Report: Dorking CC/Redhill CC Denbies Duels Hill Climb


Dorking CC and Redhill CC held the first Denbies Duels event on the weekend through the scenic and traffic free Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking Surrey.

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The course was cleared of leaves and general debris ahead of the event by Dorking company Johnstons Sweepers and some dedicated club members with shovels. The road meanders through the vineyard and is approximately 1.25 miles long rising to the same elevation as Boxhill on the opposite side of the Mole Valley.

Weather conditions were perfect, with clear blue skies and sunny conditions, but with a consistent south west breeze, occasionally gusting – particularly unwelcome on the long straight approaching the finish, where the competitors had to ride into it.

The event was sold out and all sixty competitors paired up to do the first round that was timed as a traditional hill climb. The fastest sixteen from this first timed round went through to the head to head duels heats. Two Dorking CC riders, Dylan Bexley and Any Ross and one Redhill CC rider, Matt Peel from the promoting clubs made it through to the final sixteen for the head to head duels, although each were beaten by their opponents Connell Yates, Jonathan Harris and Jon Hughes in round two and didn’t make it through to the quarter finals.

The two finalists gathered pace after a tactical track racing style start of the last round and wound themselves into their fifth and final ascent of Ranmore for the day. This was a real head to head duel fought to the finish, when an unfortunate touching of wheels resulted in a spectacular crash just metres from the finish line. Matthew Pilkington (Elite racer nationally ranked at 61st) pipped local cycling legend Connell Yates (Elite racer nationally ranked 105th) to the line and won the inaugural Denbies Duels event 2013, having seen off competition from 59 other riders.
Overall Results (First Round Times)
1st Matthew Pilkington – (4.57) (Metaltek-Knights of Old)
2nd Connell Yates – (5.01) (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT)
3rd Jonathan Harris – (5.06) (GS Avanti)

1st Vet Male – Marcus Brueton – (5.16) (Norwood Paragon)
1st Female – Deborah Perceval – (6.39) (34 Nomads)
1st Junior – Freddie Phillips – (6:23) (Dorking CC)

Prize money kindly donated by an anonymous donor who wanted to highlight and promote the good work done by Epsom Canine Rescue.

Before your readers flock to Denbies to ride this iconic course, they need to bear in mind that it’s on private land and we were granted special permission for this weekend only to use the road for the Denbies Duels cycling event.

The rest of the year it is classified as a public footpath and the gates are closed across it barring access. If they want to ride the course, they’ll have to watch out for next year’s entry forms!



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