Starting in 1987, our first full year of racing, the EMCC has always had some sort of Age Standard competition. Apart from a couple of years when due to a misunderstanding RTTC Standard Times were used, we have always used the long-standing VTTA Age Standard tables.

The VTTA was established in 1943 by Ernest H Strevens, with the aim of providing the older racing cyclist with realistic competition so they would be encouraged to continue in the sport after their abilities had started to decline. Strevens devised a set of standards in tabular form, which provided individuals with an unending challenge, thereby providing motivation for continuous competition within the sport. The Age Standards began at the age of 40 and originally became more generous with each passing year. Standards for women were similar to those for men but there was a phased shift to reflect physiological differences.

In 2011 the VTTA reviewed the standards, based on analysis of over 26,000 performances by veterans in the preceding three years, and a more accurate set of Age Standards for both men and for women that reflect actual performances of veterans in events was developed. These new Age Standard tables were adopted by the VTTA in January 2012.

The “ground zero” for the Age Standard tables is still the same as it was in 1943 – a time of 1:06:00 for 25 miles for men. The new standards allow for the selection of any reasonable “ground zero”, for example a time of 1:00:00 for 25 miles, but when the new standards were voted on a strong sense of tradition prevailed and the VTTA decided to stay with 1:06:00. The new Age Standard tables go from age 40 to age 100, and are readily available on the VTTA web site for any distance in either metric or imperial units. Currently the oldest VTTA Age Record for women was set by 86-year-old Mary Dawson in 2014, with 30:26 for 10 miles. Jack Brownhill set the current oldest Age Record for men at the age of 91 in 2003, with 29:43 for 10 miles.

The EMCC’s original Age Standard trophy was won for ten years in succession by Maurice Johnson, the last time being 2002, the year he died. The original trophy was subsequently retired, and the Maurice Johnson Memorial Cup purchased, for annual Age Standard competition. As the Age Standard tables start at age 40, only riders aged 40 and above are eligible to compete for the Maurice Johnson Memorial Cup.