What are the VTTA Standards?

Competitions for VTTA members are based on 'vets standards'.  Many time trials, whether or not they are run by the VTTA, often have a competition based on the standards.  So what are they?

The Standards are effectively a handicapping system which takes into account a rider's age so even the oldest riders, some in their 80s, can compete against "younger" veterans who are in their 40s and 50s.  This provides fair competition for all ages.  The system works by setting a standard time for the distance, age and sex of the rider.  For example:

  • The standard time for a 40 year old man riding 10 miles is 25 minutes 50 seconds
  • For a 70 year old man the standard for 10 miles is 29 minutes and 2 seconds
  • For a 40 year old woman it is 28 minutes and 2 seconds
  • And for a 70 year old woman, 31 minutes 24 seconds

You can get a table of the standards from the VTTA website.

Most riders go faster than their standard time and the amount by which you beat your standard time is referred to as your plus.  So if a 40 year old man completes 10 miles in 25 minutes exactly they will have beaten the standard by 50 seconds.  This is referred to as a plus of 50 seconds.  If a 70 year old man rides the same event in 28 minutes exactly, he will have beaten standard by 1 minute and 2 seconds.  In this case the older rider has the greater plus and will have beaten the 40 year old on standard, despite going slower in real terms.

For veterans' competitions the fastest veteran on standard is the person with the biggest plus - i.e. the person who beat their standard by the biggest margin.  (Riders do go slower than the standard and this is referred to as a minus.  There's no shame in getting a minus - the standards were adjusted in 2012, making them tougher to beat, so it's quite common to get a minus.)

Most open events will have a prize for the fastest veteran on standard which will be open to all riders who are 40 or over.  Events run by (or on behalf of) the Veterans Time Trial Association, who are the "keepers" of the standards, will usually restrict veterans prizes to people who are members of that organisation.  So membership of the VTTA can add an interesting new dimension to racing for the older rider:

  • The VTTA organise season-long competitions in the Midlands with generous prizes provided by Echelon Cycles.
  • VTTA members can compete for Standard Awards, which effectively give a rider a target to beat for the coming year.
  • There are Best All Rounder Competitions both locally and nationally where riders are ranked according to how they performed against standard over a range of distances.
  • The VTTA also issue regular magazines and there is an annual prize presentation and lunch.