Preview: 2011 British Hill Climb Championships

150 riders set to punish themselves up Long Hill in Derbyshire chasing Hill Climb Title

Related Link: Matlock CC Hill Climb Photo Special

I’ll be the first to say I know bloody little about hill climbs and how significant they are in the  world of cycling in Britain but a field of 150 plus more reserves says it all really,  this event is a big deal to a lot of riders!

And not just the average clubman wanting to test themselves against the hill but quite a smattering of ‘names’ including a rider with a  few World titles to his name as well as Olympic medals. That being Rob ‘killer’ Hayles of Endura Racing. Rob, a former British Road Race championship is, bless him, not exactly in the peak of his career but he’ll be worth a lot of shouts because he’s great value is ‘our’ Rob. He was always one of the best descenders in the business … will he prove to be the best the other way round!

Having come out of the British Cycling bubble after ten years, it’s a learning curve getting to know who’s who in this world of hill climbing but even so, it wasn’t hard to find at least a few dozen names that I recognise.  Names, some at least, who will be figuring in the results for one category or another.

From the rather elderly (sorry Mick) Mick Ives to the rather spritely and much younger Chris Lawless. Now I’m  going out on a limb here because his name is also down to ride Revolution the night before at Manchester but Chris Lawless is one talented youngster and will perhaps take a few scalps should he ride. And speaking of youngsters, no Germain Burton, winner of the BEC CC Hill Climb which is a shame.

There is even an icon in the field. Mark Lovatt (champion in 2002). Haven’t seen Mark for a long time but I do remember the years when he was winning year in, year out, the Tour of the Peaks and big ringing Snake Pass. Perhaps, like Rob, Mark is not at his peak (sorry, couldn’t help the pun) but his presence at any race will always make it special.

Mark Lovatt winning the 2003 Tour of the Peaks. Classic days in more ways that one! We had a lot of classics back then!!

The championship isn’t just for men by the way and lots of top girls are entered including one, Sarah Byrne, who studies locally and has just signed for the country’s top women’s team, Horizon Fitness-Prendas  Ciclismo along. Other names are Rebecca Slack and Lyn Hamel, a former champion.

The biggest battle though is in the Men’s event and on a climb that is not exactly steep but rather longer than the 400 yard one I watched last week, I’m not sure if it’s more hilly time trial rather than a hill climb. Different types of climbs will suit different types of riders. The really steep ones require the dead skinny types weighing less than a few bags of sugar while this will probably suit the powerhouses and one name was being bandied about at the climb I was at last week, Michael Hutchinson.

Some did say he was on the ‘big’ side (and we’re being kind …) but then it will be about power to weight and he’ll probably have that over and above most, if not every other rider in the field. It’s safe to say that many of the out and out ‘climbers’ are disappointed with the course this year but there are plenty worth a shout for a medal.

Shame Alex Dowsett doesn’t make the short journey from Manchester to Long Hill to again take on ‘Hutch’  but alas, he hasn’t entered. Instead there are the names that have figured all season long at the top of the Hill Climb results. Former champion Matt Clinton(2008) is entered as has two time champion James Dobbin.

Endura Racing’s Dave Clarke may find the more roadman like nature of the climb to his liking as may Trigon equipped Gunnar Gronlund  won the Matlock double header last weekend. Youngsters who may spring a surprise include Mike Cumming (Twenty3C-Orbea) , Adam Yates and Ryan Mullen whilst the rider who was king of the mountains in a Majorcan UCI stage race, Richard Handley is also on the start sheet. Hmmm…

Scottish Hill Climb champion and runner up in the RTTC Circuit Time Trial Championships this year (Under 23) George Atkins is on the start sheet as is Robert Gough who won one of the oldest hill climbs of all, the Catford CC event this year. That was an effort of under two minutes but the 4.4 mile Long Hill climb will take quite a few more minutes.

In fact, if we go back to a ‘test’ event, the Trevor Yeoman Memorial Open Hill Climb held on Sunday 11th September, the winner there was  Tejvan Pettinger in a time of 13.49.3 with  George Atkins second in 14.00.5 and Gunnar Gronlund in 14.01.5.

With the course being a little on the shallow side, we can still hope that a ‘climber’ is the winner at the end of the race as it won’t be right if it isn’t but I’m sure with the right weather, the day on Long Hill will be a memorable one!

Three of the contenders for the title, L-R: Gunnar Gronlund, Matt Clinton, Mike Cumming

Discuss! Find me on Twitter (AussieLarry)

Headquarters:  Whaley Bridge Bowling Club, Buxton Rd, Whaley Bridge, High Peak. SK23 7HX.
Start: 11.01am – remember that the clocks go back!
COURSE DETAILS: Long Hill, A5004 Whaley Bridge – Buxton | Distance: 4.44 miles | Average Gradient: 3.2%


1    Jonathan Baines    Buxton Cc/Sett Valley Cycles    11:01
2    Joanne Harcourt    Nova Cc    11:02
3    Kurtis Rowe    Yeovil Cc    11:03
4    John O’callaghan    Barrow Central Wheelers    11:04
5    Daniel Gee    Ashfield Rc    11:05
6    Connor Fearon    Weaver Valley    11:06
7    Nige Wood    Wills Wheels    11:07
8    Robert Gallagher    Buxton Cc – Sett Valley Cycles    11:08
9    Dave Fearon    Weaver Valley    11:09
10    Rob Watkinson    Doncaster Wheelers – Don Valley Cycles    11:10
11    James Carter    Witham Wheelers Cc    11:11
12    Robbie Harcourt    Nova Cc    11:12
13    Tom Clark    Buxton Cc – Sett Valley Cycles    11:13
14    Jonathan Schubert    Ystwyth Cc    11:14
15    John Findley    Southport Cc    11:15
16    Jenny Spurrett    Blackburn & District Ctc    11:16
17    Jess Watts    Tyneside Vagabonds    11:17
18    Benedikte Joergensen    Glossop Kinder Velo    11:18
19    Neil Souter    Gs Metro    11:19
20    Stewart Gregory    Nottingham Clarion    11:20
21    Stuart Baker    Buxton Cc – Sett Valley Cycles    11:21
22    Richie Case    Tyneside Vagabonds    11:22
23    Daniel Watts    Royal Air Force Cc    11:23
24    Jane Kilmartin    Cult Racing    11:24
25    Ken Roberts    Preston Wheelers    11:25
26    Diane Lee    Zepnat Rt    11:26
27    Tom Yeatman    Zappi Cycling Club    11:27
28    Kyle Watts    Tyneside Vagabonds    11:28
29    Stuart Stirland    Edinburgh Rc    11:29
30    Ben Lane    Gs Metro    11:30
31    Dougi Hall    Border City Wheelers    11:31
32    Thomas Colton    Matlock Cc    11:32
33    Ian Shapiro    Stockport Clarion Cc    11:33
34    David Crawley    Activcycles Corbridge    11:34
35    Karen Brooks    Lincoln Wheelers Cc    11:35
36    Edward Palfreeman    45 Road Club    11:36
37    Christopher Danby    Drighlington Bc    11:37
38    Carl Mustill    Ferryhill Wheelers Mountain High Rt    11:38
39    Helen Eborall    Velo Club Rutland    11:39
40    Rob Yeatman    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    11:40
41    Paul Thirling    Westbrook Cycles    11:41
42    Gez Taylor    Clevedon & District Rc    11:42
43    Bronwen Ewing    Rye & District Wheelers    11:43
44    Shaun Walsh    Yeovil Cycling Club    11:44
45    Nathan Veall    Clifton Cc    11:45
46    Andrew Pearson    Huddersfield Road Club    11:46
47    Philip Astfalck    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    11:47
48    Dawn Sherrin    Gs Metro    11:48
49    Steve Hargreaves    Warrington Road Club    11:49
50    Neil Blessitt    Severn Rc    11:50
51    Jack Reed    Team Qoroz    11:51
52    Tony Kiss    Stratford Cc    11:52
53    Sarah Blackburn    Pbscience.Com    11:53
54    Steve Roper    Barnsley Road Club    11:54
55    William Staveley    Clifton Cc    11:55
56    Sam Ward    Otley Cycle Club    11:56
57    Anne Plant    Herbalife/Wheelbase    11:57
58    Andrew Leigh    Manchester Wheelers    11:58
59    Carlo Berton    Border City Wheelers    11:59
60    Jacob Peatfield    Bolton Hot Wheels Cc    12:00
61    Richard Birkin    Nottingham Clarion    12:01
62    Peter Middlehurst    Crewe Clarion Wheelers    12:02
63    Andy Ward    Leicester Forest Cc    12:03
64    Mike Adams    Mapperley Cc    12:04
65    Nicola Soden    Maxgear Rt    12:05
66    Ben Hetherington    Ferryhill Wheelers Mountain High Rt    12:06
67    Daniel Thorogood    Ystwyth Cc    12:07
68    Richard Lilleker    Cleveland Wheelers Cc    12:08
69    Rex Facey    1st Chard Wheelers    12:09
70    Rebecca Slack    The Altitude Centre    12:10
71    Fergus Roberts    Hambleton Rc    12:11
72    Mick Ives    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    12:12
73    Nicolas Latimer    Rutland Cc    12:13
74    Mike Cotgreave    Westmead Team 88    12:14
75    Melissa Bury    Maxgear Rt    12:15
76    James Risk    Sportcity Velo    12:16
77    John Bettison    Lvrc    12:17
78    Hugh Carthy    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    12:18
79    Carl Saint    Yorkshire Road Club    12:19
80    Eve Dixon    Maxgear Rt    12:20
81    Josh Bee    Stratford Cc    12:21
82    Jonathan Lloyd    Westmead Team 88    12:22
83    Thomas Marshall    Adeo Cadence Rt    12:23
84    Steve Fidler    Team Elite    12:24
85    Sarah Byrne    Abergavenny Rc    12:25
86    Jack Fearon    Weaver Valley    12:26
87    Rob Jackson    Inverse/Cyclaim Rt    12:27
88    Danny Lowthorpe    Rutland Cc    12:28
89    Andrew Grace    Crewe Clarion Wheelers    12:29
90    Alex Deck    Planet X R.T    12:30
91    George Goodwin    Mike Vaughan Cycles    12:31
92    Rob Weare    Leamington C & Ac    12:32
93    Stuart Murfin    Ashfield Rc    12:33
94    John Brown    Manchester Wheelers    12:34
95    Hannah Walker    Motorpoint Pro Cycling Team    12:35
96    Liam O’toole    Sheffrec Cc    12:36
97    Andrew Askwith    Bridington Cycling Club    12:37
98    Tony Parker    North Hampshire Rc    12:38
99    Paul Brierley    Huddersfield Rc    12:39
100    Lyn Hamel    Herbalife/Wheelbase    12:40
101    Tony Greenhalgh    Maxgear Rt    12:41
102    Ryan Ballard    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    12:42
103    Mark Tickle    Leigh Premier    12:43
104    Sam Mansfield    Manchester Wheelers    12:44
105    Chris Baines    Buxton Cc – Sett Valley Cycles    12:45
106    Chris Edmondson    Blackburn & District Ctc    12:46
107    Paul Jones    Bristol South Cc    12:47
108    Josh Teasdale    Team Jewson – Mi Racing – Thule – Cnp    12:48
109    Simon Rushton    Phoenix Cc Aintree    12:49
110    Rob English    Arctic – Premier Rt    12:50
111    Neil Skellern    Congleton Cc    12:51
112    Conall Yates    In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp R.T    12:52
113    Luke Clarke    Team Milton Keynes    12:53
114    Robin Wilkins    Velo Ecosse-Montpeliers    12:54
115    Mark Lovatt    Planet X R.T    12:55
116    Ian Stott    Blackburn & District Ctc    12:56
117    James William Tucker    South Pennine Rc    12:57
118    Ashley Proctor    Sheffrec Cc    12:58
119    Finlay Young    Velo Ecosse-Montpeliers    12:59
120    Peter Tadros    In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp R.T    13:00
121    Josh Ferguson    Coveryourcar.Co.Uk Rt    13:01
122    James Dobbin    Adeo Cadence Rt    13:02
123    Harry Shackleton    Maccelsfield Wheelers    13:03
124    Chris Myhill    Peak Road Club    13:04
125    David Clarke    Endura Racing    13:05
126    Adam Yates    Maxgear Rt    13:06
127    Richard Handley    Team Raleigh    13:07
128    James Coleman    Witham Wheelers Cc    13:08
129    John Storms    Kingston Wheelers    13:09
130    Gunnar Gronlund    Rst Racing Team – Trigon    13:10
131    Andy Tinsley    Maxgear Rt    13:11
132    George Atkins    Velo Ecosse-Montpeliers    13:12
133    Danny Axford    Arctic-Premier Rt    13:13
134    Michael Hutchinson    In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp R.T    13:14
135    Rob Hayles    Endura Racing    13:15
136    Wayne Greenhalgh    Maxgear Rt    13:16
137    Ryan Mullen    Planet X R.T    13:17
138    Will Mangar    In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp R.T    13:18
139    Peter Greenwood    Clayton Velo    13:19
140    Tejvan Pettinger    Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team    13:20
141    Matthew Pilkington    Progressive Cycle Coaching Development Squad    13:21
142    Chris Lawless    Maxgear Rt    13:22
143    Dan Evans    Rhos On Sea    13:23
144    Glyndwr Griffiths    Bristol South Cc    13:24
145    Mike Cumming    Twenty 3 C – Orbea    13:25
146    Edward Addis    Velo Ecosse-Montpeliers    13:26
147    Robert Gough    Adeo Cadence Rt    13:27
148    Carl Helliwell    Blackburn & District Ctc    13:28
149    Alistair Kay    Herbalife/Wheelbase    13:29
150    Matt Clinton    Mike Vaughan Cycles    13:30

151    Marc Allen    Swindon Road Club
152    Timothy Hastie    Rugby Rcc
153    Alexander Royle    Scienceinsport.Com
154    Sarah Hartley    Blackburn & District Ctc
155    Imran Mughal    Ystwyth Cc
156    Daniel Warwick    Activcycles Corbridge
157    Clive Upton    Hambleton Rc
158    Paul Armstrong    Sheffrec Cc
159    John Cornfield    Born To Bike – Bridgetown Cycles
160    Ben Amesbury    Fibrax Wrexham
161    Trevor Pain    North Hampshire Rc
162    Charles Carraz    Seamons Cc
163    Chris Sharp    Matlock Cc
164    Simon Lees    Stone Wheelers
165    Matthew Plant    Rugby Rcc

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