Veteran Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles) took her first National Hill Climb Championship title on the Streatley Hill in Berkshire in an event sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
Jones, who turns 41 on Monday, smashed her own course record to win her first national title by three seconds clocking two minutes and 47.9 seconds on the 0.8-kilometres climb.
The hill, with an average gradient of 13% and a maximum of 25.9%, runs from near Streatley School and heading towards Goring & Streatley Golf Club with the steepest section after the half-way point.
Jones showed her pre-race form by winning the Berkhamsted CC event last weekend on a similarly short climb and was on the top spot of the podium once again.
Monica Greenwood (Macclesfield Wheelers) set the benchmark for the late starters and was the only rider ahead of the last riders away to go under the three-minute mark clocking 2-58.8.
Under-23 rider Becky Storrie (Synergy Cycles) competing in her first open hill climb matched that time and they both shared the third podium place.
Starting second from last Jones powered her way up the climb which was damp due to earlier rain averaging 10.7 miles per hour.
Last woman away Mary Wilkinson (Yorkshire Road Club) also showed her form prior to the event recording a double victory earlier this month winning on Carr Lane and Bib Lane on the same day.
Wilkinson finished second in the National Hill Climb Championships in 2017 and 2018 but had to settle for the runners-up spot once again clocking a time of 2-50.8.
“It went as well as it could have today and I’m really pleased,” said Jones. “I like the short climbs and prefer them to the long efforts when you have to think carefully about your pacing.
“It’s also my home hill and I like riding it in training quite a lot and I think it always helps to have local knowledge of the climb.”
One of the pre-race favourites Rebecca Richardson (Team Brother UK) was one of those unable to travel to the event due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Winners of the team prize were CAMS-Tifosi with Jessica Finney (3-05.1), Jo Tindley (3-06.4) and Katie Scott (3-10.1) making a combined time of 9-21.6.
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