Spokesmen, the media, PR and TV production company run by cycling commentator David Harmon is looking for looking for two time trial riders, of whatever level of experience, to join Movistar’s Alex Dowsett, the current British champion, in a documentary to be screened on Eurosport during this summer’s Tour de France that will explore how the discipline has become the foundation of Great Britain’s rise to power in world cycling.
The 30-minute film, commissioned by Eurosport and Cycling Time Trials (CTT) will be directed by Dan Edelstyn, whose previous work for Channel 4 includes How To Re-Establish a Vodka Empire, with Michael Hutchinson – winner of a record 55 CTT national titles at various distances – as executive producer.
The film will no doubt touch upon the reasons for time trialling’s place in cycling in Britain – beginning, more than a century ago, with the National Cyclists’ Union’s ban on racing on the roads, leading to some riders taking to the road at dawn, dressed in black, not to race each other but against the clock, on codenamed courses.
However, rather than the history of the discipline, including CTT’s predecessor organisation the Road Time Trials Council’s longstanding opposition to massed racing on the roads, the main focus will be on the “art, science and psychology of time trialling.”
Time-trialling remains hugely popular here and together with the track is where many stars of the road get their start in the sport and lay the groundwork for future success in the discipline.
Over the past couple of decades, Chris Boardman and Emma Pooley have both been world champions and have respectively taken Olympic bronze and silver, while Boardman and David Millar (stripped of the rainbow jersey he won in the time trial in 2003 after admitting doping) have worn the Tour de France maillot jaune following Prologue victories.
Last summer, of course, Bradley Wiggins, a silver medallist at the world championships in Copenhagen in 2011, 12 months after Millar had done likewise in Geelong, took Olympic gold in London, less than a fortnight after a Tour de France victory in large part due to the minutes he took out of his rivals in the time trial.
But away from the big names, time trialling retains huge appeal for thousands who will never scale those heights and who are often simply looking to push themselves as far as they can go to set a new personal best.
According to Spokesmen,
We need another two subjects [besides Dowsett] to be followed through the experience of their race of truth. Whether you're entering your first club 10 or challenging for the yellow jersey of the Tour, time trialling is unique in its mental and physical demands.
We want to know what motivates you, why do you do it and what do you get out of it? What brings you back to the road again and again, what are the great highs and lows?
What's important is that you love the sport, feel passionate about cycling – come rain, hail or whatever Britain throws at you – and that you are happy to be filmed to advocate time trailling in the UK.
If you would like to be considered as a subject for the film, Spokesmen would like to hear from you.
Send us a YouTube or Vimeo link or file of a self produced video of up to 2 minutes, that will give us a flavour of who you are and what time trialling means to you, not just as a rider but within your life. Submissions are particularly welcome from junior and veteran riders.
Spokesmen adds that any would-be participants be available for at least two days to be filmed in May and early June, and that videos, or links to them, should be hello [at] spokesmen.co.uk (emailed) to it by Friday 3 May.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.