Updated with official video: Cobble Wobble 2011
World Cup 4X rider takes over from Chris Akrigg as king of the cobbles
A couple of weeks ago we saw the third annual Cobble Wobble take over the centre of Frome, with hundreds of riders signing up to tackle the steep, cobbled 179-yard climb. There was a wealth of talent from right across the cycling spectrum on show. And Dave. But there could only be one winner, and this year it was World Cup 4X rider Lewis Lacey, who ripped up the cobbles in 22.20 to take the gold bike and bragging rights for the year.
Lacey took over a second out of second-place Gareth Montgomery, who finished in 23.36, and he in turn edged out pink-skinsuit-clad Murray Roe, who completed his final run in 23.57. Here's the official vid from the day:
Lacey wasn't the only well-known rider on the parcours. Dan Craven from Rapha Condor Sharp was giving it the beans too, as was trials legend Martyn Ashton and a host of other names. We spoke to Martyn after his first run and he was loving the friendliness and inclusiveness of the event. "I was lined up to start, with [top UK freerider] Chris Smith in front of me and [ex BMX champion] Mick Hannah behind me. And behind him there was a bloke in a cow costume. Amazing!".
There was plenty of fancy dress on offer, with two riders picking up GT BMX bikes for their efforts. One was Simon Choppin, on his stag do and resplendent in a wedding dress, wig and fake tan. The other was a guy called Eddie, whose dracula costume included a head that was about as wide as the street the race went up.
We sent Dave to ride the event and give his thoughts, and here's what he thought:
"The whole event is a brilliant advert for the inclusiveness of cycling. Everyone can have a go on the hill, from kids to pro racers. The climb is steep and pretty lumpy, with a sharp right-hander about a third of the way up that scrubs off a bit of speed before dumping you at the steepest part of the climb. There was a full crowd all the way up both sides of the climb, and loads of encouragement from the sidelines – it's a fantastic feeling to get everyone shouting you on when you're really digging deep.
"I was riding my Raleigh fixed gear and I'd geared down to 64" for the ride but I should have gone lower. The steepness of the hill and the roughness of the cobbles meant I just couldn't get on top of the gear, and I think if I'd gone down to 55" or so I could have maybe taken a second off my time. As it was I finished in 31 something, which I was pretty pleased with on the day. Nowhere near good enough for the finals but respectable mid table...
One of the good things about the event is the fact that the climb doesn't really favour any particular kind of bike. It's technical enough round the corner and on the lumpiest bits that bike handling skill comes into play too. The final 20 was a fairly even split between road and mountain bikes, there was even a BMXer in the final shakedown. Not making the cut there was a guy on a 1940s french roadster that had a backpedal climbing gear, a pantomime horse on a tandem and everything in between. For sheer come-and-have-a-go fun, the Cobble Wobble is hard to beat."