Rider profile: Richard ‘Dicky’ Bussell, National 10 Mile Champion

Midlands-based Richard ‘Dicky’ Bussell rides for RST/AeroCoach. In his first season of time trialling, he’s taken the gold cap and striped jersey of the national champion.

Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskjmvrNs

I caught up with Richard the weekend before the race, for a chat about his ongoing season.

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The season did not start well. Rich suffered a ruptured spleen in a road racing accident in the run up to the Little Mountain TT, taking him off the bike for a long time.

‘I had basically 8 weeks sitting around not able to do anything, and I just wanted to get back on my bike. I think the rest did me good in the end, though. Downtime’s important. I don’t think you really need to worry about losing your fitness – it comes back much quicker.’

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Richard is a postman, normally commuting to work on a fixed-gear Condor: ‘I used to do my deliveries on the bike. I’d challenge myself to get the big heavy 3-speed postie’s bike up the hills. They’ve gotten rid of the bikes and I drive a van now, but that gives me more time to ride when I get home.’

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‘I get my best results after work. It’s like a lot of people are just turning up from a day at the office, but I’ve already warmed up by doing my round.’ He revealed that he’d only been riding seriously for around 4 years. ‘I was always a bit of a chubby teen. I bought a cheap bike to ride and lose a bit of weight.’
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While he hasn’t been competitive in time trials before, he does have some history with them, riding to local club events on his road bike and using them as a training session. ‘I didn’t really have a lot of interest in opens because I didn’t have the kit. I used to like going along and trying to beat people on my road bike.’

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That’s where AeroCoach came in, providing a TT bike for Richard to use. ‘A lot of people say you don’t go any faster your first time on a TT bike, because you’re not used to it, but as soon as I got on it, I wanted to go fast. It feels fast!’

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Richard has been enjoying what most people enjoy when they get on a TT bike – a season of PBs. However, he’s more interested in competing: ‘I want to race people, and try to beat people that would do a similar time as me, or even win!’ Fortunately for him, he’s been doing that too.

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‘In road racing, I get nervous because you don’t know what’s going to happen’ he said, when asked about how it compares to time trialling, ‘you could get caught behind a crash, or crash yourself. It was really nice to do well on a TT bike, and I don’t really get nervous the same way. It’s much more consistent because it’s just you and the bike, and you just try to hang on until the end!’

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He prefers a course with hills, because they’re a bit more interesting, but not so much ones with too many corners ‘I haven’t ridden the bike a lot’, he said, ‘the brakes are a bit sketchy, so I don’t really go out training too much on it! On a hilly course, your times might be slower, but I think I’m pretty strong on hills.’

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When it comes to time trialling, his pacing strategy has been quite basic so far: ‘I normally try and keep it over 30 until the turn. If I can manage that, I’m usually alright until the end. Anything I can get on top of that is a bonus!’ His speed on the TT bike came as something of a surprise. Starting with a head fairing, he spent his early winnings on a helmet after realising how fast he’d be going.

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With a week to go before the 10, he was looking to find more time with AeroCoach: ‘I normally tend to just ride. I mean, I feel pretty aero on the bike, but it’ll be interesting to see if Xav can help me squeeze out some more time with some testing.’

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It seems like he did. Richard came first in the National 10 with a time of 19 minutes and 36 seconds.

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10 thoughts on “Rider profile: Richard ‘Dicky’ Bussell, National 10 Mile Champion

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