Reigning series champion Matt Bottrill threw down the gauntlet to his challengers in the RTTC-Rudy Project National Time Trial Series, winning the opening round of the 2011 series in convincing style in Essex on Sunday.

The I Ride RT man from Leicester was more than two and a half minutes faster than his nearest rival – espoir Andrew Griffiths (Twenty 3C) – covering the 25.5-mile course based on Finchfield in 53-42. Last year’s runner-up, Jeff Jones of Chippenham and District Wheelers, was third, 3-10 off Bottrill’s pace.

The winner for the last three seasons, Michelle King (Cult Racing) was again fastest women.

The course record fell in the Camel Valley C&TC 10-mile event in Cornwall, Mark Lees of Southfork Racing clocking 20-50 to win by 12 seconds. And Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized) set a new record mark for the B10/9 in Suffolk, winning with 21:25, 1-08 ahead of Mark Arnold (Team Pedal Revolution.co.uk).

And in Nottinghamshire, there was a tie for first spot in the JE James 10-mile event at Blyth between former British Best All-Rounder title holders Kevin Dawson and Ian Cammish.

With 11 BBAR titles to his credit, Sportscover.com rider Dawson clocked 20-20, while nine-times champion Cammish (Planet X) matched him, despite being 13 years older at 54.

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