Best British All Rounder (BBAR) 2021 Tom Hutchinson
MBPC Coached athlete and Team Botttill rider Tom Hutchinson takes us on his journey this season to becoming the British Best All Rounder.
With no more qualifying races left, it looks like I’ll be crowned BBAR Champion alongside some awesome riders who have won it since it began back in 1930, including last year's winner and friend Adam Wild. After having a short break off the bike I’ve had a chance to digest what this all means.
Having followed Adam’s journey last year, this inspired me to step up my game and give BBAR a go. I’ve always had a thing for the longer distances and I knew this challenge would certainly put that to the test. Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than I ever imagined. All the planning and travel up and down the country to find the fastest courses, alongside training and working a full time job was more draining than I ever expected.
Racing started for me in April and come mid-May I was racing every weekend away from my home town of Newcastle. I had planned my race calendar earlier in the year and knew what I needed to do to race a selection of National Championships events and also fast open CTT events that count towards BBAR. My BBAR campaign started with a fast 50 in Breckland (new CR in a time of 1:37:29), however, this was supposed to be a back up event but stupidly the event I thought would be the fastest of the year turned out to be a different much slower course than what I was expecting. I put all my eggs in this basket, so consequently missed a different fast 50 mile, arguably the quickest of the year.
At this point I thought the BBAR win was unattainable when Tim McEvoy of FTP Full Potential posted a rapid 50mile beating me by over a minute. Tim proceeded to win the National 12 hour championships, again beating me, but this time by a small margin of 1.639miles. I managed to secure a bronze at this event, which was my first ever national cycling podium. Everything now hung on the last ‘fast’ event, the BCDA 100mile. I had roughly worked out that I needed to beat Tim by over 2 minutes in order to overtake him on the BBAR standings. I knew it would be close as there was less than 2 minutes between us on the National 100 mile Championships earlier in the year. Tim started 3minutes ahead of me, I knew what I needed to do.
Massive respect to Tim who had a cracking ride with a massive 3:20:06 (just shy of a 30mph average), however, on the day I was fortunately successful in putting over 2 minutes into Tim. For this event I managed to record the 2nd fastest time ever recorded in British competition history, with a 3:14:50, a fitting end to the season! This means I now took the top spot in the leader board alongside a plethora of other super strong athletes. I still can’t quite believe it! The final standings will be confirmed in a couple weeks.
Shout out to coaches Matthew Bottrill, Simon Beldon and Team Bottrill for helping execute the BBAR project. These guys can absolutely get the best out of me and I look forward to resuming training again with them ahead of preparation for next season. Also many thanks to everyone who has continued to play a part in my journey, travelling away from home and unexpectedly getting a cheer from someone new can be a bit overwhelming at times!
Finally, it was good to see local team GS Metro who put up a good fight in the Team BBAR comp. It’s been good to jump on the bandwagon on their quest and I appreciate their support!