WESTERLEY CC FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT UNTIL 2007
‘The father of modern Time Trialling’ is not our slogan, it was taken from the headline of the full page obituary in Cycling Weekly on 21 June 2007 making Will Townsend’s death at 102 years old.Cycling weekly had initially run news of his death in the 7 June 2007 edition.
Will was a founding member of the, then, Westerley Road club and was a huge presence right up until his death. To understand why Will was such an important figure , one has to understand the history of Time Trialling. It had been illegal to race on British Roads which led to the clandestine world of British Time Trialling where riders rode individually so it didn’t look like a race and courses were given code names so that only insiders knew where to go. To this day, Time Trial courses retain names like ‘H10/2’ rather than the name of the place where they start!
But all that changed in 1956 when Will, used his legal acumen and parliamentary contacts to get Time Trials legalised.
Will was also chair of the Road Time Trials Council until 1976, a record 23 year tenure, and also a big name in the Road Records Association.