Tomos Hales tightened his grip on the BBR Opticians Hill Climb Series as he took another win in Round 9, Paramount CRT’s Brockton Bank, Coalport climb. Hales had the bonus of setting the inaugural course record too on the first use of this 0.61 mile course in anger, stopping the watch on 2 minutes 25 seconds. With the steep ramp starting at the end of Main Street and increasing to it’s maximum at the dog-leg bend halfway up the climb riders have to have enough left for the long, steady grind to the line.

Hales was delighted with his win, taken by a huge 22 seconds from Wrekinsport CC team mate Phil Roberts showing that the ride suited Hales, who has a definite preference for climbs that are short and punchy. He commented: “A classic Ironbridge Gorge climb with a initial steep start, especially around the bend. Well organised by Paramount and I was happy to take the win on the first time the course was used”. Hales was within touching distance of the BBR Hill Climb Championship following this event but can technically still be caught, so will have to wait a little longer to seal a title he has set his heart on.

The range of courses on offer in this Series play to the strengths and weaknesses of different types of climbers, with long and short climbs, steep and relatively shallow ones, constant and ever changing ones all adding to the richness. Brockton Bank changes gradient multiple times, challenging the riders’ gear selection and pure brute strength to tough out the dog leg which can make legs wobble even if treating with respect – and racing up it is far from that. Roberts’ post-race comments show that this traditional late-season format has plenty to offer as he set a creditable 2:47 to beat Paramount’s Mason Durant into third spot by 11 seconds and make it a Wrekinsport 1-2: “It’s great to still be racing into October; and great to see a Wrekinsport 1-2. I really enjoyed the climb, lots of changes of gradient and quite short compared to others. Hopefully I’ve one more strong event to go”. Durant added: “Great weather for a great little climb out of Ironbridge Gorge. Well done to Tomos and Phil for taking first and second, to Chris and Rob for organising, and Paramount riders for volunteering”.

Paramount’s Chris Riley took full advantage of being unexpectedly the only Veteran in the race to stretch his lead at the head of the BBR Veterans Series just one second behind Durant in 2:59. As event organiser Riley was keen to use a new, untested course to promote on and spied his chance to make up some ground, wryly commenting: “A sneaky win while nobody was looking”!

It was an unchallenged ride for Riley’s team mate Sarah Willhoit too as she made her first appearance in the Series, ending her morning on 3:14 to set the inaugural Women’s record.


1Tomos HalesWrekinsport CCS2:2520
2Phil RobertsWrekinsport CCS2:4718
3Mason DurantParamount CRTS2:5816
4Chris RileyParamount CRTV2:5914
5Jack YoungOswestry Paragon CCS3:1112
6Sarah WillhoitParamount CRTW3:1410
7Elliott WillsWrekinsport CCS3:598


Vets Pos’nNameClubCatTimeVets Points
1Chris RileyParamount CRTV2:5920


Women’s Pos’nNameClubCatTimeWomen’s Points
1Sarah WillhoitParamount CRTW3:1420

Cumulative standings after nine rounds

Overall Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Tomos Hales Wrekinsport CC S 116
2 Steven Prince SCCA Private Member V 86
3 Alex Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 84
4 Jack Young Oswestry Paragon CC S 76
=5 Phil Roberts Wrekinsport CC S 68
=5 Scott Palmer Bridgnorth CC V 68
7 David Scott Mule CC S 60
8 Matthew Redworth Mid Shropshire Wheelers S 52
9 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 48
10 Jed Friskney Mule CC S 32

Veterans Top 10:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
1 Chris Riley Paramount CRT V 106
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

Women’s standings:

Position Name Club Cat Best 6
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

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