Melton rider Jamie Haines chooses life in the fast lane

Melton cyclist Jamie Haines aims to go even lower after breaking the 20-minute barrier for the 10-mile time trial PHOTO: Brian Hall EMN-160524-192332002
Melton cyclist Jamie Haines aims to go even lower after breaking the 20-minute barrier for the 10-mile time trial PHOTO: Brian Hall EMN-160524-192332002
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What do you do as a cyclist when you finally reach a long strived-for target? Answer – aim for the next one.

For fast-improving rider Jamie Haines this was precisely the scenario after breaking through the 20-minute barrier for the 10-mile time trial.

Jamie Haines won a host of club honours last year EMN-160525-100836002

Jamie Haines won a host of club honours last year EMN-160525-100836002

Haines did not just eclipse this ambition, a benchmark out of reach for many aspiring amateurs, he chipped a significant 25-second chunk off it at the City Road Club 10TT in Hull.

Averaging 30.6mph, he clocked 19min 35secs, a time quick enough to earn the Melton Olympic Cycling Club rider third place - seven seconds off runners-up spot - in a good quality 120-strong field.

But with one of this year’s targets already under his belt, and with the road season barely under way, the unassuming 23-year-old only has eyes on going even quicker.

“I had my sights on it since last year, and it’s really been a target of mine since then,” Haines said.

“I was really pleased with it, but it just makes you wonder what it takes to get into the 18-minute mark.

“I’m quite into my time trialling and seeing how much I can knock off my times so I’ll just keep working away at it.”

Choosing to race on the V718 course was no coincidence as he tried to improve on his previous best of 20min 20secs set last year on the A1.

Known as one of the country’s quickest courses, Bradley Wiggins tried to break the 10-mile record there last year.

Haines added: “It’s renowned for being a good course. It’s pretty flat and straightforward with one good roundabout.

“But others were saying it wasn’t a particularly fast day. I heard that people who have 18-minute times were doing 19 minutes.”

The 23-year-old, from Melton, is a recent convert to cycling and took to mountain biking in 2012 before joining the Melton club the following year.

He trains virtually every day, covering around 200 miles of Tarmac every week, on top of competition rides.

And the focussed schedule appears to be paying off. Earlier this month, Melton Olympic’s two-lap record at Ashby Pastures went in the midweek TT league.

“I started to do more road work for fitness and it just escalated from there,” said Haines.

“I have felt stronger than I have done in previous seasons and have been going faster on the home courses.”

Last Thursday the good form continued in a circuit race at Mallory Park where he finished ninth in a combined category 2/3/4 race.

Taking on the category two riders has been a big step up for Haines, but recent performances suggest he is fast approaching Cat 2 territory himself.

He explained: “I’ve been racing as a category four rider, but Mallory introduced category three into the same round as four and five, and then category two as well.

“It’s a bit different to time trialling when you do your own thing.

“If someone goes in the road race, you have to go with them.”