Liam Moynihan of West Highland Wheelers turned his normal discipline of Downhill Mountain Biking on its head in Edinburgh last night as he rode uphill to claim the Red Bull Hill Chasers 2013 title.
The 22-year-old student from Fort William switched to a road bike for the event and beat none other than National Hill Climb champion Jack Pullar in the final, riding the course from Grassmarket and up Victoria Street in a time of 18.748 seconds.
“I have slightly sore legs,” said Moynihan afterwards, “but that was fun! I thought I would do quite well, but I knew there were some really fast folk racing like Michal Prokop so I kind of thought he would win, but he had a bit of a disaster with his cassette which opened the door for some of the rest of us.
He added: “I do most of my racing with my friend Joe Barnes, who is also pro, so I thought he might give me a run for my money, and a few of the other boys are really fast as well so I’m happy to beat them!”
The podium was completed by Gareth Montgomerie, and each of the top three riders received a custom Charge bike, with the company’s Neil Cousins saying: “Charge Bikes are so pleased for Liam being crowned ‘King of Hill’ against such tough competition.
“Congratulations to the other podium riders, they put up such a fight, but there can only be one winner.
“To see so many people, of all ages, lining the streets to celebrate cycling is such a buzz. Many thanks to the city of Edinburgh and Red Bull for making this event happen."
Head-to-head heats had been held throughout the day to find 30 riders capable of taking on the ten seeded pros, with local rider Lee Craigie flying the flag for women by doing what most of the men couldn’t and qualifying for the finals.
Another rider with strong links to the Scottish capital, street trials ace Danny MacAskill, said: “It was great to be here in Edinburgh to take part in Red Bull Hill Chasers, but as my trials bike doesn’t have gears I didn’t have the speed needed to get up the hill!”
It did mean he was able to execute a nice wheelie as he rode up the cobbles, though, as shown in the main pic above – reminiscent of Tomas Vaitkus pulling a wheelie on the Paterberg in last year’s Tour of Flanders, captured in this picture from ace snapper Jered Gruber.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.