Jacob Pilkington (VC Montpellier) came out on top in the annual BathCC hill climb organised by Dave Atkinson of Road.cc fame.
After a number of close calls in previous rounds of the WTTA Hill Climb Series, Jacob managed to beat Chales Coleman (DRK Racing) and, the winner of the previous day's University of Bristol Hill Climb, Andrew Kirby (UOBCC) by a comparatively comfortable 1.9 & 3.5 seconds respectively.
The Womens race was won by Hannah Slade (Chippenham & District Wheelers) with Lisa Greenfield and Aimee Parsons taking the remaining podium spots.
After switching places on the podium over the last few weeks, I'm over the moon I was finally able to take the top spot on the Bath CC hill climb. It was a consistently steep climb that flattened off just over the finish. The spectators were dotted around every bend, their support really helped me push all the way. The competition between Charles, Andrew and myself has been super tight the past rounds, its really taught me to dig deep up these short steep climbs.
Thanks to Bath CC for putting on a faultless event with lots of Prizes and competitions that kept the quirkiness of hill climbs alive! I look forward to coming back to defend next year!
This is one of my most favourable events. The hill is a nice short steep climb which I prefer and the HQ provides a great source of coffee and post race nutrition (cake). As long as you can tolerate the lack of parking and smell of equestrianism, it’s potentially the perfect event.
Bath CC certainly know how to add a bit of fun to the event. Selective prizes for single speed, knobbly tires, inappropriate bikes etc made for some competition for all abilities. Not sure I’d fancy riding up the hill with one pedal though…
A bit like yesterday, the morning was a bit drizzly but cleared later on. A tail wind at the bottom and (what seemed like) a head wind at the top made for a confusing affair.
For such a remote part of the countryside, there always seems to be a significant amount of traffic… the pinch point at the start often causing a back log of cars. That being said, riders and officials did an excellent job of managing this.
As per the rest of this season, I decided to ride fixed. It’s a pretty suitable climb for fixed anyway as 90% if it is at the same gradient. The end bit flattens off which can cost a bit of power but by this time, your basically dead anyway. Gear selection was a case of lack of option more so than choice. My lowest gear option is a 36:18 (52” in old money). As it happens, this was pretty much spot on… 74rpm for the steep section and 126rpm for the start / finish.
I always have a similar plan for this hill… go hard and hang on. If you blow up at the top, you won’t lose too much time… if your still able to put out good power at the top, you’ve lost too much time already. This tactic usually ends one way… in some serious discomfort!
The start went well… as hill climbs normally do. I even had a large number of people shout my name on which was motivational. It didn’t take long before I was out of the saddle and slogging away at the 16% incline. A few spectators half way gave enough incentive to keep going but the legs were already getting heavy… by the time I reach the penultimate corner I was dying. Managing to put on a brave face I did my best not to embarrass myself in front of all the spectators but it didn’t last long. The final straight was brutal… power was dropping and I just couldn’t spin the legs any more. A relief was an understatement when I crossed the line!
I stopped on my way down the hill to shout on the last few riders… Kirby, Charles, Jacob & Glyn all looked strong… it was sufficiently demoralising.
I did a half hearted attempt at warm down before making my way to the café for a much deserved coffee and treat. Rather than opting for a cake slice, I chose an ice cream instead… hoping the cold would soothe the hill climbers cough. If you’re wondering if it worked or not… it didn’t… and I’m still coughing 5 hours later as I write this.
It wasn’t long after before the result came out. Bath never disappoint with the prizes. As mentioned before, some excellent ‘classes’ to race in… but not only that, they also accompany the usual envelope of cash with a selection of other gifts. Champagne, engraved drinks glasses, protein bars, lights, tool trays, socks / clothing.
I managed 1st loser in the fixed class… fortunately the organisers called my name incorrectly so (out of sympathy) awarded me with a nice set of Lezyne lights.
The usual suspects made up the mens podium. Jacob Pilkington took gold, Charles Coleman second with Andrew Kirby in third. These three are just untouchable this season.
The womens was one by Hannah Slade with Lisa Greenfield in second and Aimee Parsons third.
Gordon Markus came out on top in the vet40 category and Jim Beales took the vet50 prize.
Also… a big shout out to Bath CC’s John Grenfell who’s been running nutritional trials alongside this event. Thanks for the advice John… we all know not to eat a hot an spicy Firecracker from Wagga Mammas the night before!
I haven't done a hill climb in about 12 years, for good reason now I think about it. But, it was my club's home event, and a chance to have a FauxPro CC team day out.
I'm a terrible climber so was never going to be anywhere near the sharp end anyway, but a few weeks of not really riding much, followed by a night sat on the toilet didn't really help matters.
I started of going really hard, and by the halfway mark had averaged just over 700W, which is way beyond my capability, but a bit of encouragement and I was spurred, seriously dying.
I got the the relatively packed bend and was hoping everyone might not notice me, sadly they did and I had to kick on to minimise denting my pride too much. Then a churn to the top, and it was over.... very painfully.
I rolled back down to the bend to watch the rest of the riders up. There was a big cheer down the hill, and the other half of the FP Team, Si came churning around corner with only 1 pedal to a mass of cheers and laughter.
He was pushed on by a few of the spactators, and as he came past, we did a quick bike change, though I'm sure he'd have preferred to have finished on one leg than on my bike that's 5 sizes too small for him.
Apparantly it's my fault he can't tighten 2 bolts up correctly......
Hinton HC is a legendary event that I have spectated numerous times but never taken part in. This year Bath's fledging off-road crew decided to take to the course on CX bikes in the knowledge that we stood no chance against the seasoned HC veterens with their lightweight rigs, and that there was a prize on offer for being so idiotic as to ride 20psi up the climb.
I was struggling the week leading up to the race, having taken things a little too far partying the weekend before, for which my reward was a terrible, week long cold. But I was confident I could still beat my one and ony time of 4+ minutes set 4 years ago on a club run.
Having missed the chance to reccy the climb the day before I drove into the course early to help set up, taking in the gradient on the way down. I resolved to give it one gentle go to link it all together just before competitors were on the course at 9... which of course didn't happen as I had to man the sign on.
Cue the classic 'go hard, then go home' tactic.
I set off at what I thought would be a 'maybe' pace — the line from Chris Boardman's hour-record that's always in my mind when riding hard. By 1/3 up my legs were shot, my heart rate was 175 and I couldn't breathe. By 2/3rds I was sat in with my best Voeckler impression on, recovering for the sprint which I managed as best I could.
3.16 and surely to be beaten by Simon Ker on his CX bike... 'Unless he gets a mechanical' I said, hopefully...
The Bath CC Hinton Hill climb marked the final race in the trio of local hill climbs I entered this year, preceded by Somerset RC and Chippenham and District Wheelers earlier in the season. Compared to the other two courses, Hinton Hill is short and sharp, requiring an explosive effort from the start.
On the morning of the race, we approached Wellow from the east, driving down the course itself towards the race headquarters at the local trekking centre. Taking in the views, my stomach sank simultaneously with the falling topography as the nerves began to build and we made our way down into the valley floor.
Despite the unseasonably balmy temperatures, the tell-tale signs of a typical autumnal day were still in the air: falling leaves, the smell of fermenting apples and the call of pheasants in nearby woodlands.
After parking up I was met by two cheery faces manning the alfresco desk at the race headquarters. I signed in and collected my number, returning to the car to drink my ritualistic pre-race thermos of coffee and begin warming up.
Competitors as well as spectators milled around awaiting the 9 o’clock start. It was comforting to see some familiar and friendly faces from previous events, as well as exciting spotting some new ones.
As I made my way to the start the heart began to race a little quicker, however I didn’t have to wait long until my number was called and I rolled to the line. After receiving the countdown and being released on my way, an enthusiastic gathering of spectators cheered me on as the course ramped up before me.
During the race itself my perception of time seemed to warp through a filter of pain, concentration and disorientation but it wasn’t long before I exited the final corner and, relieved, saw the finish line ahead.
Back at race HQ I was delighted to learn I placed 1st woman with a 14 second lead, winning a bottle of prosecco and bag full of goodies in the process. Congratulations to Lisa Greenfield and Aimee Parsons for 2nd and 3rd place respectively and Jacob Pilkington , Charles Coleman and Andrew Kirby for the men’s podium winners, and many thanks to Bath CC for hosting such an enjoyable event.
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|Position||First Name||Last Name||Club||Precise Time|
|1||Jacob||Pilkington||Velo Club Montpellier||02:15.0|
|3||Andrew||Kirby||University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC)||02:18.5|
|5||Daniel||Alford||Bristol South Cycling Club||02:22.8|
|6||Tom||Simmonds||Velo Club Walcot||02:23.9|
|7||Joe||Hawksworth||Bristol South Cycling Club||02:24.6|
|8||Russell||Peace||Dursley Road Club||02:25.0|
|9||Fred||Cook||University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC)||02:27.4|
|10||Adam||whitehead||Bristol South Cycling Club||02:27.9|
|11||George||Jones||Velo Club St Raphael||02:28.5|
|12||Oliver||Adams||Devizes Town Cycling Club||02:29.0|
|13||Callum||Hunter||University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC)||02:30.0|
|14||Hugh||Brashaw||University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC)||02:31.6|
|15||Tom||Radburn||Dursley Road Club||02:36.0|
|17||Oliver||Walker-Hayes||University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC)||02:39.0|
|18||Gordon||Markus||Severn Road Club||02:39.2|
|19||Jack||Phillips||Salt and Sham Cycle Club||02:39.3|
|20||Khem||SATTAUR||University of Bath Cycling Club||02:39.7|
|21||Harry||Tucker||Trowbridge Cycling Club||02:40.7|
|22||Ned||Jackson||Islington Cycling Club||02:41.1|
|23||Robert||Grover||Velo Club Walcot||02:41.4|
|24||Mark||Jerzak||Chew Valley Cycling Club||02:43.5|
|26||ben||wainwright||Team Tor 2000 (Kalas)||02:45.7|
|27||David||Cullen||Bristol South Cycling Club||02:46.3|
|28||Michael||Hoare||Frome and District Wheelers||02:48.3|
|29||Adam||Whittaker||Salt and Sham Cycle Club||02:48.8|
|30||Jim||Beales||Dursley Road Club||02:49.5|
|30||Andrew||Turner||Bristol South Cycling Club||02:49.5|
|32||Jacques||Coates||Performance Cycles CC||02:55.5|
|33||Andrew||Diffey||Somer Valley Cycling Club||02:58.5|
|34||Roy||Slide||Velo Club Walcot||02:58.9|
|35||Andy||Stuart||Velo Club St Raphael||02:59.2|
|36||Hannah||Slade||Chippenham & District Wheelers||03:02.8|
|37||John||Benjamin||Velo Club Walcot||03:03.0|
|38||jonathan||corp||Bath Cycling Club||03:05.0|
|39||Chris||Crowther||Army Cycling Union||03:07.9|
|40||Callum||Barnes||Bath Cycling Club||03:09.6|
|40||John||Grenfell||Bath Cycling Club||03:09.6|
|42||Tom||Price||Chippenham & District Wheelers||03:11.1|
|43||Lisa||Greenfield||Radeon-Bike Science RT||03:16.2|
|44||Benjamin||Nickolls||Bath Cycling Club||03:16.4|
|45||Chris||Laurie||Bath Cycling Club||03:20.6|
|46||martin||wiltshire||Somer Valley Cycling Club||03:34.8|
|47||Aimee||Parsons||Velo Club Walcot||03:41.3|
|48||Louise||Hargreaves||Salt and Sham Cycle Club||03:46.3|
|49||Heidi||Blunden||Sodbury Cycle Sport||03:49.9|
|50||Alice||Earle||VeloVitesse/ALLCAP/James Barry/Johnson Controls – Hitachi||03:50.5|
|51||Steve||Wiltshire||Somer Valley Cycling Club||04:03.2|
|52||Richard||Jewitt||Bath Cycling Club||04:03.4|
|53||Helen||Parkin||Woking Cycle Club||04:04.3|
|54||Jon||Wiggins||Frome and District Wheelers||04:05.2|
|55||Gillian||Clark||Road Club Cumbernauld & Kilsyth||04:07.7|
|56||Elizabeth||Wheeler||Bath Cycling Club||04:17.0|
|57||Aileen||Brown||Bath Cycling Club||04:17.5|
|58||Fiona||Vallis||Bath Cycling Club||04:44.9|
|59||Simon||Hodgson||Bath Cycling Club||04:45.3|
|60||Laura||Lawson||Romford Cycle Club||04:58.7|
|61||simon||ker||Bath Cycling Club||06:03.3|
|DNF||Erreka||Gil||Bath Cycling Club||00:00.0|
|DNS||kay||drury||Bath Cycling Club||00:00.0|
|DNS||Frances||Bromley||Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles||00:00.0|
|DNS||Kate||Derrick||Chippenham & District Wheelers||00:00.0|
|DNS||Justin||Gage||Velo Club Walcot||00:00.0|
|DNS||Callum||Middleton||Lewes Wanderers CC||00:00.0|