Adam Kenway (Metaltek Kuota RT) and Lou Bates (Veloschils Interbike RT) took the honours in the RTTC National Hill Climb Championships in Matlock on Sunday.
It was an especially incredible feat for Kenway, who was hit by a car whilst out on his bike last weekend. Meanwhile, Lou Bates retires as champion, announcing that this was her last competition.
Although he avoided serious injury, Kenway was left nursing a few knocks and bruises and his bike was destroyed, leaving him with the daunting prospect of finding a new ride and getting it set up in less than a week for the championships.
But that’s exactly what he did and he beat in-form Isaac Mundy of Oxford University to top spot with an incredible ride of 2.18.2. Mundy was second, completing the 824-metre climb in 2.20.4.
Team ASL360’s James Lowden completed the podium, finishing just fractionally slower than Mundy in 2.20.8.
It was a disappointing day for defending champion Richard Bussell who finished off the pace in seventh with a time of 2.25.7.
Speaking after the race, Kenway said: “I wasn’t sure I’d be able to ride but I started to feel a bit better in the week and thought I’d have a go, I couldn’t pull on the bars much as I still had pain in my arm. I made a steady start and had enough to make a go of it at the end.”
Mundy, 22, said: “I’ve ridden 10 hill climbs and won five this season and I enjoyed this one. The hill suited me, being fairly short.”
In the women’s event, Lou Bates showed her class with a victory of more than four seconds with a time of 2.57.1 and announced her retirement afterwards.
The contest for the other two places on the podium proved to be much closer and it was Becky Lewis of Wrexham RC who was best of the rest, securing second with 3.01.5.
Just missing out on second but still taking a top-three place was Joanne Clay of TORQ Performance in 3.01.5.
She just got the better of Joscelin Lowden (Lewes Wanderers CC) who can count herself unlucky to finish fourth in 3.01.9.
In a strange coincidence, the women’s defending champion, Maryka Sennema of Paceline RT, also finished seventh this time out. Her time was 3.10.9.
Bates said after her win: “In the last two years, I’ve been third and second so I hoped one day to win it.
“The short hill suited me, I’ve only ridden short hills this season. This is my last event, I’m retiring now. I’ve been around long enough. Next year sees a big change for me. I’m changing jobs and taking up yoga teaching.”
Lou was also the first counter of the winning women's team award, backed by Nicola Soden and Natalie Hodson, the Veloschils Interbike RT trio recorded a combined time of 10:24.1.
The mens team award was won by Team B38/Underpin Racing trio of Kieran Savage, Andy Nichols and Jack O'Neil who recorded a combined time of 7:32.7.
Fastest junior was Harvey Weinberger (GS Henley) with a time of 2:36.5, just 0.9 seconds quicker than runner up Eugene Cross (SSLL Racing Team) 2:37.4 with Henry Cash (Holmfirth CC) 2:41.4 clinching the final place on the podium.
Fastest junior woman was Anna Henderson (Lovello Cinelli RT) with a time of 3:26.7, with Alana Prior (Manilla Cycling) 3:37.1 and Corinne Side (The Racing Chance Foundation) 3:42.8 taken second and third.