British Best All-Rounder

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The British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) competition, organised by Cycling Time Trials, is an annual British cycle-racing competition. It ranks riders by the average of their average speeds in individual time trials, over 50 and 100 miles (160 km) and 12 hours for men, and over 25, 50 and 100 miles (160 km) for women. There are similar competitions for under-18s and teams of three. Qualifying races have to be ridden between April and September.

Certificates are awarded to men with 22 mph (35.5 km/h) or faster and women averaging 20 mph (32.25 km/h) or more. The junior speeds are 23 mph (37 km/h) and 21 mph (37 and 33.9 km/h). Competitions modelled on the BBAR are organised within UK regions, and for over-40s.


The BBAR was announced by the magazine Cycling on 4 April 1930. It offered an annual trophy valued at £26 and a shield to be held for a year by the winning team.

Time-trialling had been the staple of British cycling since the National Cyclists' Union (NCU) had banned massed racing on the road in 1888 as a reaction to police objections it feared would threaten all cyclists.[1] The NCU wanted clubs to promote races only on tracks, or velodromes, but they were too distant and local groups began organising not the massed races that the NCU banned but individual competitions against the clock: time trials.

British cyclists came to see time-trialling as the purest form of competition, free as it was of the tactics of massed racing. But there was no reliable way of seeing who was the best all-rounder, over all distances and across a season, because difficulties with travel meant not all riders could take part. The BBAR overcame the problems by allowing riders to compete where they chose and then register their performances. According to time-trialling historian, Bernard Thompson: "It was probably the best thing that has ever happened to British time-trial sport, even to this day."[2]

The first winner[edit]

The first winner was the South Londoner, Frank Southall, riding for the Norwood Paragon club. He averaged 21.141 mph (34.023 km/h) and won again the following three years. After his fourth consecutive win, 7,000 cyclists watched at the Royal Albert Hall in London as Southall signed the Golden Book of Cycling during the BBAR prize-giving concert.[2]

Change of ownership[edit]

The BBAR competition was suspended during the war. It restarted in 1944, promoted not by Cycling but by the time-trial administrative body, the Road Time Trials Council (RTTC), today known as Cycling Time Trials.

British cycling was by then in a civil war, with the NCU's ban on massed racing having been thwarted by a new organisation, the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC). Both the RTTC and Cycling had campaigned against the BLRC, still convinced massed racing threatened the sport as a whole. But the editor of Cycling, H. H. "Harry" England was so upset that the RTTC had taken over the BBAR that he changed sides and began reporting BLRC races.[1]

After the war[edit]

The 1944 BBAR recognised that few riders had been able to train as they had previously and averaged speeds over 25, 50 and 100 miles (160 km). Twelve-hour races would also have been hard to organise because, said Bernard Thompson: "Signposts had been taken down during the war and it is doubtful that a sufficient number of marshals and feeders could have been mustered in those austere times."[2] This shortened BBAR was won by Albert Derbyshire with 23.549 mph (37.898 km/h). In 1945 the competition returned to its full distance.

Tom Barlow[edit]

Calculations of riders' averages were made from 1945 to 1976 by a Manchester enthusiast, Tom Barlow. Bernard Thompson related: "All Tom's calculations were done the hard way; there were no pocket calculators in his lifetime and it is doubtful that he would have changed his tried and trusted methods, his tables of average speeds combined with his outsized slide-rule... about three feet long."[2] Barlow died aged 90 in 1982.


The men's competition has been won eleven times by Kevin Dawson, two more than Ian Cammish (nine). The women's competition was for many years dominated by Beryl Burton, who won 25 times from 1959 to 1983 inclusive. The only other women to have won the competition more than twice are June Pitchford, who won three times in a row from 1984, and Julia Shaw who won a fourth title in 2010.

Three BBAR winners have competed in the Tour de France: Charlie Holland (1937), Peter Hill (1967), and Arthur Metcalfe (1967 and 1968); Metcalfe is the only one to have completed the event.

The winner of each competition is determined by a simple average of the average speeds over the three distances. This average is not an average speed, since the distances are not used to weight the average. The table below shows this simple average as ``average speed``.

Year Winner (men) Club Average speed (mph) Winner (women) Club Average speed (mph)
2020 Adam Wild GS Metro 28.940 Alex Clay The Independent Pedaler - Nopinz 26.470
2019 Jonathan Shubert Arctic Aircon RT 28.414 Vicky Gill DRAG2ZERO 28.032
2018 Kieron Davies DRAG2ZERO 28.954 Alice Lethbridge DRAG2ZERO 28.360
2017 Adam Duggleby Vive Le Velo 29.356 Alice Lethbridge DRAG2ZERO 28.220
2016 Richard Bideau Pendle Forest CC 28.867 Hayley Simmonds AeroCoach 28.705
2015 Adam Topham High Wycombe CC 28.774 Hayley Simmonds Team Velosport 27.145
2014 Adam Topham High Wycombe CC 28.231 Jasmijn Muller Kingston Wheelers CC 26.586
2013 Adam Topham High Wycombe CC 27.322 Paula Moseley Climb on Bikes RT 25.969
2012 Adam Topham High Wycombe CC 27.860 Paula Moseley Climb On Bikes CC 25.668
2011 Jeff Jones Chippenham & District Wheelers 28.023 Jane Kilmartin Cult Racing 26.214
2010 Julian Jenkinson UTAG 27.202 Julia Shaw UTAG 27.415
2009 Nik Bowdler Farnborough and Camberley CC 27.206 Julia Shaw UTAG 27.451
2008 Nik Bowdler Farnborough and Camberley CC 27.329 Lynn Hamel 26.193
2007 Kevin Dawson Pinarello RT 27.283 Julia Shaw GS Strada 25.562
2006 Kevin Dawson Agisko-Dart RT 27.454 Julia Shaw GS Strada 26.005
2005 Michael Hutchinson API-Metrow 27.203 Ruth Eyles Beacon RCC 25.228
2004 Kevin Dawson Planet X 27.541 Carol Gandy San Fairy Ann CC 24.806
2003 Kevin Dawson Life Repair CRT 28.26 Ruth Dorrington Pete Read Racing 25.421
2002 Kevin Dawson Compensation Group RT 27.793 Karen Steele Caygill Frames RT 25.364
2001 Kevin Dawson Pete Read Racing-Caygill Frames 27.631 Karen Steele Pete Read Racing-Caygill Frames 25.29
2000 Michael Hutchinson Bio RT 27.558 Liz Milne GS Strada 25.946
1999 Kevin Dawson Pete Read Racing 27.15 Jill Reames Swaledale CC 26.072
1998 Kevin Dawson Team Ambrosia 27.33 Maxine Johnson Letchworth Velo Club 25.417
1997 Kevin Dawson GS Strada 27.92 Jill Reames Swaledale CC 27.025
1996 Andy Wilkinson Port Sunlight Wheelers 28.236 Julie Derham Twickenham CC 26.697
1995 Gethin Butler Norwood Paragon CC 27.148 Anne Plant Swaledale CC 25.169
1994 Gethin Butler Racing Team Italia 26.874 Yvonne McGregor Swaledale CC 26.094
1993 Kevin Dawson GS Strada 27.062 Leigh Lamont Antelope Racing Team 25.684
1992 Kevin Dawson GS Strada 26.777 Sue Wright Chelmer CC 25.612
1991 Glen Longland Antelope Racing Team 26.94 Mandy Jones Liverpool Mercury RC 25.766
1990 Gary Dighton Manchester Wheelers 26.216 Elaine Ward Scarborough Paragon CC 25.268
1989 Ian Cammish Manchester Wheelers 26.412 Sue Wright Chelmer CC 25.259
1988 Ian Cammish Manchester Wheelers 26.369 Margaret Allen Barnsley RC 25.298
1987 Ian Cammish Manchester Wheelers 26.094 Margeret Allen Barnsley RC 25.687
1986 Glenn Longland Antelope Racing Team 26.771 June Pitchford Stourbridgc CC 24.962
1985 Ian Cammish GS Strada 26.234 June Pitchford Stourbridgc CC 25.321
1984 Ian Cammish GS Strada 26.013 June Pitchford Stourbridgc CC 25.463
1983 Ian Cammish GS Strada 27.355 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.118
1982 Ian Cammish GS Strada 26.000 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.206
1981 Ian Cammish GS Strada 26.341 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.219
1980 Ian Cammish Edgware RC 26.174 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.733
1979 Phil Griffiths GS Strada 26.149 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.228
1978 John Woodburn Sydenham Wheelers 26.067 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.565
1977 Paul Carbutt GS Strada 25.566 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.069
1976 Phil Griffiths GS Strada 25.97 Beryl Burton Morley CC 26.665
1975 Phil Griffiths City of Stoke ACCS 25.418 Beryl Burton Morley CC 26.047
1974 Phil Griffiths City of Stoke ACCS 25.093 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.302
1973 Ray Lewis Coventry CC 25.022 Beryl Burton Morley CC 26.267
1972 Bob Porter Hounslow & District Wheelers 24.914 Beryl Burton Morley CC 26.112
1971 Phil Griffiths Gloucester City CC 25.109 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.463
1970 John Watson Clifton CC 25.958 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.729
1969 Antony Taylor Oldbury & District CC 25.67 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.849
1968 Martyn Roach Hounslow & District Wheelers 25.428 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.942
1967 Mike McNamara Rockingham CC 24.593 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.696
1966 Arthur Metcalfe Leeds St Christophers CCC 24.797 Beryl Burton Morley CC 24.812
1965 Keith Stacey Seamons CC 24.309 Beryl Burton Morley CC 25.439
1964 Peter Hill Askern CC 24.645 Beryl Burton Morley CC 24.716
1963 Peter Hill Askern CC 24.041 Beryl Burton Morley CC 24.138
1962 Frank Colden Camberley Wheelers 24.652 Beryl Burton Morley CC 24.036
1961 Brian Kirby Army CU 24.04 Beryl Burton Morley CC 23.656
1960 Brian Wiltcher Zeus RC 24.526 Beryl Burton Morley CC 23.714
1959 Brian Wiltcher Zeus RC 24.045 Beryl Burton Morley CC 23.724
1958 Owen Blower Leicestershire RC 24.363 Mildred Robinson Manx Viking Wheelers 23.193
1957 Ray Booty Army CU 24.126 Iris Miles Scala Wheelers 22.849
1956 Ray Booty Ericsson Wheelers CC 24.126 Iris Miles Scala Wheelers 22.761
1955 Ray Booty Ericsson Wheelers CC 23.956 Mary Dawson Teesside RC 22.632
1954 Vic Gibbons Brentwood RC 23.811 Mary Dawson Teesside RC 22.399
1953 Vic Gibbons Brentwood RC 23.578 Joyce Harris Apollo CC 22.436
1952 Ken Joy Medway Wheelers 23.83 Christina Brown South Shields Victoria CC 22.289
1951 Ken Joy Medway Wheelers 23.414 Elsie Horton Coventry CC 22.38
1950 Ken Joy Medway Wheelers 23.33 Eileen Sheridan Coventry CC 22.134
1949 Ken Joy Medway Wheelers 22.808 Eilleen Sheridan Coventry CC 21.827
1948 Pete Beardsmore Medway Wheelers 22.584 Suzy Rimmington Meersbrook CC 21.756
Year Winner (men) Club Average speed (mph)
1947 Albert Derbyshire Calleva RC 22.744
1946 Albert Derbyshire Calleva RC 22.843
1945 Jock Allison Musselburgh RC 22.479
1944 Albert Derbyshire Calleva RC 23.549
1938 Harold Earnshaw Monkton CC 22.627
1937 Cyril Heppleston Yorkshire RC 22.348
1936 Charles Holland Midland C&AC
1935 Stanley W. Miles Century RC 21.809
1934 Ernest J. Capell Allondon RC 21.622
1933 Frank Southall Norwood Paragon CC
1932 Frank Southall Norwood Paragon CC
1931 Frank Southall Norwood Paragon CC
1930 Frank Southall Norwood Paragon CC 21.141

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Messenger, Chas (1998). Ride and be Damned. Harpenden: Pedal Publishing. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-9534096-0-0.
  2. ^ a b c d Alpaca to Skinsuit, Bernard Thompson, Geerings of Ashford