Bath CC Hill Climb 2017

This weekend’s hill climb served as a lesson in not making a stupid mistake and ruining all of the training, planning and preparation that goes into a short race. Hinton Hill in Wellow is 15 miles from home so I rode to the HQ as a warm up. After signing on I headed to the start to check on progress. From looking at the numbers waiting I gauged that I had about 20 minutes left and headed off to complete my warm up. At some point I stopped for a wee (no point carrying any excess baggage up a hill) and lost track of time. Then as I was heading towards the start I stopped to chat to a friend. He asked my start time, checked his watch and then looked quite alarmed and said “you’re starting now!”

I raced to the start to be greeted by many riders’ faces all peering over their shoulders and looking for a missing rider – me! The starter was fortunately still calling my number. I got to the line to be told I had 30 seconds. Apparently this is what some of the pro’s do to make sure they start fully warmed up. However the pro’s almost certainly don’t do it still wearing a gilet, gloves and arm-warmers. Inevitably I had a bit of trouble with the zip of my gilet and almost ended up racing in it! The starter was counting down from 5 by the time I’d thrown all of my clothing into the hedge. It was far too close for comfort.

Bath CC Hill Climb 2017

The point where I attempted to unleash a sprint (picture courtesy of Lukasz Marcinkowski)

Like the previous week, this was another 0.5 mile long, 16-ish% climb that flattens out near the top. I decided to attack and then hang on, the logic being that I would cover the steepest sections as fast as possible and could live in hope that I might still have enough juice to accelerate at the top. Whatever the outcome, it was certain to make it a nasty experience.

There was good support from the side of the road. I find it difficult to see much during that level of intensity, but I can hear most of the shouts of encouragement quite clearly. They seem to help, especially when your name is shouted. Near the top a friend from a rival club actually started running alongside me, shouting encouragement in my face. It was pretty mad but it really spurred me on for the last hundred metres.

Bath CC Hill Climb 2017 A

The point where I realised there would be no sprint (picture courtesy of Lukasz Marcinkowski)

I rolled on past the finish line, immediately commencing the hill-climber’s cough that continued into the evening. Added to the taste of blood in the back of the throat it’s all a fairly unpleasant physical experience. Fortunately this was counter-balanced by the slightly euphoric feeling of having accomplished something to the absolute best of my ability. It’s a nice feeling to be able to think “I did as well as I could have done”.

I rode back down the hill to thank my supporter and to watch the final few riders battling it out. The high speed of the top riders is really noticeable in comparison to everyone else. I’m sure they’re suffering just as hard as the rest of us, but their speed seems other-worldly.


Winner Jacob Pilkington smashing the competition – me in the background, sat on the fence coughing my guts up (picture courtesy of FauxPro)

My time was 2:43.5 which put me in 24th place. I managed to average 480 watts, for me a big number compared to just a few weeks ago. It’s difficult to know whether I can push this number higher with the right training next year, but hey, this is a journey of discovery so I may as well hope so.

Full results:
1 Jacob Pilkington Velo Club Montpellier 02:15.0
2 charles coleman DRK Racing 02:16.9
3 Andrew Kirby University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC) 02:18.5
4 Glyndwr Griffiths 73Degrees CC 02:19.9
5 Daniel Alford Bristol South Cycling Club 02:22.8
6 Tom Simmonds Velo Club Walcot 02:23.9
7 Joe Hawksworth Bristol South Cycling Club 02:24.6
8 Russell Peace Dursley Road Club 02:25.0
9 Fred Cook University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC) 02:27.4
10 Adam whitehead Bristol South Cycling Club 02:27.9
11 George Jones Velo Club St Raphael 02:28.5
12 Oliver Adams Devizes Town Cycling Club 02:29.0
13 Callum Hunter University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC) 02:30.0
14 Hugh Brashaw University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC) 02:31.6
15 Tom Radburn Dursley Road Club 02:36.0
16 Matt Griffin Cycology Bikes 02:36.7
17 Oliver Walker-Hayes University of Bristol Cycling Club (UOBCC) 02:39.0
18 Gordon Markus Severn Road Club 02:39.2
19 Jack Phillips Salt and Sham Cycle Club 02:39.3
20 Khem SATTAUR University of Bath Cycling Club 02:39.7
21 Harry Tucker Trowbridge Cycling Club 02:40.7
22 Ned Jackson Islington Cycling Club 02:41.1
23 Robert Grover Velo Club Walcot 02:41.4
24 Mark Jerzak Chew Valley Cycling Club 02:43.5
25 Lewis Henry DRK Racing 02:45.1
26 ben wainwright Team Tor 2000 (Kalas) 02:45.7
27 David Cullen Bristol South Cycling Club 02:46.3
28 Michael Hoare Frome and District Wheelers 02:48.3
29 Adam Whittaker Salt and Sham Cycle Club 02:48.8
30 Jim Beales Dursley Road Club 02:49.5
30 Andrew Turner Bristol South Cycling Club 02:49.5
32 Jacques Coates Performance Cycles CC 02:55.5
33 Andrew Diffey Somer Valley Cycling Club 02:58.5
34 Roy Slide Velo Club Walcot 02:58.9
35 Andy Stuart Velo Club St Raphael 02:59.2
36 Hannah Slade Chippenham & District Wheelers 03:02.8
37 John Benjamin Velo Club Walcot 03:03.0
38 jonathan corp Bath Cycling Club 03:05.0
39 Chris Crowther Army Cycling Union 03:07.9
40 Callum Barnes Bath Cycling Club 03:09.6
40 John Grenfell Bath Cycling Club 03:09.6
42 Tom Price Chippenham & District Wheelers 03:11.1
43 Lisa Greenfield Radeon-Bike Science RT 03:16.2
44 Benjamin Nickolls Bath Cycling Club 03:16.4
45 Chris Laurie Bath Cycling Club 03:20.6
46 martin wiltshire Somer Valley Cycling Club 03:34.8
47 Aimee Parsons Velo Club Walcot 03:41.3
48 Louise Hargreaves Salt and Sham Cycle Club 03:46.3
49 Heidi Blunden Sodbury Cycle Sport 03:49.9
50 Alice Earle VeloVitesse/ALLCAP/James Barry/Johnson Controls – Hitachi 03:50.5
51 Steve Wiltshire Somer Valley Cycling Club 04:03.2
52 Richard Jewitt Bath Cycling Club 04:03.4
53 Helen Parkin Woking Cycle Club 04:04.3
54 Jon Wiggins Frome and District Wheelers 04:05.2
55 Gillian Clark Road Club Cumbernauld & Kilsyth 04:07.7
56 Elizabeth Wheeler Bath Cycling Club 04:17.0
57 Aileen Brown Bath Cycling Club 04:17.5
58 Fiona Vallis Bath Cycling Club 04:44.9
59 Simon Hodgson Bath Cycling Club 04:45.3
60 Laura Lawson Romford Cycle Club 04:58.7
61 simon ker Bath Cycling Club 06:03.3
DNF Erreka Gil Bath Cycling Club 00:00.0
DNS kay drury Bath Cycling Club 00:00.0
DNS Frances Bromley Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 00:00.0
DNS Kate Derrick Chippenham & District Wheelers 00:00.0
DNS Justin Gage Velo Club Walcot 00:00.0
DNS Callum Middleton Lewes Wanderers CC 00:00.0

11 thoughts on “Bath CC Hill Climb 2017

      • philc551 says:

        Exactly… I’m not atrocious on them – my PRs are top third.. sometimes top 10%… and my one and only KOM is a hill… but I’m also realistic enough to know that I’d only disappoint myself alongside others who are confident enough on them to enter a hill-climb event!

    • bikevcar says:

      You’d be fine. Chew Valley CC will be hosting an open hill climb on 22 Sept 2018 and also a club one (as a practice run) a few weeks before so you would be welcome to come and give it a go. Should be a fun event

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