the UK.

Good Friday saw the annual Buxton CC Mountain Time Trial take place on the hilly roads to the south of the town.

The event has settled on Longnor as the ideal location for the HQ, start and finish as it is attractive to riders, their families and other spectators.

Inbetween visits to Longnor, the event climbs to the Travellers Rest at Flash where it joins the A53 Buxton to Leek road for a rolling but fast section before turning left at Royal Cottage, before the Winking Man pub, to descend once more to the village.

This adds up to a hilly and challenging 11-mile lap completed three times by the men under 40 and twice by everyone else.

Since it is now one of the six events in the national RTTC Classic Series, it attracts the best riders both locally and nationally, including many who are not specialist time triallists who can compete on a road bike for the Athletes’ prize list.

Fans line the route for Sarah Storey from the Pearl Izumi team at the Buxton Mountain TT.

Fans line the route for Sarah Storey from the Pearl Izumi team at the Buxton Mountain TT.

This year’s race did not disappoint with Katie Archibald taking a narrow victory over Paralympic gold medal winner Dame Sarah Storey.

Both women are Pearl Izumi riders although Archibald just pipped her close rival for a second year running.

Her winning time of 1:02:13 for the tough 22-mile route was slower than last year reflecting damp, cold conditions which meant that bends and corners had to be treated with a great deal of respect.

However, despite the conditions, Matt Bottrill (1:22:17 for 33 miles), a previous winner on six occasions and probably the fastest man on British roads over the last year, came within four seconds of the course record set on dry roads in August 2003 by Stuart Dangerfield.

Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald

A number of Buxton CC riders took part and a great many more marshalled the corners to keep riders safe.

In the 33-mile event Chris Lea recorded an impressive 1:42:52, with Luke Beswick (1:45:22) and Stuart Baker (1:50:23) competing on road bikes in the Athletes competition.

In the women’s 22-mile event, Liz Batt (1:16:50) and Molly Whittall (1:16:02) put in strong performances and in the Veterans event (22-miles) Mark Horsley-Frost (1:05:10) was not only ninth fastest but was first in the athletes’ competition at this distance.

Jon Batt also competed in the Veterans event, recording 1:16:23 for a narrow victory over wife Liz.

Emily Robertson from team CC Luton.

Emily Robertson from team CC Luton.

Ruth Gamwell from the Macclesfield Wheelers.

Ruth Gamwell from the Macclesfield Wheelers.

Ian Holbrook from Stone Wheelers CC at the time trials on Friday.

Ian Holbrook from Stone Wheelers CC at the time trials on Friday.

Brett Harwood from Terry Wright Cycles RC on one of his laps of the course.

Brett Harwood from Terry Wright Cycles RC on one of his laps of the course.

Buxton Cycling Club's Molly Whittall.

Buxton Cycling Club's Molly Whittall.

Jackie Field from team CC Ashwell sets off on her time trial.

Jackie Field from team CC Ashwell sets off on her time trial.

Buxton Cycling Club's Elizabeth Batt.

Buxton Cycling Club's Elizabeth Batt.

Ciara Horne from team Pearl Izumi at the Buxton Mountain TT on Good Friday.

Ciara Horne from team Pearl Izumi at the Buxton Mountain TT on Good Friday.