What is Time Trialling?

Moira Goodway
Moira Goodway

A cycling time trial is sometimes called the 'race of truth' because it is the simplest purest race against the clock. Each rider sets off on their own and covers the specified course in the fastest time they can, alone and unpaced. It is you against the clock. No tactics, no teamwork, no game-plan other than to finish in the shortest possible time.

Riders usually set off at minute intervals, counted down by the timekeeper. You ride at your own pace and may be overtaken by other riders, or you may overtake others. Whatever happens you must never shelter in the slipstream of another rider and you should not take pace from anyone else.

The beauty of time trialling is that anyone can do it. Fast or slow, young or old, experienced or inexperienced. If you want to spend thousands of pounds on a state-of-the-art bike you can, if you want to ride on the old bike you've got in the shed you can - as long as it is roadworthy.