Team Sky stars lay down the marker for Silverstone Time Trial

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Team Sky stars lay down the marker for Silverstone Time Trial Challenge

Big prizes on offer for inaugural Silverstone Time Trial Challenge in October

Team Sky riders Ben Swift, Philip Deignan and Benat Intxausti have laid down lap times at the Silverstone motor racing circuit for amateurs to aim at on Sunday October 2, 2016.

The WorldTour trio also set a marker for a 25-mile team time trial, one of a host of events to be included in the inaugural Silverstone Time Trial Challenge, which will raise funds for the Operation Smile charity.

Swift’s time for a single, 3.6 mile lap of the famed Northamptonshire circuit, home of the British Grand Prix, was just shy of 6’57”; nearly 14 seconds quicker than Intxausti, and nearly 20 seconds faster than Deignan.

The trio also set a time of 56’46” for a 25-mile team time trial, some 7’21” faster than a team from the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing outfit.

Ben Swift has laid down the marker for the Silverstone Time Trial Challenge (pic: Sirotti)

Both Team Sky and Land Rover BAR have put up significant prizes for the Silverstone Time Trial Challenge, which will offer cyclists a rare opportunity to ride on one of motorsport’s best-known circuits.

Team Sky have donated two Pinarello Dogma F8 team bikes from this year’s Tour,  to be offered as prizes to the fastest male and female competitors. Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said the huge growth in cycling participation in the UK had raised standards.

“The STTC provides a great opportunity for professionals and amateurs to race alongside each other on the iconic Silverstone course.  Team Sky are delighted to be involved and to be supporting the fantastic work of Operation Smile.”

The two fastest male and female squads in the team time-trial will win the opportunity to sail with Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team onboard their high speed foiling catamaran which “flies” above the water at speeds up to 40 knots.

“Cycling plays a key role as part of our physical training programme, but we also have a number of very keen and quick cyclists within our wider team who are looking forward to getting onto the track.”

Thousands of riders are expected to ride one or more of the six options offered in October, from a focused, single-lap of the famed 3.6 mile circuit, to family laps and a leisure ride. Classic 10-mile and 25-mile TT distances will be offered too, as well as a 25-mile team time-trial for teams of four.

Entry fees range from £35 for the one-lap challenge, leisure ride and family laps, to £140 for the team time trial. Entry for the 10-mile TT challenge costs £45; the 25-mile TT entry fee is £55. Discounted entry will be offered to the first 250 members of British Cycling who sign up.

Competitors in the single lap challenge will start in the pit lane and perform an ‘orientation’ lap, before starting their timed effort as they pass beneath the Silverstone start gantry.

Operation Smile provides life-changing surgery to children with cleft palates across the world, often in countries with severe economic deprivation.

Team Sky’s Pinarello Dogma F8 bike is among the prizes on offer

Chairman Maria Moore said the Silverstone Time Trial Challenge would offer “a great day out and the chance to do a great deal of good”.

“In 25 years, Operation Smile has performed 250,000 cleft palate operations with 5000 doctors, dentists and surgeons. We work in over 60 different countries with 150 missions. When you see parents reunited with a child who’s had cleft palate surgery, you realise it’s a pretty special thing.”

“There is a huge amount of skill and finesse in surgery of the palate. We’re working on a ‘safe surgery’ drive, bringing first world standards of care wherever Operation Smile goes abroad.”

A retail and interactive area will be available in the pit lane garages, as well as a chill out zone for families to meet and relax.

To learn more, visit http://www.silverstonettc.org.uk, or follow STTC on Facebook, and Twitter.

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