Interview: Tejvan Pettinger, Hill Climb Champion


Winner of the Men’s Hill Climb Championship for 2013 on the Stang in North Yorkshire was favourite Tejvan Pettinger, from Yorkshire!

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RELATED ARTICLE: Hill Climb Championship 2013

Every year, a name constantly in the results in time trials is Tejvan Pettinger. During this season’s Hill Climbs, he’s broken course records and been on the top step of podiums many times so no surprise he was many a rider’s favourite for the title.


On his blog, he explains “I’d won 11 out of 12 opens (including 6 course records). It’s an impressive track record, but in 2011, I also had similar success in opens, and for whatever reason it didn’t quite happen on the big day. I finished 5th – a few seconds off the medals”.

“This was my 9th national championship, and probably my best shot at the title. Occasionally throughout the year, the thought would pop into my mind ‘if you don’t win it this year, you’ll never win it.’ Probably untrue, but this year was definitely a good opportunity. I’ve done every national championship since 2005 and, the best result was 2010, where I was one second off third place.”

Tejvan says in the genetic lottery, he hit the proverbial hill climb jackpot and has probably got the best possible frame build for long aerobic climbs. Talking after being presented with the jersey, trophy and cap, he told VeloUK ”It’s very nice to win after trying for many years to win the nationals. It was a course that suited me so I’m really happy to get it this year.”


“It was only two seconds but James has lots more years to win it. He’s thirteen years younger than me!”

Tejvan had already presented a great preview of the course on his blog for hill climbs but said that on Sunday it was so much faster than when he had ridden it in practice. “It was such a strong tailwind which did change the climb quite a bit. My strategy was to go as hard as I could up the steep bit and then the wind would blow me a long!”

“It was difficult measuring the effort. I’d done it in practice but the conditions were so different that I just went as hard as I dared without blowing up on the steep section. On the downhill, I just put it into the big ring and kept the speed going”.

Talking about how he chose the components for the bike on such a technical course which was far from just a straight piece of road uphill, Tejvan says “I did try Tri-bars earlier but I thought there is no point with such a strong tailwind. So it was basically an ordinary road bike with 53-39 and I used the big ring quite a lot!”


2011 in Derbyshire and tribars were needed. Not so in 2013!

“With the wind so strong, you were worried about being blown sideways and I was just hanging on and staying in a secure position. When I did the practice, I did try getting into a tuck but the conditions on Sunday were so windy that I felt it was best to hold an ordinary position and concentrate on stable speed.”

Asked what the Hill Climb champs means to riders, he replies “the Hill Climb championships is a fantastic event because it attracts such a range of people. It’s my ninth championship and it is always different with different roads and different riders. It is also very open.”

It was though the year of Yorkshire with the climb in North Yorkshire and Tejvan being from Yorkshire. The champion explained “I could see my minute man Sam Ward ahead in the distance, and flew past him (I think I heard a muffled ‘go on Tejvan’).”

“It was a nice irony to have Sam as my minute man, because he gave me the idea for my first hill climb back in Yorkshire in 1993 (Otley CC) where I finished second to last in that hill climb on East Chevin!”

If you want to learn more, go to Tejvan’s blog where there is a lot of information on his championship, his bike and much more. One of the best blogs around …

RELATED ARTICLE: Hill Climb Championship 2013

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