Newport Shropshire CC Station Road Hill Climb
The curtain came down on Shropshire’s time trialling season for another year with the destination of 11 medals to be decided in The Coaching Revolutions Hill Climb Series pre-race as Newport Shropshire CC gave the mountain goats something to remember. The ¾ mile Station Road climb began from outside D’Arcy’s at The Station – with Newport’s own Tom Bullock taking the win in 3 minutes 48 seconds on his maiden entry to the Series.
The 16 year-old wasn’t finished there either as he took the maximum 20 points on offer in the Junior Series to finish an impressive 2:04 ahead of team mate Leo Allen. Bullock commented: “I enjoyed the climb despite not being on the bike since the Newcastle Track League finished a few weeks ago. It’s a tough climb but I felt I had a good start and managed to drive up the hill, and very happy to have come out with a win overall“.
Bullock’s nearest challenge came from Wolverhampton Wheelers’ Matt Morris, a regular at this event which doubles as that club’s hill climb championship, Morris was seven seconds off the pace in 3:55 but did enough to win the Veteran’s category ahead of Veteran’s Champion Richard Kay by three seconds. Morris stated: “I was really pleased to win the Veteran’s category. I have ridden the event quite a few times, but do not recall being first Veteran before. My ride went well, the conditions being much kinder than last year, when it was pouring with rain. My times are getting slower, but still enjoying it the same. It is a shame more people didn’t ride as this is a well organised event and Jim Morrison’s patronage at D’Arcy’s makes the four minute effort all the more worthwhile“.
Kay’s was the only rider with a medal decided pre-race but he doubled up on the silverware after overhauling Hafren CC’s Sam Morris by the smallest of margins – two points – to capture Overall Bronze as well thanks to his excellent 3:58 effort. He commented: “I was very pleased to get Bronze in such esteemed company. It’s been nice to concentrate on something different than time trials. And many thanks to all the organising clubs“.
That esteemed company was David Scott and Kirk Vickers who have battled it out for the Championship. Vickers has held the Hill Climb Trophy since it’s instigation in 2016 but this year lost out by two points to Mule CC’s Scott in the race for Gold. A delighted Scott stated: “I’m really pleased to win after a tough Series battling Kirk and Jonny Morris, already looking forward to next year! A big shout out to Rich Kay, who I coach and who also won the Veterans“! Vickers was philosophical about taking Silver for the first time, adding: “My form wasn’t the best this year for the climbs, however it was still a good fight and great not knowing who’s going to take the win each time on various climbs, Eyeing up some course records for next year“!
Whilst Kay was dominant in the Veteran’s Series the battle for Silver and Bronze was by no means decided. Paramount CRT’s Chris Riley ended up with Silver, stopping the watch on 4:15 after having been the only rider to enter all nine events in this Series. Riley has made the most of the competition on offer and saw off a strong challenge from Oswestry Paragon’s Neil Coles who ended four points off the pace to capture Veteran’s Bronze. This is Riley’s first experience of the wide range of vertical challenges on offer across the county, but he made the most of the opportunities to race as he explained: “I’ve never done any hill climbs before, I can honestly say it makes you realise where you stand in the big scheme of things cycling. A stone overweight and 20 years too old! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the SCCA Series and look forward to having another crack next year“.
Riley wasn’t the only rider getting his first experience of hill climbing either as Revolutions Racing’s Henri Bedford added another trophy to his cabinet in an excellent season, winning the Junior Hill Climb Trophy. Despite missing a few races he managed to win three Junior events and finish runner-up in two more showing an ability at the discipline. He stated: “I’m amazed with winning Gold as I’ve not ridden hill climbs before now and missed a few due to clashing commitments. The courses were tough but challenging, and the weather mostly held out. Well done to all who participated and thanks to the clubs for holding the events“.
Bedford’s nearest challenger was 13 year-old Charlie Price who has shown a determination to tackle seven of the climbs on offer, finishing the Newport event in 6:08 to seal Junior Silver. The Mid Shropshire Wheeler got over a mechanical blip partway up the climb and was happy to end his season with a medal, stating: “A challenging climb, unfortunately I had gear issues on the steepest part. Already looking forward to next year. Event organisers were great“.
Price pushed out Holwill into the Bronze position with the Hafren rider winning all four rounds he has entered to finish on 80 points. He commented: “I’m surprised with coming third overall in the hill climbs as I didn’t do enough. However the ones I did do I really enjoyed“.
If there has been one disappointment in the Series it’s been the lack of females testing themselves on the climbs with 12 year-old Newport rider Thea Lee the only one to brave the Newport climb, finishing in 7:07. The 20 points she gained saw her triple tie with Beth Till and Natalie Brooks for Women’s Silver, with all three having raced just once and unable to be split on count back due to riding different events. The Women’s Series was won by Hafren CC’s Emma Serjeant who raced the Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ and Hafren events. When told of her victory Serjeant stated: “I’m pleased to take Women’s Hill Climb Gold. I unfortunately missed a few due to date clashes but I do enjoy the SCCA Hill Climb Series. A huge thanks to all the volunteers who make this great Series possible“.
Brooks tried her luck on the toughest event of the Series, Round 1 on The Burway, which opened the Series in some style. She stated: “I didn’t realise I’d got Silver, I only did the one hill climb event this year. It was a great event, lots of support from onlookers and a great opportunity to ride up The Burway on a closed road“. Till meanwhile was similarly surprised after riding Wrekinsport’s event on Willomoor Bank in Round 3: “Pretty shocked having only done one! Hopefully I will manage a few more next year to chase the Gold“. The final word went to Lee who won her first County medal at the first attempt: “It was very hard, but I really enjoyed it and going back down the hill was scary! I will definitely do it again“.
|1||Tom Bullock||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||3:48||20|
|2||Matt Morris||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||V||3:55|
|3||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||3:58||18|
|4||Richard Sadlier||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||V||4:14|
|5||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||4:15||16|
|6||Andrew Tomlinson||Wolverhampton Roads RC||V||4:36|
|7||John Grigg||Newport (Shropshire) CC||S||5:14||14|
|9||Leo Allen||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||5:52||12|
|10||Alan Sims||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||6:01||10|
|11||Mark Stocks||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||6:03||8|
|12||Gary Townsend||Newport (Shropshire) CC||S||6:07||6|
|13||Charlie Price||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||6:08||4|
|14||Thea Lee||Newport (Shropshire) CC||WJ||7:07||2|
|Vets Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Vets Points|
|1||Matt Morris||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||V||3:55|
|2||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||3:58||20|
|3||Richard Sadlier||Wolverhampton Wheelers CC||V||4:14|
|4||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||4:15||18|
|5||Andrew Tomlinson||Wolverhampton Roads RC||V||4:36|
|7||Alan Sims||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||6:01||16|
|8||Mark Stocks||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||6:03||14|
|Junior Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Junior Points|
|1||Tom Bullock||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||3:48||20|
|2||Leo Allen||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||5:52||18|
|3||Charlie Price||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||6:08||16|
|4||Thea Lee||Newport (Shropshire) CC||WJ||7:07||14|
|Women’s Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Thea Lee||Newport (Shropshire) CC||WJ||7:07||20|
Final cumulative standings after nine rounds
Overall Top 10:
|1||David Scott||Mule CC||S||98|
|2||Kirk Vickers||Holohan Coaching RT||S||96|
|3||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||68|
|4||Sam Holwill||Hafren CC||J||66|
|=5||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||50|
|=5||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||50|
|7||Jack Morris||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||48|
|8||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||36|
|9||Robbie Disney||Ludlow CC||S||32|
|10||David Hiatt||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||S||26|
Veterans Top 10:
|1||Richard Kay||North Shropshire Wheelers||V||100|
|2||Chris Riley||Paramount CRT||V||92|
|3||Neil Coles||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||88|
|4||Neil Wilson||Paramount CRT||V||50|
|5||James Griffiths||Clee Cycles||V||20|
|=6||Alan Sims||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||16|
|=6||Darrell Walsh||Oswestry Paragon CC||V||16|
|=8||Mark Manson||Mule CC||V||14|
|=8||Mark Stocks||Newport (Shropshire) CC||V||14|
|=8||Rich Smith||Wrekinsport CC||V||14|
|=8||Simon Jones||Hafren CC||V||14|
Junior Top 10:
|1||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||96|
|2||Charlie Price||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||86|
|3||Sam Holwill||Hafren CC||J||80|
|4||Tom Bullock||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||20|
|=5||Alex Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||18|
|=5||Fred Meredith||Hafren CC||J||18|
|=5||James Satoor||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||18|
|=5||Leo Allen||Newport (Shropshire) CC||J||18|
|=9||Henry Fleming||Wrekinsport CC||J||16|
|=9||Jack Young||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||16|
|=9||Lewis Page||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||16|
|=9||Noah Killeen||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||16|
|1||Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||W||40|
|=2||Bethan Till||Wrekinsport CC||W||20|
|=2||Natalie Brooks||Paramount CRT||W||20|
|=2||Thea Lee||Newport (Shropshire) CC||WJ||20|
|5||Louise Hurdley||Hafren CC||WV||18|
|6||Sahrah Wilding||Hafren CC||WV||16|