The 2011 edition of the popular Beeley Moor hill climb was very much a race of contrasting emotions; on the one hand, many in the 51 rider field left the event happy with some magnificent performances resulting in 3 records tumbling; however this joy was tempered by the sad loss of Harry Cook in the early hours of the morning shortly before the event.
Harry was the father of event co-organiser Guy Cook, and one of the founding members of Chesterfield Coureurs, therefore the decision was made that the 2011 race would be the first to be held in memory of Harry with this year’s winner being the first name on a trophy which the club will look to acquire in time for next year.
Conditions were cool for the event, however with the wind being in a favourable direction, no less than three records were broken. The most significant being an astonishing new overall course record. The first record, however, came early in the event. With a starting position of number 5, Ashley Proctor was a young man on a mission.
In the previous years event, Ashley had beaten the long standing junior record only to see it lowered 40 minutes later by Chris Baines who went on to be crowned National Junior Champion two weeks after the Beeley race. Baines was once again in this year’s field, but now that he has turned 18, the stage was set for Proctor who duly obliged with a stunning time of 9-40.3.
This not only reduced Baines’ record by 18 seconds, it was also Proctor’s first time under 10 minutes. Significantly, Proctors time is also below the Juvenile record set by none other then Adam Blythe back in 2004; therefore for the first time in many years, the junior record is now faster than the juvenile record. The juvenile prize on this occasion was taken by first man off Alex Littlewood who, undeterred with no one to chase, set a fine 12-05.1.
With the question of the winners of the under 18 categories settled within the first 5 minutes of the race, attention now turned to the seniors and veterans. Starting at number 20, rapidly improving Lee Baldwin (Buxton CC) set the standard with 9-15.8. This was a course PB for Lee and laid the foundations for a successful defence of the team award by Buxton CC.
Lee’s time withstood the onslaught from expected contenders Mark Lovett (Planet X) and Steve Heading (Matlock CC), with Lovett coming out as fastest vet with 9-32.7. It was not until number 40, James Coleman (Witham Wheelers), appeared that Baldwin’s time was finally beaten.
Coleman set a fine début time of 9-07.6 which was to secure him 3rd place. One place behind Coleman in the start order was none other than Alex Deck (Planet X). Deck is the undisputed Queen of Beeley Moor as she already held the fastest two times set by a lady rider; and she further enhanced her reputation with a stunning time of 11-16.3 to shatter her own previous record by the best part of 25 seconds.
With the lady’s prize well and truly settled, attention now turned to the last 10 riders and unlike Baldwin, Coleman’s time at the top was to be short lived, with number 45 Rob Watkinson (Doncaster Wheelers) shaving two and a half seconds from Coleman’s mark to set a new best time of 9-05.1.
Watkinson’s time, and indeed all other times and records, were soon to be put into the shade when the penultimate rider Gonnor Gronlund (RST Racing Team) roared across the line in a barely believable time of 8-23.1. Gronlund’s time beat the previous record of 8-41.2 set by James Dobbin by some margin. To put this into context; Dobbin’s time set in 2004 only shaved Chris Myhill’s 1995 by two seconds, and therefore a time under 8-40 was seen as a significant barrier; with 8-30 being looked upon as possibly being the limit for the record on Beeley Moor.
Gronlund has therefore set a new bench mark for the race with a performance which some didn’t think possible, and it also confirms him as being a serious contender for the national title in just two weeks. Once again the event boosted a generous prize list totalling £900 compiled by co-organiser Guy Cook and featured generous donations from local businesses Moore Large, JE James Cycles, Get Plastered, Colombian Caravans, Polaris, Igloo Bikes and NFTO.com.
The club expresses it’s thanks to the event sponsors particularly during the prevailing economic climate. The £100 on offer for breaking the course record, donated by Martin Smith opticians of Lincoln, was finally claimed on this occasion and unless Gonnor Gronlund returns next year, any future prize offered for the course record should be safe for many years to come.
Finally the success of the event was assured due to the help and assistance freely given by the many helpers plus regular event time keepers Phil Williams and John Clarke; something for which the promoters are extremely thankful.
Anyone with pictures of this event, please send a couple to VeloUK and we’ll link to your collection.
1 Gunnar Gronlund RST Racing Team/Trigon 08:23.1
2 Rob Watkinson Doncaster Wheelers/Don Vallet Cycles 09:05.1
3 James Coleman Witham Wheelers 09:07.6
4 Lee Baldwin Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 09:15.8
5 Mark Lovett Planet X RT 09:32.7 1st Vet
6 Chris Baines Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 09:36.6
7 Ashley Proctor Sheffrec CC 09:40.3 1st Junior
8 Steve Heading Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 09:50.1
9 Kevin White Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 09:58.5
10 Stephen Price Derby Mercury RC 10:09.7
11 Stuart Murfin Ashfield Road Club 10:14.1
12 Steve Gibson Peak Road Club 10:16.6
13 Tom Bailey Rutland CC 10:16.8
14 Peter Colledge Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 10:25.1
15 Mike Birkby Rutland CC 10:29.1
16 Neil Bentley Sheffrec CC 10:32.0
17 Paul Hodgkinson Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 10:42.4
18 Paul Armstrong Sheffrec CC 10:43.3
19 Mike Adams Mapperley CC 10:53.8
20 Chris Sharp Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 10:53.9
21 Liam O’Toole Sheffrec CC 11:06.1
22 Chris Lea Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 11:07.5
23 Daniel Gee Ashfield Road Club 11:08.7
24 Matthew Williams Fusion CC Dronfield 11:10.9
25 James Caldwell St Ives CC/Plastribution/Grafham Cycles/Techniflo 11:13.0
26 Stuart Baker Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 11:15.1
27 Alex Deck Planet X RT 11:16.3 1st Female Vet
28 Stephen Butterworth St Ives CC/Plastribution/Grafham Cycles/Techniflo 11:18.4
29 Jonathan Brown Fusion CC Dronfield 11:22.2
30 Roger Walters Sheffield Tri Club 11:24.7
31 Michael Stojanovic Mapperley CC 11:34.4
32 Shue Fan Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 11:42.9
33 David Ellis Mapperley CC 11:53.5
34 Jonathan Baines Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 12:00.5
35 Alex Littlewood RVO Racing 12:05.1
36 Richard Towse Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 12:21.8
37 Robert Dawson Stocksbridge CC 12:22.7
38 Simon Baines Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 12:39.9
39 Barry Parker RVO Racing 12:58.8
40 Thomas Colton Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 13:17.4
41 Michael Wilkinson North Notts Olympic RC 13:30.4
42 Alan Jones Yorkshire RC 13:31.1
43 Paul Heggie Birdwell Wheelers 13:38.4
44 Sarah Birkby Rutland CC 13:55.1
45 David Percival Hull Thursday RC 14:05.5
46 Josh Eaton Matlock CC/Farmers of Matlock/Wards Shoes/Chubb & Co. Solicitors 16:37.8