THIS has been Sarah Matthews’ first full season taking part in cycling time trials – but she has bagged two national medals, a handful of Wessex age records, a few women’s course records and – to top them all – has been declared the best Sussex all-rounder.
The Fernhurst star has owned a bike only since 2011 but, being the competitive sort, decide to take part in some time trials in 2014 in which she did well, but she decided she could do better.
As part of the top Fernhurst-based cycling team a3crg, she received guidance on the best events to enter.
In September Matthews won her first national medal by winning her age group in the national ten-mile championship. The following day she lowered her own personal best and scored a new Wessex vets record for 25 miles in a time of 57min 39sec.
Two weeks later she lowered the ten-mile time trial record and in her own team’s promotion in Liphook, Matthews recorded 22.18, setting another Wessex vets record. She had missed the national record by a mere eight seconds.
September finished in Normandy for one of the largest team time trials in France, the Duo Normand. Matthews and a team-mate came fourth against a lot of younger women and were very close to the Eastern European professional teams.
Her season’s last event was at the national closed circuit championships at Thruxton, where plenty of the top women were entered. Despite her legs being tired, she managed to get faster lap by lap and to win her age group.
Matthews has proved that being over 50 is no reason not to start a new sport and she already has plans in place for 2016.
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