Despite the National Hill Climb Championships being seven weeks away a host of the top contenders will be looking to land a psychological role over their rivals at the Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles Hill Climb on Saturday morning, one of many events over the weekend.
Reigning National Champion Andrew Feather (HuntBikeWheels.Com) was unbeaten last season and gets his hill climb campaign underway on the Bunsall Cob hill.
It is the first time the one-mile climb has been used for an open event and some of the country’s best hill climbers are keen to test the course in the Goyt Valley.
Starting near the Errwood Reservoir the first part of the climb follows the route of the former railway line up the steep incline towards Long Hill.
At the top of the incline the road flattens for a short section before climbing once more to the finish.
Tom Bell (High North Performance) finished runner-up just second behind Feather in the National Hill Climb Championships last season.
Bell got his season off to a perfect start by winning the Ilkeston Cycle Club HC last weekend and will be hoping to beat his rival on their first meeting of the season.
Meanwhile, former National Hill Climb Champion Adam Kenway (Team Brother UK) is amongst the challengers along with Dan Evans (ASSOS Speed Club UK), Alastair Ribbands (Manchester Wheelers) and Leon Wright (Race Hub).
The women’s field is also a strong one headed by Rebecca Richardson (Team Brother UK) who finished third in the National Hill Climb Championships in 2019.
She will face tough opposition from Joanna Blackburn (Team Bottrill), Jessica Evans (ASSOS Speed Club UK) and a trio of Datalynx-Parenesis Cycling riders.
Also taking place on Saturday is the Team Swindon Cycles/Swindon Wheelers double header hill climb.
National Hill Climb Champion Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles) broke her own course record on the Streatley Hill Climb last weekend and will be looking to continue her winning form over both climbs.
She will face tough opposition from Becky Hair (Magspeed Racing) and Bexy Dew (Saint Piran) in the women’s event while Richard Cartland (HuntBikeWheels.Com) heads the men’s field.
Jones could take three wins over the weekend as she is also due to start as scratch rider in Sunday’s Cycle Club Basingstoke event.
Juvenile rider Finlay Hawker (VC de Londres) will start as last male rider after finishing an impressive second in the Streatley Hill Climb last weekend.
He will face competition from Richard Cartland (HuntBikeWheels.Com) amongst others.
A classic hill climb takes place on Sunday in the North East with North Tyneside Riders hosting an event on Winters Gibbet.
Andy Cunningham (Ilkley CC) starts as last man but will have to fend off competition from Tommy Murray (GS Metro) amongst others.
Veteran Sarah Wilkinson (Blaydon CC) will be the last woman away after winning the Gosforth Road Club 12.
Marcel Schubert (Darlington Cycling Club) will be targeting a ninth open time trial victory of the season in Sunday’s Holmfirth 10 which has attracted a strong field.
In an event which could be dominated by veteran riders Julian Ramsbottom (Team Bottrill) could provide a threat after clocking 20-22 for a 10 earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, John Brearley (Squadra RT) won the Yorkshire Cycling Federation 10 on his last outing and is amongst the challengers.
Amongst the women’s field is Josie Smith (Barnsley Road Club) who posted a 23-15 to win the Team Sheffield 10 last month.
A huge field of 150 riders are due to compete in Sunday’s Cambridge CC 25 taking place on the F2A/25 near Cambourne.
With the National 10 Mile Championships for women taking place the previous day Alice Lethbridge (Drag2Zero) is looking to compete in both events.
Lethbridge recorded a time of 54-47 to win the V.C Norwich 25 last month but will have to see off competition from experienced veteran Angela Carpenter (...a3crg) who won the VTTA National 25 Championships in 54-52 last weekend.
Amongst the men’s field is Paul Jay (Drag2Zero) who won the VC Baracchi 50 last month.
Concluding the weekend of events on Sunday night is the Hardwick Hall hill climb taking place on a closed private road and organised by Bolsover and District CC.
Andy Nichols (Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles In Motion) heads a field of 70 entrants after winning four of his last five events.
In the women’s event the experienced Maddi Smith (Bolsover And District CC) will have to beat junior rider Lilja Raine (Myhillcycling.co.uk) and the return of Emilie Verroken ((Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles In Motion).
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