And there have been plenty of them to climb in the Yorkshire region, followed by the CTT National Hill Climb Championships not far away in the North East, all of them with an Otley CC presence.
Hill climbs in the CTT Yorkshire District all form part of the Yorkshire Hill Climb Points Competition, starting with the Yorkshire Cycling Federation Cragg Vale hill climb in June and ending, strangely enough, on the same hill in October but this time promoted by Yorkshire Road Club. There are nine events but 10 climbs as our own 2-stage event counts, unsurprisingly, as two and Andrew Bolton has ridden all of them. More of that later.
The 5th counting event, the 44th Granville Sydney Memorial Hill Climb, was promoted by Huddersfield Star Wheelers on the morning of Saturday 14th October using the 1,540 yard V9912 course on Staleroyd Lane, Jackson Bridge. Andrew recorded 7:10.9. Dan Evans of Assos Equipe UK, one of the favourites for the Nationals, was overall fastest in 4:02.2 and Fiona Burnie of GS Metro was fastest woman in 5:19.3. Dan and Fiona had of course been overall and women’s victors in our own event the previous week. Full results and race report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.
Riding again in the afternoon, this time in the Holme Valley Wheelers event on the V997 near Holme Village, Andrew covered the 1.3 mile course in 11.40.7. Dan Evans was once again the overall fastest with 7:04.4. Jessica Evans, Dan’s wife, also of Assos Equipe UK, was fastest woman in 9:47.3. Full results and race report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.
The following weekend saw Andrew riding three events, one on Saturday 21st October and two the following day.
The first of the three on the Saturday was on the 1km V9917 near Morley in an event promoted by Drighlington BC, Andrew recording 4:14.8. Kieran Savage of Team B38/Underpin Racing was fastest overall in 2:38.6 and Nicola Bradford of albaRosa CC fastest woman with 5:27.7. Full results and report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.
Next morning Andrew recorded 5:40.5 in the Huddersfield RC promoted event on the V999, a 1,320 yard course on Ripponden New Bank. Fastest overall with a new course record by just over 11 seconds of 3:17.5, assisted by a strong tailwind, was Andy Cunningham of All Terrain Cycles. Neither of the two female entrants started.
Full results courtesy of CTT.
In the afternoon more Otley riders joined in the fun. A total of six were on the start sheet for the Yorkshire RC event on the longest continual ascent in England at Cragg Vale, the V9916 course covering 4.8 miles of that route. Unfortunately, strong winds and damp conditions dissuaded three of the Otley contingent – Gill Arnett, Liz Hills and Greg Jessop – from starting, along with another 17 riders of the 53 on the start sheet.
On an afternoon definitely not made for setting records, Andrew was the fastest Otley rider with 24:03.2, well over 2 minutes slower than his 21:47.0 recorded on the same course in the 27th June event. Claire Jessop recorded 24:50.2, earning her the award for 2nd fastest woman again on the hill, this time behind Charlotte Gorman of Team Lusso (22:38.4), and John Barnett finished in 26:44.3. Fastest overall was Kieran Savage (Team B38/Underpin) in 16:09.9, over 2 minutes slower than his 2016 course record of 14:07.7. Full results and report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.
This was the last event of the 2017 Yorkshire Hill Climb Points Competition, Andrew finishing 8th overall with 596 points, a rider’s best six scores count to the overall positions. In fact, Andrew is the only rider in the final table to have ridden all 10 hills.
Kieran Savage was the overall winner with 716 points and holds the White Rose Shield for a year.
Full results courtesy of Yorkshire Road Club Facebook page.
Then, it’s on to The Big One, the National Hill Climb Championships in the North East, promoted by GS Metro.
Held Sunday 29th October on the 1.1 mile MH11 course at the appropriately named Hedley on the Hill, the event, superbly organised by Ben Lane and his team, attracted a field of 240 riders plus 15 reserves proving that despite the extreme exertion required the kudos of riding a national championship overrides the pain endured!
Andrew was an early starter in the event, off at number 13, body and arm numbers inverted in true cycling-superstition fashion.
He recorded a time of 6:27.2 in his second successive Hill Climb Champs. Making it three-in-a-row in 2018 Andrew?
The Men’s winner and 2017 Champion was a familiar name and pre-race favourite Dan Evans, beating the 2016 Champion Adam Kenway of Team Raleigh GAC 3:54.3 to 3:59.5. The bronze medal position went to Kieran Savage in 4:03.1.
Joscelin Lowden (Lewis Wanderers CC) was crowned 2017 Women’s Champion with a time of 4:53.4. Yorkshire Road Club’s Mary Wilkinson took the silver medal in 4:54.5, the bronze going to multi TT champ and record holder Hayley Simmonds of Team WNT Pro Cycling in 4:55.6.
A superb event, full of fun – although probably not for the riders – and erm, interesting sights, some of which can’t be published here!