Being the light person I am, climbing hills is generally seen as being something I should be good at, hence my desire to win the hillier races in the surrounding area next season. However, before the entry opens for them, there’s the obvious route of Hill Climbs.
The first one gone was the VC Walcot climb up American Museum Hill from Claverton to Bath University. Being our local HC, we collaborated (asked them really nicely) with VC Walcot to get a Uni sub-category. With the strength of the roadie side of things increasing massively in the year I was away from Uni on placement, strong competition was expected. I managed to crack out a fairly decent 3:06.53 to claim the sub-cat win and 9th overall.
That was the first, the second entered one was the Bristol South CC one, which I was unfortunately rather unwell in the run up to, meaning I was a DNS – BUCS the following weekend was taking priority, so resting up until the illness had passed was essential to ensure the avoidance of a chest infection.
BUCS came along – there’d been a lot of hmmm-ing and haaa-ing about whether the 3h30m drive there-and-back to Curbar Gap in the Peaks for the event was worth it, but in the end we decided to make the effort and got 7 riders (2 female, 5 male) to pay up and enter the fray. A relatively early start (6am leaving time) meant loads of time to get there and recce the climb. We did so, with the conclusion being that it wasn’t as hard as expected – that conclusion changed after everyone had been up it under race conditions!
George Schweining was our first rider off, immediately smashing out an incredible benchmark time of 7:15.6 for the rest of the 53 strong women’s field to match – in the end only 3 bettered her time, 3rd place being only 0.5s ahead. A tremendous effort, including that little taste of blood in the mouth after a maximal effort! Rose Osborne also put in a cracking time of 8:44.1 to finish in 27th.
Next up were the men, including Gareth Turner, Jake Hollins, James Whateley, myself and Liam Glen. That was the start order, with everyone who’d finished providing generous support and/or heckling of the other riders! Things started well and progressively got better, with Gareth putting in a time of 7:21.3 (132nd), Jake 6:49.7 (80th) and James 6:17.9 (38th). I went up the climb in 5:42.1 and Liam went up in 5:45.7, times which left us in the top two positions in the Southern Division, something of a shock for us all considering Liam is prepping for a racing season in Belgium next semester. In a field of 205 riders, all of the Bath Uni squad had finished rather strongly, but Liam, James and myself had put in times fast enough to bag us the TEAM GOLD by 10 seconds from Leeds! Final individual results were myself in 3rd and Liam in 6th. First BUCS medals for James and myself, another gold for Liam and respectable times all round, so overall a more than respectable outcome to an event we’d almost not gone to! Oh, and Team of the Week in uni as well, additional bonus!
Annoyingly though I’ve had no luck whatsoever finding photos of us on the climb, just this one James took of Gareth, so next year’s plans include an official photographer and heckling squad!
Full results for BUCS are available at this link (links to .doc file) Hill Climb Results 2013
Next up is the winter training miles, with the possibility of some winter series racing and some Para-Cycling Ireland stuff – watch this space!