A solid field of 23 riders took on the challenge of climbing Five Chimneys at Hughley in Round 4 of The BBR Opticians Hill Climb Series promoted by Bridgnorth CC with just 0.4 seconds separating first from second in a hard fought battle. Won overall by visiting AeroCoach rider Richard Bussell in the satisfyingly neat ‘Angel’ number time of 3:33.3; the 2015 National Hill Climb Champion pushed out Mule CC’s Dave Scott, the 2019 Shropshire Champion, who nevertheless took the maximum 20 points on offer in 3:33.7 in a fabulous challenge to one of the discipline’s big hitters.  Bussell was satisfied with a return to hill climbing after some time off, stating: “Bridgnorth was a great event, decent turnout and pleasant weather. Haven’t been doing many hill climb events over the past couple of years so this was a proper lung buster! Very happy to take the win off Dave Scott, but only just as it came down to split seconds”!

The 0.9 mile climb averages 7.8% up the side of Wenlock Edge, but that belies it getting gradually; almost imperceptivity steeper towards the top. Due to a lazy left hand curve and tree cover the finish near the now demolished cottages which give this long running climb its name isn’t visible, making judging effort tricky. Scott was pleased with his climb, and despite trying his best knew the challenge of beating Bussell was always going to be tough. He stated: “I loved the Bridgnorth climb, and was very happy with my pacing – I just didn’t quite have the extra 0.5s in my legs to beat Richard”!

BBR Series leader Tomos Hales had to be content with third spot on the night, but stretched his Series lead to 22 points, finding the tussle between top big hitters to give him an excellent benchmark. Hales was the only other rider to beat the four minute mark with an excellent 3:47.2 effort, roared on by a crowd near the top. He commented: “I enjoyed this climb and the great support from the Bridgnorth lads up at the top section. A great battle for the win with Richard and Dave, thanks for Bridgnorth CC for hosting”.

Best placed Veteran was Steven Prince, who took a strong fourth place overall, just failing to beat the four minute mark in 4:00.4 after beating Veteran’s Series leader Scott Palmer by 12.1 seconds. This was the first time Prince had travelled to compete on this climb, and he was evidently still suffering from the Mid Shropshire Wheelesr’ event held two evenings earlier, as his comments revealed: “Five Chimneys is another new climb for me and I think I still had the Stiperstones in my legs as I really struggled and had to grind all the way up! Great times set by Rich Bussell and Dave Scott – thanks to Bridgnorth CC for hosting”.

Two women took the line as Paramount CRT’s Hayley Wells made it three wins from three events entered extended her Women’s Series lead with a fine 5:08.0, beating Bridgnorth CC’s Robin Jones by 43.1 seconds. New to the Series, Wells has already made an impression and enjoys a vertical challenge. She was however keen to encourage more females to have a go: “Five Chimneys has been my favourite hill climb so far. I really felt like I got into a rhythm building into the increasing gradient. A good turnout of male riders, but would be nice to see more female riders giving this Series a whirl! Thanks again to the club and timekeepers who make these events possible”.

Wrekinsport’s Ben Southgate was also new to the climb, and took the 20 Junior points on offer with a good climb of 4:39.0, taking tenth spot overall. He commented: “Happy to win the Junior hill climb, considering not knowing the course”.

Full result:

1Richard BussellAerocoachS3:33.3.
2Dave ScottMule CCS3:33.720
3Tomos HalesWrekinsport CCS3:47.218
4Steven PrinceSCCA Private MemberV4:00.416
5Scott PalmerBridgnorth CCV4:12.514
6Matthew RedworthMid Shropshire WheelersS4:18.012
7Chris ChildsBridgnorth CCS4:19.510
8Jack YoungOswestry Paragon CCS4:23.98
9Alec ThomasUnattachedV4:37.9.
10Ben SouthgateWrekinsport CCJ4:39.04
11Chris RileyParamount CRTV4:44.02
12Tom HerbertBridgnorth CCS4:55.42
13Neil ColesOswestry Paragon CCV5:00.62
14Tim CullinanBridgnorth CCV5:05.32
15Hayley WellsParamount CRTW5:08.02
16Rob McGregorParamount CRTS5:12.22
17James GriffithsBridgnorth CCV5:16.12
18Ben ThompsonWrekinsport CCV5:19.62
19Andy JonesBridgnorth CCV5:19.82
20Neil WilsonParamount CRTV5:20.52
21John RobinsonBridgnorth CCV5:35.32
22Duncan EdwardsBridgnorth CCV5:41.82
23Robin JonesBridgnorth CCW5:51.12

Veterans on actual:

Vets Pos’nNameClubCatTimeVets Points
1Steven PrinceSCCA Private MemberV4:00.420
2Scott PalmerBridgnorth CCV4:12.518
3Alec ThomasUnattachedV4:37.9.
4Chris RileyParamount CRTV4:44.016
5Neil ColesOswestry Paragon CCV5:00.614
6Tim CullinanBridgnorth CCV5:05.312
7James GriffithsBridgnorth CCV5:16.110
8Ben ThompsonWrekinsport CCV5:19.68
9Andy JonesBridgnorth CCV5:19.86
10Neil WilsonParamount CRTV5:20.54
11John RobinsonBridgnorth CCV5:35.32
12Duncan EdwardsBridgnorth CCV5:41.82


Women’s Pos’nNameClubCatTimeWomen’s Points
1Hayley WellsParamount CRTW5:08.020
2Robin JonesBridgnorth CCW5:51.118


Junior Pos’nNameClubCatTimeJunior Points
1Ben SouthgateWrekinsport CCJ4:39.020

Cumulative standings after four rounds

Overall Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Tomos Hales Wrekinsport CC S 76
2 Scott Palmer Bridgnorth CC V 54
3 Matthew Redworth Mid Shropshire Wheelers S 52
4 Alex Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 48
5 David Scott Mule CC S 40
6 Jack Young Oswestry Paragon CC S 34
7 Steven Prince SCCA Private Member V 32
8 Phil Roberts Wrekinsport CC S 28
9 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 20
10 Kirk Vickers Holohan Coaching RT S 18

Veterans Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Scott Palmer Bridgnorth CC V 76
2 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 68
3 Neil Coles Oswestry Paragon CC V 58
4 Steven Prince SCCA Private Member V 40
5 Andy Collins Mid Shropshire Wheelers V 34
6 Ben Thompson Wrekinsport CC V 30
=7 Mark White Mid Shropshire Wheelers V 14
=7 Oliver Rodwell Wrekinsport CC V 14
9 Tim Cullinan Bridgnorth CC V 12
=10 Ashley Kirkham Wrekinsport CC V 10
=10 James Griffiths Bridgnorth CC V 10

Women’s standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Hayley Wells Paramount CRT W 60
2 Robin Jones Bridgnorth CC W 36
3 Becky Griffiths Paramount CRT W 20
=4 Daphne Jones Mid Shropshire Wheelers WJ 18
=4 Victoria Doran Wrekinsport CC WV 18

Junior standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Alex Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 60
2 Ben Southgate Wrekinsport CC J 38
3 Daphne Jones Mid Shropshire Wheelers WJ 16