Pro riders Hayley Simmonds and Ed Laverack were crowned national hill-climb champions for the first time at the title race on Haytor near Bovey Tracey in Devon on Sunday.
Laverack (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) had admittedly come into the championships with his focus firmly on the title for much of the season.
“My training has been geared towards this for quite a while with road racing and a lot of long hill climbs so I prepared really well coming into the race,” said Laverack.
The 25-year-old posted a winning time of 11-37.0, going eight seconds quicker than the next nearest rider and lowering his own course record. His time withstood the ride of last season’s champion and a favourite for the event Andrew Feather (Champion System UK) who could only finish eighth.
After the race Laverack was delighted, adding: “I really enjoy coming to these events. There’s a great atmosphere and community feel thanks to a lot of local clubs being represented and I’m close to my local club so it’s nice to get that feeling of community and win in the process.”
Another professional road rider in Paul Double (Velo Club Venta) surprised a few people being a relatively unknown quantity in time-trialling, finishing in second place with a few event favourites falling short.
Double was one of only two men to go below the 12-minute mark, clocking 11-46.1 to take the silver medal. Former champion in this event Richard Bussell (AeroCoach) finished third with a time of 12-15.2.
Simmonds covered the course in 14-17.8 to also break her own course record for Haytor. It gave her the win by 11.5 seconds from Joscelin Lowden (The Independent Pedaler), while Rebecca Richardson (Brother.UK-Fusion) was third.
“I really enjoy longer climbs being used to long distance riding,” she said. “I thought I’d have a good chance and probably my best chance at the title especially with next year’s course being quite short.
“The men had the better of the wind I think with a strong tailwind – the juniors and women didn’t get it as much but I rode the course yesterday and it was a stiff headwind so today’s conditions were much better, especially when you get onto the flatter part of the climb.”
Cycles in Motion took the men’s team prize with Patrick Clark, Eugene and Archie Cross, while the women’s team prize went to Brother.UK-Fusion with Richardson being joined by Nicole Coates and Lucy Lee.
The fastest junior was Chris Mann (Velotik RT) with 13-47.0, while the junior girls title went to Caitlin Peters (Storey Racing)with 17-00.5.
* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission. This report by Jack Cudworth.