Three out of four Championships were sealed in Round 10 of The BBR Opticians Hill Climb Series as Tomos Hales led from the front. Rearranged from September as a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, the Propel CC climb of Swayney Cliff, Coalport saw Hales take the win in 2 minutes 20 seconds – but he was pushed close by Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ John Woodward. This put the Shropshire Hill Climb Championship beyond doubt, with a delighted Hales having had his best season ever taking the title for the first time. Despite being just 0.52 miles in length this played to Hales’ preference for short, explosive and punchy efforts. Swayney Cliff offers a significant challenge to riders due to an undulating gradient – tough over the bridge near the start, rising to 17% in the middle and tricky around the hairpin near the top. This was reflected in Hales’ post-race comments: “I’ve always found Swayney Cliff climb hard to pace due to its constant gradient changes. I’m happy to take the win and seal the Series. Thanks to Propel for hosting, they are as organised as ever”.
Woodward was making a belated entrance into the Series and stopped the watch just four seconds behind Hales, and this climb shows with a greater level of preparation he is a natural to finish near the top of the standings. He was pleased with finishing second; and particularly so to push Hales close: “My first hill climb of the season, I’d stopped for my flu jab on the way – not ideal preparation, but it went well: rusty but happy. I was pleased to run Tomos close, and who has been in fine form. Thanks to Propel CC for organising, need more riders next year”!
It was a close call for the final podium spot with Oswestry Paragon’s Jack Young just beating Chris Riley by one second in 2:41. With Hales having sealed the Series Young is one of the riders homing in on a tight contest for the remaining medals, which look like going down to the wire. He was concise with his comments, simply stating: “Happy with third, it went really well”.
Riley tightened his grip on the Veteran’s Championship, although that is still very much in play, and was riding his second event of the day, which may have made the difference to beating Young to third, as he explained: “I did enjoy the event, especially after I raced back from doing the Mam Nick event in the Peak District that morning. It was a tidy event by Propel; organisers on a real lung rattler of hill. Swayney Cliff was tough this year and my personal best was gone before I could even see the finish. I’ll be back next year”.
In the BBR Women’s Series Hayley Wells can no longer be overtaken with a 60 point lead and just 40 points maximum available from the final two events. This is the Paramount rider’s first season and she has certainly made an immediate impact. Her comments when told of the win show the added training value as well as the friendliness of the competition: “Delighted to have taken the win of the Woman’s Series, not something I was expecting! The climbs have been a great test and something different to throw into the training. I’ve also met a lovely bunch of people in the process. A special mention to all the clubs and volunteers who make these events possible – thank you”!
Alex Hart was in a similar position in the BBR Junior Series and his 44 point advantage with 40 maximum available makes him Junior Champion after a determined effort at the start of the Series, Scheduling clashes with Cyclo-Cross have however kept him away from some events, and he has already stated that he intended to race the final round to make sure of victory, something that now take on a lap of honour feel. He stated: “I am very happy to win, but it’s a great shame more people don’t do it. It is a fun thing to do, although maybe not at the time! I will try and do more rounds next season and go for overall victory! Thanks for organising; and thanks to all the helpers”.
|1||Tomos Hales||Wrekinsport CC||S||2:20||20|
|2||John Woodward||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||2:24||18|
|3||Jack Young||Oswestry Paragon CC||S||2:41||16|
|4||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||2:42||14|
|5||Rob McGregor||Paramount CRT||S||2:59||12|
Veterans on Actual:
|Veterans Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Veterans Points|
|1||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||2:42||20|
Cumulative standings after ten rounds
Overall Top 10:
|1||Tomos Hales||Wrekinsport CC||S||118|
|2||Steven Prince||SCCA Private Member||V||86|
|3||Alex Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||84|
|4||Jack Young||Oswestry Paragon CC||S||82|
|=5||Phil Roberts||Wrekinsport CC||S||68|
|=5||Scott Palmer||Bridgnorth CC||V||68|
|7||David Scott||Mule CC||S||60|
|8||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||58|
|9||Matthew Redworth||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||52|
|10||Jed Friskney||Mule CC||S||32|
Veterans Top 10:
|1||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||110|
|2||Steven Prince||SCCA Private Member||V||100|
|3||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||96|
|4||Scott Palmer||Bridgnorth CC||V||94|
|5||Andy Collins||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||V||34|
|6||Ben Thompson||Wrekinsport CC||V||30|
|7||Liz Breeze||Mule CC||WV||22|
|8||Neil Wilson||Paramount CRT||V||20|
|=9||James Davies||Mule CC||V||18|
|=9||Martin Waters||Mule CC||V||18|
|1||Hayley Wells||Paramount CRT||W||100|
|2||Liz Breeze||Mule CC||WV||40|
|3||Robin Jones||Bridgnorth CC||W||36|
|=4||Becky Griffiths||Paramount CRT||W||20|
|=4||Sarah Willhoit||Paramount CRT||W||20|
|=6||Daphne Jones||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||WJ||18|
|=6||Gwyneth Bowyer||Ludlow CC||WV||18|
|=6||Victoria Doran||Wrekinsport CC||WV||18|
|1||Alex Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||100|
|2||Ben Southgate||Wrekinsport CC||J||56|
|3||Daphne Jones||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||WJ||16|