The hill climb season started with a bang as defending champion Kirk Vickers sent a strong signal that he has every intention of trying to retain that Championship with a winning ride in Round 1 of The Coaching Revolutions Hill Climb Series at The Stiperstones promoted by Mid Shropshire Wheelers. Vickers was well aware of the challenge posed by the presence of Dan Watts, who has eyes on deposing Vickers, with the two split by just 6.16 seconds at the end of the one mile climb.
The Rhino Velo rider powered up the one mile climb to stop the watch on 4 minutes 8.12 seconds and set out his stall for this best 5 from 9 event Series at the head of a fine 26-strong field. He commented: “I was pleased to get a win in the opening round, I’ve good knowledge of this climb to get the pacing spot on – it took the lungs by surprise though! Lots of support up the climb as always“.
Watts’ effort of 4:14.28 saw him shake off the hill climbing rust, with the SCCA Private Member making this one of the targets of his season. Watts is no mug on climbs, but found the first concerted effort to be a bit of a wake-up call: “It’s always a big shock to the system the first hill climb of the year, so I was glad to get it out the way – I forgot how much it hurts! A good ride by Kirk, I couldn’t match him, luckily don’t have to wait too long for the next hill climb“. With Round 2 taking place the very next evening Watts indeed didn’t have much of a wait.
Taking third spot was another Rhino Velo rider, David Scott, who posted a very respectable effort of 4:23.78. Scott is a newcomer to County time trials, but on this evidence he is a rider to watch – although he revealed he didn’t quite get his pacing right: “I was a bit keen on the pedals in the first half and suffered for it in the second half, so I was pleased with Bronze on the night“.
Hill climbs suit the light in weight, and that fact saw a fabulous turnout of nine Juniors in competition – with Hafren CC rider Tyler Brennan only just missing out on a Top 3 placing with a great effort of 4:25.00. A newcomer to this Series, the 18 year-old took an immediate liking to The Stiperstones climb, surprising the 2016 Junior runner-up Devon Round by 5.51 seconds.
Brennan commented: “I like the climb. I was warming up and thought ‘If I go hard enough I can big ring it up here’. I pushed on, but on a big, sweeping left-hander I thought that was the top but I had to come around another few bends then it pitched up again and that’s when I really pushed on“. Round meanwhile echoed Watts’ comments, stating: “My first hill climb of the year so a bit of a shock to the system, hopefully I will find my legs in the next few rounds“.
Brennan wasn’t the only Junior making a big impression as 14 year-old Lucy Hart took the win in the Women’s competition with a ride just over a minute ahead of runner-up Emma Serjeant. Mid Shropshire Wheeler Hart stopped the watch on 5:25.87, and revealed just where her fitness comes from: “I do a lot of cyclo-cross, road racing and mountain biking in the winter so this was to fill in, but I think I’m going to end up doing quite a few! It was a quite technical course, so many corners in it and then there parts downhill as well which you don’t normally have on a hill climb, but I think that part of it was really good. I did a good warm up both up and down the hill, I felt good before it. I felt good going up the hill so was able to push a bigger gear than normal“.
In the Veterans Championship it was a fine win for another Mid Shropshire Wheelers with Ian Coupland recording 4:40.02. Coupland’s nearest challenge came from Oswestry Paragon’s Neil Coles, crossing the line in 5:11.17. Coupland was delighted with his effort, stating: “Very pleased with the climb – and an extra bonus of a Personal Best! Happy with 1st Veteran“.
|1||Kirk Vickers||Rhino Velo RT||S||4:08.12||20|
|2||Dan Watts||SCCA Private Member||S||4:14.28||18|
|3||David Scott||Rhino Velo RT||S||4:23.78||16|
|4||Tyler Brennan||Hafren CC||J||4:25.00||14|
|5||Chris Roberts||Hafren CC||S||4:27.31||12|
|6||Devon Round||Rhino Velo RT||J||4:30.51||10|
|7||Ian Coupland||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||4:40.02||8|
|8||Matthew Redworth||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||4:45.55||6|
|9||Alfie Mortimer||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:01.02||4|
|10||Sam Holwill||Hafren CC||J||5:03.78||2|
|11||Lewis Page||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:03.98||2|
|12||Mark Hammond||Paramount CRT||S||5:04.42||2|
|13||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||5:11.17||2|
|14||Andy Collins||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||5:23.13||2|
|15||Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LJ||5:25.87||2|
|16||James Satoor||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:26.68||2|
|17||Alec Bond||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||5:27.51||2|
|18||Mike Holwill||Hafren CC||V||5:29.24||2|
|19||Iain Milne||Paramount CRT||S||5:36.09||2|
|20||Trevor Richards||Hafren CC||S||5:44.30||2|
|21||William Dale||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||6:00.80||2|
|22||Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||L||6:27.22||2|
|23||Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LV||6:33.85||2|
|24||Dave Hancock||Eagle Road Club||V||6:41.52|
|25||Pauline Hughes||Revolutions Racing||LV||6:49.62||2|
|26||Louise Downward||Hafren CC||L||7:25.83||2|
|Vets Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Vets Points|
|1||Ian Coupland||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||4:40.02||20|
|2||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||5:11.17||18|
|3||Andy Collins||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||5:23.13||16|
|4||Mike Holwill||Hafren CC||V||5:29.24||14|
|5||Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LV||6:33.85||12|
|6||Dave Hancock||Eagle Road Club||V||6:41.52|
|7||Pauline Hughes||Revolutions Racing||LV||6:49.62||10|
|Junior Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Junior Points|
|1||Tyler Brennan||Hafren CC||J||4:25.00||20|
|2||Devon Round||Rhino Velo RT||J||4:30.51||18|
|3||Matthew Redworth||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||4:45.55||16|
|4||Alfie Mortimer||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:01.02||14|
|5||Sam Holwill||Hafren CC||J||5:03.78||12|
|6||Lewis Page||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:03.98||10|
|7||Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LJ||5:25.87||8|
|8||James Satoor||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||5:26.68||6|
|9||William Dale||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||6:00.80||4|
|Women’s Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LJ||5:25.87||20|
|2||Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||L||6:27.22||18|
|3||Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||LV||6:33.85||16|
|4||Pauline Hughes||Revolutions Racing||LV||6:49.62||14|
|5||Louise Downward||Hafren CC||L||7:25.83||12|
- There’s a short video from the event on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na5V1brkdPs