PREVIEWS: October 2-3

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A prestigious event in the calendar, the 91st Monsal Hill Climb, takes place in Derbyshire this Sunday with 238 riders down to tackle the 675-yard climb, one of many events this weekend.

The closed roads near Bakewell in the Peak District host the Sheffrec CC's 1 in 6 climb which starts with a shallow first 150 yards before kicking up to a maximum of 21% with crowds lining the road to the top outside Hobb’s Café.

The men’s course record of one minute and 14.2 is held by Malcolm Elliot and has stood for 40 years.

Scratch rider Callum Brown (Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion) has gone the closest to breaking that record, clocking 1-14.5 in 2018.

Brown finished fourth in last year’s National Hill Climb Championships and is taking on his first open outing of the season.

World Tour rider James Shaw (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) has climbed with the best riders in the world this year and is amongst those targeting victory.

Former National Hill Climb Champion Adam Kenway (Team Brother UK) is also amongst the challengers along with Andy Nichols (Team Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion) and a host of other riders.

The women’s course record is held by Lou Bates who covered the course in 1-42.8 and is in danger of falling.

National Hill Climb Champion Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles) has had a storming start to her campaign breaking records as she goes and is the last woman starter.

Amongst her challengers are Mary Wilkinson (Yorkshire Road Club), Rebecca Richardson (Team Brother UK) and Becky Hair (Magspeed Racing).

Some of the quickest hill climbers in the country will gather in Wales on Sunday for the Horseshoe Pass Hill Climb.

Andrew Feather

Organised by Fibrax Wrexham RC the event sees riders tackle the 5.8 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 5.5% and maximum of 12.2%.

Tom Bell (High North Performance) has started his season in imperious form with three wins from four events and last year’s National Hill Climb Championship runner-up starts as last man.

Jude Taylor (Crimson Orientation Marketing RT) won the Peak RC 17.2-mile event in June and returns to competition hoping for victory.

Local rider Kirk Vickers (Holohan Coaching Race Team) is amongst the other challengers alongside Phil Williams (Team Bottrill) and Andy Cunningham (Ilkley CC) and a host of other riders.

In the women’s event host club rider Frances Owen will be looking for another hill climb victory after also winning the Beacon Wheelers event in September.

In-form riders Andrew Feather (HuntBikeWheels.Com) and Illi Gardner (CAMS Racing) will open their weekend at Saturday morning’s Chippenham & District Wheelers event on Bowden Hill.

National Hill Climb Champion Feather heads the men’s field having won four events so far this season.

Meanwhile, under-23 rider Minehead Cycling Club event on Porlock earlier this month.

She faces competition from Madeline Heywood (Team Watto) who finished runner-up on the Whiteleaf climb two weeks ago.

Heywood will also be in action the following day when she looks for a weekend double at the Severn RC hosted Hinton Hill climb.

With an average gradient of 10% the steepest section of 13.5% is at the bottom of the climb before flattening off towards the top.

Kate MacTear (Bristol South Cycling Club) will start as last woman while Charlotte Davies (FTP (Fulfil The Potential) Racing) and Emily Slavin (Avid Sport) are also in action.

Joanna Patterson

Carl Jolly (University of Bristol Cycling Club) starts as last man having finished fourth in the same event last season.

Scottish district honours will be on the line in the Dundonald hill climb in an event hosted by Ayr Roads CC.

After winning the Bute Wheelers event on Serpentine earlier this month National 50 and 100 Mile Champion Joanna Patterson (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) heads the women’s field.

Natalie Stevenson (Eat Plants Not Pigs CC) starts as last woman while Patricia Baird (Ecosse Performance Cycling Coaching) is amongst the other challengers.

Junior rider Louie Urquhart-Dixon (trainSharp Development Team) starts as last man on his first open time trial outing of the season.

Ryan Bunyan (Torvelo Racing) finished second in the Bute Wheelers event on the Serpentine and will be hoping to go one better this time out.

In the Yorkshire Dales the Tan Hill climb takes place on Saturday organised by Stockton Wheelers CC.

Taking place over six miles of exposed moorland competitors will be hoping for a tailwind to take them up the climb with an average of 2% and maximum of 10%.

Veteran rider Marcel Schubert (Darlington Cycling Club) added the Bramley Wheelers 25 victory to his big haul last weekend and starts as last rider over the shorter distance.

Amongst the men’s field is Sam Leng (AIMS Cycling) who finished fourth in the Ferryhill Whls HC earlier in September.

Ellen Powell (Durham Triathlon Club) will start as last woman while juvenile Sophie Heighton (Ferryhill Whs) is also amongst the women’s field.

Veteran Christopher McNamara (Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT) will start as last man out of an 80-rider field in Saturday’s Kingston Phoenix RC event on the G10/42 near Dorking.

Two weeks ago McNamara won the Paceline 10 in a time of 18-24 which was just three seconds behind his personal best.

Competition will come in the form of Simon McNamara (HuntBikeWheels.Com) and Nicholas Fennell (Thanet RC) amongst others.

Ahead of next week’s National Closed Circuit Championships Jennifer George (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz) will be in the women’s field alongside veteran Sarah Matthews (…a3crg) and others.

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