He’s been one of the most consistent performers on the British TT scene for two decades and now Michael Hutchinson has an Irish title to add to his palmares after taking the elite time trial crown in Co Tipperary this evening, Thursday.
Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT) stormed around the flat 35km course on the N8 at Cahir in a time of 43:49, taking victory from Olympic-bound Martyn Irvine (RTS Racing) by 35 seconds.
Nicolas Roche (Ag2r) was a further 14 seconds back in the bronze medal position.
Next home after Roche was Connor Dunne (Vl Technics – Abutriek). The Belgian-based rider recorded a time of 45:59, some 2:10 down on the elite winner Hutchinson.
However, he was the quickest U23 rider on the night and so takes that title, his first Irish national crown.
The fifth fastest on the night was the defending elite champion Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), who posted a time of 46:12, some 2:23 down on the flying Hutchinson.
The sixth and seventh fastest on the night were U23 riders Sean Downey (An Post-Sean Kelly) and Aaron Buggle (UV Aube).
Downey posted a time of 46:23, some 2:34 down on Hutchinson and 24 seconds down on U23 winner Dunne.
Buggle posted a time of 46:31, some 2:42 down on Hutchinson and 32 seconds off the new U23 champion Dunne.
David McCann (RTS Racing), who is Ireland’s sole representative in the TT at the London Olympics, was a non starter. Stickybottle understands the Belfast man has a chest infection and did not start this evening because of that.
In the women’s event, the rider who has made the longest journey home for these championships has regained her national TT crown, with US-based Olivia Dillon (NOW and Novartis for MS) the quickest in a time of 51:25.
In the silver medal position was Mel Spath (Cycleways) in a time of 51:47, with reigning road race champion Siobhan Horgan in third on a time of 52:57.
The new elite men’s champion, Hutchinson is a dual Irish and British passport holder by virtue of being from Northern Ireland. He was born in Belfast and lived there until his early 20s.
He then moved to Britain for college and while his parents still live in Co Down, he has long settled in the Britain. He has always raced there under a British licence.
However, last year he switched to an Irish coded licence, meaning he could ride the Irish national championships – as he did last year – and is also now eligible to ride for Ireland.
The course this evening was shortened from 40km to 35km because of complications with securing a permit to close the roads at the far end of the original route because it strayed over the county border from Tipperary into Limerick.
A timing glitch occurred on the evening which was resolved after a number of riders queried their times. The correction did not impact the order of the top three in the elite event, though the medal winners were all credited with a time one minute faster than their original times.
However, the error did upset the U23 podium placings. Buggle was initially declared the winner, but when the time error was resolved it emerged he was in fact third fastest U23 on the night, with Dunne declared the champion and Downey promoted to the silver medal position.
National Championships TT: 35km on N8 course in Cahir, Co Tipperary
Men’s Elite & U23
- Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT) 43:49
- Martyn Irvine (RTS Racing) @35 secs
- Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) @49 secs
- Connor Dunne ((‘Vl Technics – Abutriek’) @2:10
- Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) @2:23
- Sean Downey (An Post-Sean Kelly) @2:34
- Aaron Buggle (UV Aube) @2:42
The U23 podium
- Olivia Dillon (NOW and Novartis for MS) 51:25
- Mel Spath (Cycleways) 51:47
- Siobhan Horgan (GSD Gestion) 52:57