Paramount CRT Burway Hill Climb
Cycling royalty came out to test themselves on the fearsome closed road climb of The Burway in Round 1 of The Coaching Revolutions Hill Climb Series as National Champions and professionals took the lion’s share of the spoils ahead of a superb field of 50 riders in Paramount CRT’s 1½ mile pain fest. This was the first time The Burway had been used in competition since 1989’s National Championships which saw Chris Boardman take the win, and it’s reputation as a hallowed cycling climb saw riders and supporters flock to Church Stretton, with many travelling from distance.
Roared on by a crowd of 50-60 spectators lining the climb, 2015 National Hill Climb Champion Richard Bussell pushed through the hurt to stop the watch on 8 minutes 43 seconds and take the scalps of former JLT Condor climbing specialist Ed Laverack by 7 seconds and Team Wiggins Le Col rider Liam Holohan by 23 seconds, here riding for his own Holohan Coaching RT outfit and taking maximum County points as a result.
Bussell was taken aback by his win with the strength of the competition on offer and due to having been away from the discipline for a while. He stated: “It was a good result, I wasn’t quite expecting it to be honest. It’s the first hill climb I’ve done in a long time. It’s a tough course, though I have ridden up in general riding. It starts on a proper steep bit just before the cattle grid. I wasn’t expecting to beat Ed when I saw him at the start, so it was a pleasant surprise“.
Laverack travelled from South Wales to compete and was pleased with his 8:50 effort to take the runner-up spot as well as the superb and unique training this climb provides. He commented: “It was really good, I enjoyed it. I rode that climb once before in training when I was in the area for a short time, but to actually race up it and do a proper maximum effort is pretty challenging because it’s so steep at the bottom, as well as the nature of it because it’s rolling and the road surface is a bit ‘hit and miss’ all added a different dimension – it wasn’t just about empty the tank it was more about I’ve got to pick which side of the road to be on, it was a challenging one“.
Liam Holohan took an early lead in the Series after taking the maximum 20 points on offer to County riders. The Shrewsbury-based rider stopped the watch on 9:06, pushing out team mate and reigning Shropshire Hill Climb Champion Kirk Vickers by 20 seconds. Holohan was generous in his post-race comments to the men who beat him whilst pleased with his own form, commenting: “I was pleasantly surprised to be close to the front runners. I would say both Ed and Richard are favourites for the National Hill Climb so there’s no shame in loosing to them“.
Vickers meanwhile set out his stall in the defence of that title and was full of praise for the organisers and a chance to test himself against some very special riders, with his 9:26 taking the County runner-up spot: “A fantastic event, well organised. I’m happy with my performance and my result against good competition, a nice start to the Hill Climb season“.
There was a surprise package taking third County rider as 19 year-old Ludlow CC’s Robbie Disney beat many more experienced heads with his 10:15 effort. Disney explained how he had been cajoled into competing by his partner and the preparation he had put in pre-race to get to know the climb, which he described graphically: “My other half, Hannah Lancaster had, ‘encouraged’ me into doing the event with her which I couldn’t decline. As I had never gone up The Burway, only down it on a couple of club rides I thought it would be a good idea experience going up. Maybe not as thrilling but I do love a good climb! Two days before the event and after doing 136 miles on the Sunday I reconnoitred the climb with a half conscious Steve Prince. A strong cross head wind, a brutal start to the climb followed by a mile of undulating harsh and less harsh gradients. A false top to the climb where the gradient picks up again signals the half way point. Obviously doing the climb once meant that I was no expert of the course. I planned to work off heart rate similar to the time trials I had done this season, paying careful attention not to blow-up on the brutal start. I thought it was best to stay in the ’34’ little ring all the way, I could have changed up to the ’50’ on the undulating part but didn’t want to risk it not changing or the chain getting caught“.
The Hill Climb Series isn’t just about the very fastest, with awards for Veteran on Actual, Women and Juniors. In the Women’s former SCCA Women’s Hill Climb Champion Rebecca Richardson, now riding for Brother UK Fusion RT too the Overall win in a fine 11:04 – good enough for an impressive 13th spot overall. Richardson was hugely impressed by the climb, suffering in particular on the 20% ramp near the start. She stated: “I was destroyed and had to cling on after only the cattle grid. I really doubted I’d won. My legs and lungs exploded on the first ramp, the most brutal and classic feeling Hill Climb to date! A brilliant event and thank you to all the organisers“!
Taking the County Women’s win in 13:24 Natalie Brooks chose the toughest of tough climbs to attempt her first Hill Climb – and whilst enjoying the atmosphere might need some encouragement to defend her Women’s Series lead: “It was a great event, I can’t believe Paramount managed to close the Burway! Legendary! It was my first hill climb event, it was fun but I’m not planning to do many (if any!) more I’ll leave that to the more talented riders“!
Brooks wasn’t the only one new to the Hill Climbing discipline with Junior winner Henri Bedford only riding one previous climb in 2017. Having never seen The Burway before the 15 year-old was left impressed after his 11:32 beat Lichfield City CC rider Ryan Greaves by 4 seconds: “My first time seeing and riding The Burway -wow! Happy with my ride as only my second ever Hill Climb. Well done to all riders, and thank you to all at Paramount CRT for hosting“.
In the over-40’s event North Shropshire Wheeler Richard Kay summed up the feelings of many as he took the Veteran’s win in 11:29, 15 seconds ahead of Oswestry Paragon’s Neil Coles: “What a great event that was! Nice to ride such an iconic climb with so many talented individuals. I paid for my initial over geared effort but I can’t complain. Thank you Paramount CRT“.
|1||Richard Bussell||Aero Coach||S||8:43|
|2||Ed Laverack||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||S||8:50|
|3||Liam Holohan||Holohan Coaching RT||S||9:06||20|
|4||Kirk Vickers||Holohan Coaching RT||S||9:26||18|
|5||David Scott||Mule CC||S||9:50|
|6||Jonny Morris||Fishface Cycles RT||S||9:53|
|7||Robbie Disney||Ludlow CC||S||10:15||16|
|8||Dave Saunders||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||10:27||14|
|9||Chris Pook||Holohan Coaching RT||S||10:37||12|
|10||Matt Davies||Holohan Coaching RT||S||10:39||10|
|11||Jack Morris||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||10:54||8|
|12||Sebastian Bacon||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||S||10:56|
|13||Rebecca Richardson||Brother UK Fusion RT||W||11:04|
|14||George Nistor||Paramount CRT||S||11:05||6|
|15||James Davies||Mule CC||S||11:11|
|=16||Matthew Barrett||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||11:29||4|
|=16||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||11:29||2|
|18||Sam Hartill||Mule CC||S||11:31|
|19||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||11:32||2|
|21||Ryan Greaves||Lichfield City CC||J||11:36|
|22||Alex Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||11:37||2|
|23||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||11:44||2|
|24||Lucy Lee||VC Melyd||W||11:50|
|25||Tom Colley||Newport Shropshire CC||S||11:51||2|
|27||Alec Bond||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||11:55||2|
|28||Neil Wilson||Paramount CRT||V||12:22||2|
|29||Hannah Lancaster||Halesowen A&CC||W||12:23|
|31||Ian Milne||Paramount CRT||S||12:30||2|
|34||Steve Beaumont||Mule CC||S||12:50|
|35||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||12:52||2|
|36||Andy Collins||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||13:12||2|
|37||Will Baugh||Ludlow CC||V||13:23||2|
|38||Natalie Brooks||Paramount CRT||W||13:24||2|
|43||Noah Killeen||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||14:27||2|
|=44||Simon Shorrock||Paramount CRT||V||15:03||2|
|46||Lucy McNeil-Briggs||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||W||17:15|
|48||David Cannell||Paramount CRT||V||17:36||2|
|50||Tim Evans||Newport Shropshire CC||V||23:02||2|
|Vets Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Vets Points|
|1||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||11:29||20|
|2||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||11:44||18|
|3||Neil Wilson||Paramount CRT||V||12:22||16|
|7||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||12:52||14|
|8||Andy Collins||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||13:12||12|
|9||Will Baugh||Ludlow CC||V||13:23||10|
|14||Simon Shorrock||Paramount CRT||V||15:03||8|
|16||David Cannell||Paramount CRT||V||17:36||6|
|17||Tim Evans||Newport Shropshire CC||V||23:02||4|
|Women’s Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Rebecca Richardson||Brother UK Fusion RT||W||11:04|
|2||Lucy Lee||VC Melyd||W||11:50|
|3||Hannah Lancaster||Halesowen A&CC||W||12:23|
|4||Natalie Brooks||Paramount CRT||W||13:24||20|
|5||Lucy McNeil-Briggs||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||W||17:15|
|Junior Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Junior Points|
|1||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||11:32||20|
|2||Ryan Greaves||Lichfield City CC||J||11:36|
|3||Alex Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||11:37||18|
|4||Noah Killeen||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||14:27||16|
- It’s a triple climb spectacular on the horizon with three climbs in as many nights sure to sap the strength of riders looking for points in the Series. Tuesday 27th August sees Mid Shropshire Wheelers run their 1.02 mile climb of The Stiperstones from The Stiperstones Inn; whilst Wednesday 28th sees Wrekinsport CC present the 0.99 mile Willomoor Bank climb from the foot of The Wrekin. Thursday 29th sees the second new climb of the Series when Nova Raiders tackle the 0.82 mile pull up Jiggers Bank, Coalbrookdale.