Matt Clinton underlined his current dominance of the hill climbing scene by taking the National Hill Climb Championship in emphatic fashion at Matlock in Derbyshire this afternoon with a time of 2:24.2. The form book favourite riding for MikeVaughan.co.uk looked on fire as he stormed up the hill our man on the course reckoned he was visibly the strongest rider in the field. For more pics check out our National Hill Climb gallery.
Bill Bell of Gemini BC was second in a time of 2:25.4 and Jim Henderson (below) of Southport CC third in 2:26.5.
Last year's winner James Dobbin (above) came home in 21st place over 21 seconds down on Clinton's time – (so much for our punditry maybe those short courses really don't suit him). David Clarke of Lacuna who came second last year finished in fifth place behind Dave Griffiths of Paramount RT.
Lynn Hammel riding for TheGreenRoomGroup.com was first woman home in a time of 2:59.6, Claire Thomas of Edinburgh RC was second in 3:25.1, and Marianne Britten of VC St Raphael third in 3:37.0.
Other rides of note include 17 year old Daniel Arlblaster of Guernsey Velo Club who took 11th place overall in a time of 2:40.4 "a talent to watch" was the verdict of another competitor. Mind you 18 year old Adam Pinder of Blackburn and District CTC came home in 8th in 2:34.6.
Chapeaux! To 12 year old James Knox of Kent Valley RC who put in a time of 3:21.2 and 13 year old Harriet Hudspith of Godric CC the youngest female rider who finished in 6:56.0.
Apart from some light rain which the last 10 riders had to contend with conditions were pretty much perfect the road surface was as smooth as advertised and drying for most of the field, aside from a very slight crosswind at the bottom and the benefit of a slight, but no doubt very welcome, tailwind near the top it was pretty much a test of rider against hill and pure hill climbing ability.
As ever, when it comes to hill climbs if it didn't hurt you weren't doing it properly, and Barney Fletcher, out man on the ground says:
"There were a lot of very sorry looking riders in the finish area and a lot of them looked pretty sorry before they even got there - a lot of people seemed to die on the final bend about 50m from the finish you could see quite a few whose legs had obviously gone".
Even those competitors who couldn't hold on to their breakfasts will be able to cherish the memory of a very special event, which was superbly organised by Matlock CC. A knowledgeable crowd lined the closed road course many armed with the startlist so they could identify riders and shout encouragement as they passed, cowbells were rung as the riders battled the steepest section. As one rider remarked afterwards it's touches like that the make the National Hill Climb so special.
For detailed results check out the RTTC website.
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.