Tomos Hales took his third win in the BBR Opticians Hill Climb Series on homer Bank, a course much to his liking in Round 7 promoted by Shropshire Cycling Clubs Association. The half mile climb is one of the shortest in the Series, requiring an explosive effort right from the off on a climb that has a large section at 16-17%, briefly touching a leg-weakening 18% in the middle; before a final effort that gradually climbs from 10% to 12% just before the finish line. Hales stopped the watch on 2 minutes 4.44 seconds which included a strong final push for the line to set up a 30 point advantage over Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ Junior Alex Hart, who finished third on the evening in a fine 2:09.97.

Hart has a huge advantage of 44 points in the Junior Series but will miss several events in this best 6 from 12 Series due to Cyclo-cross commitments, but three last minute additions in October will play into his hands. Hales was satisfied with his efforts, stating: “One of my favourite climbs of the Series, short and sharp. I paced it well and happy to get close to the two minute bench mark on a wet evening – thanks for the SCCA for hosting such a great event”.

Hales isn’t the only one preferring the vertiginous as Veterans winner Steven Prince made it four straight wins to make up lost ground, also capturing the Overall runner-up spot with 2:06.57. Prince scored a personal best for the climb despite suffering like many from slipping wheels thanks to the damp beneath the significant tree cover left over from an afternoon’s rain. With so much torque being put through the pedals on the steepest parts of the climb a wet road was a potential extra factor for riders to cope with, but Prince coped well with it: “Homer Bank is a great climb and I much prefer the shorter climbs. Another personal best, so I was very happy, especially as the hill was slippery in places after the earlier storm. Congratulations Tomos on the win; and thanks to the timekeepers”.

Whilst Prince is p[laying catch up in the Veterans Series Chris Riley headed into the Series lead, taking over from Oswestry Paragon’s Neil Coles thanks to a fine 2:37.21, with Coles finishing in 3:00.19. Riley had local knowledge of Homer Bank to his advantage, being one of four climbs almost on his doorstep, with two featuring the Series, taking a six point lead in a keenly fought contest.

In the Women’s Series Riley’s Paramount CRT team mate Hayley Wells made it five straight wins in a row as she opened up a huge 64 point lead thanks to her top climb of 3:01.42. This is Wells’ first serious tip at the title and she looks a shoo-in the take it, and she was grateful for the support of a significant number of spectators out to roar the competitors on: “Homer Bank hill climb was short, sweet and steep with a couple of hairpins. A full on effort required from the get go! The last kicker at the top was really felt during this climb, but encouragement from spectators at the middle and finish helped massively – thanks to SCCA”.

Full result:

Pos’nNameClubCat TimePoints
1Tomos HalesWrekinsport CCS2:04.4420
2Steven PrinceSCCA Private MemberV2:06.5718
3Alex HartMid Shropshire WheelersJ2:09.9716
4Scott PalmerBridgnorth CCV2:15.1914
5Phil RobertsWrekinsport CCS2:27.8412
6Jack YoungOswestry Paragon CCS2:31.2510
7Ben SouthgateWrekinsport CCJ2:31.988
8Chris RileyParamount CRTV2:37.216
9Ben WoodWrekinsport CCS2:48.734
10Neil ColesOswestry Paragon CCV3:00.192
11Hayley WellsParamount CRTW3:01.422
12Rob McGregorParamount CRTS3:03.712
13Elliott WillsWrekinsport CCS3:21.572

Veterans on Actual:

Vets Pos’nNameClubCat TimeVets Points
1Steven PrinceSCCA Private MemberV2:06.5720
2Scott PalmerBridgnorth CCV2:15.1918
3Chris RileyParamount CRTV2:37.2116
4Neil ColesOswestry Paragon CCV3:00.1914


Junior Pos’nNameClubCat TimeJunior Points
1Alex HartMid Shropshire WheelersJ2:09.9720
2Ben SouthgateWrekinsport CCJ2:31.9818


Women’s Pos’nNameClubCat TimeWomen’s Points
1Hayley WellsParamount CRTW3:01.4220

Cumulative standings after seven rounds

Overall Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Tomos Hales Wrekinsport CC S 114
2 Alex Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 84
=3 Jack Young Oswestry Paragon CC S 68
=3 Scott Palmer Bridgnorth CC V 68
5 Steven Prince SCCA Private Member V 66
6 David Scott Mule CC S 60
7 Matthew Redworth Mid Shropshire Wheelers S 52
8 Phil Roberts Wrekinsport CC S 50
9 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 36
10 Neil Coles Oswestry Paragon CC V 26

Veterans Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 102
2 Neil Coles Oswestry Paragon CC V 96
3 Scott Palmer Bridgnorth CC V 94
4 Steven Prince SCCA Private Member V 80
5 Andy Collins Mid Shropshire Wheelers V 34
6 Ben Thompson Wrekinsport CC V 30
7 Neil Wilson Paramount CRT V 20
8 Martin Waters Mule CC V 18
=9 Clancy Wilson Ludlow CC V 14
=9 Mark White Mid Shropshire Wheelers V 14
=9 Oliver Rodwell Wrekinsport CC V 14
=9 Steve Jennings Mule CC V 14

Women’s standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Hayley Wells Paramount CRT W 100
2 Robin Jones Bridgnorth CC W 36
=3 Becky Griffiths Paramount CRT W 20
=3 Liz Breeze Mule CC WV 20
=5 Daphne Jones Mid Shropshire Wheelers WJ 18
=5 Gwyneth Bowyer Ludlow CC WV 18
=5 Victoria Doran Wrekinsport CC WV 18

Junior standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Alex Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 100
2 Ben Southgate Wrekinsport CC J 56
3 Daphne Jones Mid Shropshire Wheelers WJ 16