News – 8th Medal for Clinton


Matt Clinton takes record-equalling 8th consecutive medal in the 2014 Hill Climb Championship on Sunday

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News – 8th Medal for Clinton

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Matt on his way to second. Photo: Russell Ellis 

A full team of three riders represented Mike Vaughan Cycles at this weekend’s National Hill Climb Championships in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield. The infamous 1,200yard Pea Royd Lane climb was last used in a National Championships in 2009, where Matt Clinton placed 2nd.

This year, Matt would be joined by Jack O’Neill and George Goodwin with the aim of taking the team prize. With the gradient averaging 12%, a bright dry day welcomed riders to the freshly resurfaced climb (allegedly the best road in South Yorkshire!), while a strong tailwind buffeted the top of the climb.

Eighteen year old George would be the first of the Mike Vaughan riders to tackle the climb. Having not ridden a hill climb in four years; it would be a difficult challenge with the pacing and tough gradient. A time of 4:24.6 would have been easily good enough for top 50 in 2009, but it was immediately apparent the level of 2014 would be a step up. This time would be good enough to eventually secure George 84th place overall.

Forty minutes later, Jack would be on the line, having ridden a full season of hill climbs, he knww what he was letting himself in for. Aiming for a sub-4 minute climb, having ridden the BUCS Student Championships the day before, where he placed 6th, he would be ready for the effort.

With the previous day’s climb not hampering him, he would smash his target time by finishing in 3:54.4 – giving him 25th place overall.

Less than 10 minutes later, it would be Matt’s turn – back on the climb where the former champion lost his title back in 2009. It would be all or nothing for Matt, with the potential to equal the record of 8 consecutive medals, currently held by Stuart Dangerfield.

Riding a specially modified Trek Emonda, weighing at only 5.2kg, it could be chance for Matt to regain his title. Doing a strong ride to the top, it would be a long wait before the results were announced – Matt’s time of 3:26.5 would be second once again, beaten to the title by Welshman Dan Evans (Team Elite), by just 2.3 seconds!

It was the 8th podium in a row for Matt, something that would put him on record status, with the surprise of getting a medal clearly evident having had a slightly below par hill climb season so far. The Mike Vaughan Cycles team just missed out on 2nd place by 0.7s behind former team winners Arctic Tacx RT.

The riders now look forward to the off-season before kicking off again in 2015.

Matt – “It comes as a shock each year when I medal. The past few years, I haven’t gone as well into the build up, but always manage to step up on the day. It was tough on that climb and I had to give myself a talking to on a couple of occasions to keep going. In the end it was worth it. This silver is almost as if I’d won again! I’m extremely pleased we got 3rd in the teams too, I knew we wouldn’t win with the quality of field, but we gave it our best shot.”

Jack – “My legs were a little tired from 6th in the BUCS Championships yesterday, but that’s not always a bad thing when you’re hill climbing. I’d recovered enough, paced it well and put out my best power all season. I was well within my target time and it was my best National’s result ever but with the quality of field being so high, I unfortunately just missed out on a top-20 position. There’s always next year!”


2014 Pea Royd Lane

1 Dan Evans Team Elite/Paul Bethall Electrical 03:24.2
2 Matt Clinton Mike Vaughan Cycles 03:26.5
3 Adam Kenway Team 03:28.1

2013 The Stang, Yorkshire
1. Tejvan Pettinger
2. James Gullen
3. Matt Clinton

2012 The Rake, Ramsbottom
1. Jack Pullar
3. Gunnar Gronlund
3. Matt Clinton

2011 Long Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire
1. Gunnar Gronlund
2. Richard Handley
3. Matt Clinton

2010 Dover’s Hill, Gloucestershire
1. Dan Fleeman
2. Matt Clinton
3. Michael Smith

2009 Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
1. Dan Fleeman
2. Matt Clinton
3. Jim Henderson

2008 Bank Road, Matlock
1. Matt Clinton
2. Bill Bell
3. Jim Henderson

2007 Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
1. James Dobbin
2. David Clarke
3. Matt Clinton

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