Video: 2012 Catford Hill Climb
Rob Gough, Sean Yates, 775 yards of suffering and cyclists of all ages pitting themselves against Yorks Hill

Yesterday cyclists from across the country gathered for the 117th edition of the Catford Hill Climb - and so did Matt Pennell to capture the event on this brilliant video.

Billed as the world's oldest bike race the Catford Hill Climb attracts the cream of the country's hill climbing talent plus riders of all ages and levels of hill climbing experience all keen to test themselves against the 775 yard climb of Yorks Hill - which isn't in Catford, but on a ridge below the North Downs in Kent - which rears up at an average gradient of 12.5 per cent with two sections that hit 25 per cent. Among those taking part this year was Team Sky DS Sean Yates - and one of the select band of Brits to wear the TdF yellow jersey, in his first ever hill climb despite decades as a fixture on the domestic racing and TT scene.


The Catford "Hill Climb Classic" 2012 from Mat Pennell on Vimeo.

Aside from Yates all eyes were on defending champion Rob Gough out to make it four in a row and to beat Phil Mason's 29 year-old course record in the process. Gough had to settle for 1 out of 2 winning by a margin of 4 seconds from Matthew Pilikington of Team Bglobal but still a whopping 7 seconds outside of Mason's 1 min 47.6 sec record - Matthew Stephens of Zappi's Cycling Club was 3rd.

Catford Hill Climb 2012 winners
1st Robert Gough (Artic SRAM RT)
2nd Matthew Pilkington (Team Bglobal)
3rd Matthew Steven (Zappi's Cyling Club)
4th Glyndwr Griffiths (Bristol South Cycling Club)

Team Competition Kingston Wheelers
1st Women Lydia Boylan (Look Mum No Hands!)
1st Junior  Alex Peters (Mosquito Bikes)
1st Men Veteran John Storms (Kingston Wheelers)
1st Women Veteran Deborah Percival (34 Nomads Gem Hygiene Club)

Full results on the Catford CC website

Sean Yates rolled home in a respectable time of 3:22.2 enough for 114th place overall and 22nd place in the vets competition - going downhill was always more his forte. Top Yates on the day was Sean's younger brother Connall who came 16th.


Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.


Karbon Kev [685 posts] 3 years ago

great vis, bloody awful version of that song tho ...

aslongasicycle [376 posts] 3 years ago

Fantastic video put together at high speed by Mat Pennell.

Gutted I missed this. All set up with camera but sick in bed instead. Boooo.

MercuryOne [1234 posts] 3 years ago

Lovely colours and light. Looks like a nasty climb.

pmr [195 posts] 3 years ago

It is a nasty climb! Check me out at 1.00!!  13

MartyB [2 posts] 3 years ago

Sorry to be fussy, but Yorks Hill isn't on the North Downs, it's on the Greensand Ridge, a long sandstone escarpment south of the Downs taking in such lovely places as Limpsfield Chart, Chartwell, Toys Hill, Ide Hill and towns like Reigate, Redhill, Oxted and Sevenoaks. The other hill climb that day, up White Lane, Titsey Hill, IS on the North Downs however.

Tony Farrelly [2834 posts] 3 years ago

No problem MartyB - we'll just say 'Kent' to be on the safe side. Somebody should tell CatfordCC though - not being from that part of the world I think I got the North Downs reference from the page on their site about the history of the race - the bit on the Great Storm of 1987 is particularly interesting.