Two more medals were resolved in the 7th and penultimate round of The Little Sweetpea Gardens/BBR Opticians Hill Climb Series as the third course record in a row fell to Kirk Vickers. Vickers beat his own record set in 2018 by four seconds on the 0.9 mile Pentre’r Beirdd climb based on the A490 – but did he pay for it. Vickers had made sure what the record was pre-race and set out with the clear object of beating it in the Hafren CC promotion. Despite an average gradient of 7.2% that belies a couple of steep ramps, particularly around a sweeping bend near the peak, Vickers lowered the benchmark to a fantastic 3 minutes 22 seconds.

The Holohan Coaching RT rider took the win by 11 seconds and pushed himself into the red on the final section – both metaphorically and physically as he explained: “It was hard on the lungs, a taste blood at the end, I went hard to the sweeping left then paid for it in the final section but managed to hold on,. I’m happy to beat my course record which was the goal. Well done to all riders and to Hafren CC for a great event”.

Having made a late start in the Series Vickers now has a maximum possible 60 points from his three record-breaking runs, and this sets up a mouth watering finale on the final climb of Station Road, Ironbridge for the Newport Shropshire CC event as he looks to overhaul Series leader James Satoor. Nine of the 12 medals are still undecided as the hill climb season goes down to the wire for the second year in succession, and Satoor needs at least runner-up spot to push Vickers out if he is on his normal event-winning form on points, third spot would mean the pair would be split on count back rules.

Satoor already has the Junior Hill Climb title sealed but added another 16 points to his Overall tally after a tight battle with former Hafren member Sam Holwill, with Holwill taking the win in the Juniors by a single second in 3:41 and third spot Overall in a competition tailor-made for youngsters, with five taking the start line. Satoor relished the prospect of banging heads with Holwill, a rider he has previous form with – but he also had one eye on the final round: “I was happy with my ride, it’s a fairly steep climb, but the long drag to the finish was definitely the hardest bit. It was another close one between myself and Sam up the climb after only having two seconds between us a couple of years ago! A really well run event from Hafren, which added another great round to the Series, hopefully I’ll be able to get the overall wrapped up in the final round at Ironbridge”. Holwill added: “I was pretty happy with the result seeing as it’s the first race I’ve done since lockdown – especially as I beat James by 1 second – thanks to everyone who organised in these unusual conditions”.     

Sandwiched in between was Clee Cycles’ Dave Griffiths, taking Overall runner-up in an excellent 3:33 – although he nearly didn’t make it after making a fundamental error. Griffiths who has been absent from the scene since his 2015 Championship win remembered the Hafren event in it’s rare 2-stage format, initially climbing the other side of Pentre’r Beirdd from the Guilsfield side and was waiting at that start before realising his mistake. A good warm up saw him arrive at the correct start near Treffnanney to win the Veteran’s category. He stated: “A well run event, although I nearly didn’t make it as I was waiting at the wrong side! I got everything out and died on the final section, but I’m pleased with my time and position”.

The Veteran’s Championship has been hotly contested in 2020 and this race was no different with Gold and Silver finally settled by a small matter on one second. 2018 Veteran’s Champion Mark Hammond has faced a strong challenge from Scott Palmer for honours, with the CC Bridgnorth rider pushing him all the way. Hammond’s Veteran’s runner-up spot on 3:48, and with Palmer on 3:49 that was enough to seal Veteran’s Gold, with Palmer taking the Silver. Both riders left everything on the road, with Hammond’s experience of the climbs on offer just making the difference. He commented: “I’m really pleased to have won the Veteran’s title again after missing last year’s Series. The competition has been stiff this year and has pushed me to achieve multiple personal best results on familiar climbs. It’s great to be back racing after a strange year – many thanks to all the clubs who have flawlessly hosted events”.

Palmer meanwhile is a newcomer to the hill climb scene and has clearly relished the competition, despite having previously admitted that he knew none of the climbs beforehand. He added: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to win Veteran’s Silver in my first ever Hill Climb Series. It’s been a steep learning curve (pardon the pun) which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Great organisation by all clubs, and such a great bunch of riders to participate with – I’ll be back next year more experienced and hopefully stronger to give the worthy winner another good contest”.

Making her debut in the 2020 Series Emma Serjeant posted a fine effort of 5:26 to move into the Women’s Silver medal position in her own club’s event. This is a late entry for the 2019 Women’s Champion, hut she clearly enjoyed her morning’s effort, stating: “I love the Hafren Hill Climb – Pentre’r Beirdd is the hill that keeps on giving! I pushed really hard up and around the top corner and I always forget how far the finish line is from the corner. Cheers of support from the roadside helped me find that extra push to the finish. Thank you to the Hafren crew for another safe and Covid secure event”.


1KirkVickersHolohan Coaching RTS3.2220
2DaveGriffithsClee CyclesV3.3318
3SamHolwillTrain SharpJ3.41.
4JamesSatoorMid Shropshire WheelersJ3.4216
5MarkHammondParamount CRTV3.4814
6ScottPalmerCC Bridgnorth RWGV3.4912
7StevenPrinceLudlow Brewery RTV4.0510
9CarlEvansHafren CCS4.288
10TomHydeNewport Shropshire CCJ4.316
11ChristopherRileyParamount CRTV4.384
12ConradTaylorHafren CCS4.432
13PeterFletcherMule CCV4.50.
14NeilColesOswestry Paragon CCV5.002
15SamStokerHafren CCJ5.042
16EmmaSergeantHafren CCWV5.262
17PeterVilliersHafren CCV5.302
17LeeStokerHafren CCS5.302
19WillHydeNewport Shropshire CCJ6.042
.RickBaileyTeam Lifting Gear ProductsSDNS.
.RebeccaRichardsonTeam Brother UKWDNS.


Vets Pos’nForenameSurnameClubCatTimeVets Points
1DaveGriffithsClee CyclesV3.3320
2MarkHammondParamount CRTV3.4818
3ScottPalmerCC Bridgnorth RWGV3.4916
4StevenPrinceLudlow Brewery RTV4.0514
5ChristopherRileyParamount CRTV4.3812
6PeterFletcherMule CCV4.50.
7NeilColesOswestry Paragon CCV5.0010
8EmmaSergeantHafren CCWV5.268
9PeterVilliersHafren CCV5.306


Junior Pos’nForenameSurnameClubCatTimeJunior Points
1SamHolwillTrain SharpJ3.41.
2JamesSatoorMid Shropshire WheelersJ3.4220
3TomHydeNewport Shropshire CCJ4.3118
4SamStokerHafren CCJ5.0416
5WillHydeNewport Shropshire CCJ6.0414


Women’s Pos’nForenameSurnameClubCatTimeWomen’s Points
1EmmaSergeantHafren CCWV5.2620
.RebeccaRichardsonTeam Brother UKWDNS.

Cumulative standings after seven rounds

Overall Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 5
1 James Satoor Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 78
2 Scott Palmer CC Bridgnorth RWG V 66
3 Mark Hammond Paramount CRT V 64
4 Kirk Vickers Holohan Coaching RT S 60
5 Dave Griffiths Clee Cycles V 56
6 Tomos Hales Wrekinsport CC S 48
7 Robbie Disney Ludlow CC S 46
8 Henri Bedford Revolutions Racing J 44
9 Dan Watts SCCA Private Member S 42
=10 Liam Holohan Holohan Coaching RT S 40
=10 Steven Prince Ludlow Brewery RT V 40

Veterans Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 5
1 Mark Hammond Paramount CRT V 96
2 Scott Palmer CC Bridgnorth RWG V 90
3 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 74
4 Steven Prince Ludlow Brewery RT V 64
5 Dave Griffiths Clee Cycles V 60
6 Paul Bailey CC Bridgnorth RWG V 52
7 Neil Coles Oswestry Paragon CC V 50
8 Hamish Campbell Nova Raiders V 28
9 Simon Romei Paramount CRT V 18
=10 Craig Hyde Newport Shropshire CC V 14
=10 Steve Minton Ludlow Brewery RT V 14

Junior Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 5
1 James Satoor Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 100
2 Tom Hyde Newport Shropshire CC J 80
3 Henri Bedford Revolutions Racing J 72
4 Will Hyde Newport Shropshire CC J 58
5 Jack Inglis Wrekinsport CC J 48
6 Ethan Campbell Newport Shropshire CC J 40
7 Jack Young Oswestry Paragon CC J 20
8 Cameron Pember Ludlow Brewery RT J 18
9 Harvey Griffiths Ludlow Brewery RT J 16
9 Sam Stoker Hafren CC J 16

Women’s standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 5
1 Bethan Till Wrekinsport CC W 40
2 Emma Sergeant Hafren CC WV 20
3 Victoria Doran Wrekinsport CC WV 18

There’s an onboard video with Kirk Vickers as he sets the new record available on You Tube clearly showing the effort put in at: