As sign-on opened for this classic hill climb, so did the skies and what was promised to be a dry sunny afternoon was far from that for the early...Read article
As sign-on opened for this classic hill climb, so did the skies and what was promised to be a dry sunny afternoon was far from that for the early starters. Despite the best efforts of the Bec CC ‘Broom Brigade’ sweeping the full length of the 700-yard course to give the riders a clean hill to climb, they could do nothing about the damp surface which hindered a few riders at the steepest point (1 in 4) approx 80 yards before it eases for the last 30 yards to the line.
The rain, however, did stop and the sun made an effort to shine through for the later starters and gave the fair-sized crowd of spectators a dry time to cheer on the riders and listen to the excellent commentary of Tony Gibb, who had to switch his head to climbers efforts rather than trackies' efforts which he had been talking about for the past few days on Eurosport coverage of the European Track Championships.
On a hill climb where a two-minute ride is considered pretty good and in the early years of the event would often be a winners time, there were eight riders that managed to go under that mark. The first to break two minutes was Junior Conor Williams of VCL with a credible 1:57.9. Shortly after, Kieran Wynne-Cattanach (Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion) set a blistering time of 1:50.8 and stayed top of the board for quite some time until Adam Kenway of Team Brother UK stormed the hill with a fantastic 1:46.7.
Surely, most people thought, he was going to be the winner, but just two minutes later, Harvey Weinberger (AS Test Team), smashed his way to the top of the leader board and clinched the honour of being Bec CC Hill Climb Champion 2021 with an excellent time of 1:45.5. An incredible win on not the most ideal of days and still a short way off of the record of 1:42.9 set by Jack Pullar in 2012.
In the Women's category, Bithja Jones, 2020 National Champion and favourite to take the win was a DNS. Madeleine Heywood (Team Watto) stepped up to take the Women's 2021 title with a very credible 2:21.1, followed by Rachel Dumbrell (CC London) at 2:51.4 and Jenna Meth (Rapha CC) at 2:54.6.
The Veterans were headed home by James Hayward (Woolwich CC) in a time of 1:55.3. Second was Richard Cartland (HuntBikeWheels.com) with 2:08.8 and making something like his 15th appearance in this event – every year he says it's his last! – and third was Samm Parker (Rapha CC) with 2:09.9.
Will Lowden (CC Sudbury) led the way for the Juniors in 1:57.4, closely followed by Conor Williams (VCL) with a 1:57.9 and Ben Neal (Southborough & District Wheelers) in third with 2:03.6. Lastly, the Juvenile category was won by Finlay Hawker of VCL in 2:05.2, with Olly Clements (Southborough & District Wheelers) second with 2:25.0. There was no third place in this category.
All in all, a pleasant afternoon of sport! Many riders were very
gracious in their praise for the Bec CC putting on this event again
after having to cancel the 2020 edition due to the pandemic, and it
was nice to hear so many saying they definitely want to ride again in
2022 – a strange mob these hill climbers! Next year's event will
be on the 9th October, same time, same place. Thanks to all that
made the event possible.