CYCLING: Hicks rides into the record books

Jeremy Hicks at the start of the event
Jeremy Hicks at the start of the event

Club’s best distance in 24-hour championships since 1969

Jeremy Hicks rode his way into Rugby Velo’s record books at the weekend when he bettered the long standing 24-hour record set by Brian Eyre in the 1969 which has stood until now at 389.98-miles.

This was Jeremy’s first attempt at the distance and at the relatively young age of 25 for an endurance event such as this. He’d targeted a ride in the 24-hour National Championships in the autumn last year and come 2015 has put in six-months of solid training, regularly clocking up over 300-miles a week on his bike in all weathers.

With his sights set on a 400-mile total Jeremy was given the countdown by the timekeeper and headed out on to the roads of South-west Cheshire and into North Shropshire on a warm, bright but breezy afternoon. He started well, building himself a good buffer, passing through the 100-mile mark in 4hrs 41mins and continuing strongly through the early evening and into the night, hardly missing a beat.

The wind had dropped in the night and it remained warm but as the first chink of light appeared in the sky rain began to fall and although light at first it began to fall progressively harder and the wind returned to nag at a now tired body. The rain lasted for a good four hours, doing its best to dampen his spirits but Jeremy was having none of it as he continued to clock up the miles.

As Jeremy entered the finishing circuit, still with over three hours left to ride, he had amassed 374-miles and was in 16th place in the race. However, everything was about to come off the rails as his right knee succumbed to tendinitis and would eventually bring him to a standstill. He was in a desperate state believing he may have to quit but found the determination to soldier on, sometimes riding one legged because of the pain, until his time was up.

The final minutes ticked agonisingly by until one of past one of the timekeepers on the course who told him he had finished. Jeremy was swept by a wave of relief but was unsure of what distance he’d finally covered and waited hopefully for the result.

There were some deliberations at the HQ while the result was compiled but Jeremy was officially accredited with 28th place and a distance of 394.84-miles, just five-miles short of his target but a new Club record just the same.

Jeremy was not the only rider from Rugby to take on the 24-hours, Phil Richards who rides for Leicester Road Club finished 43rd with 360.74-miles.

There was an amazing ride by the winner Michael Broadwith (Arctic Tacx RT) who clocked an impressive 537.35-miles just 4-miles shy of the competition record and in conditions that were far from ideal.