National Hill Climb Champion Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles) smashed the women’s course record on her way to winning the Cycle Club Basingstoke hill climb, while Darren Kidson (Onyx RT) snatched the men’s victory.
It was veteran rider Jones’ second course record in as many weeks taking almost 20 seconds off the previous mark clocking a women’s winning time of four minutes and two seconds.
The Holybourne hill climb is 1.7 kilometres in length and heads out of Holybourne starting with a slight dip before gradually climbing before hitting the steepest gradient of 14% in the middle section of the climb before levelling off slightly over the last kilometre to the top.
Jones, aged 41, from Reading, only started hill climbing in 2019 but won the national championship last season for the first time.
Last season in the same event Jones finished third despite her time of 4-23 being just a second behind Alice Lethbridge (Drag2Zero) who won in a course record time of 4-22.0.
However, Jones showed her improvement during the off-season to knock 20 seconds off that marker to take a clear women’s win and place 11th overall.
Taking part in her first open hill climb Fran Bratt (Velo Club Godalming & Haslemere) was second woman in 5-04.9 while veteran Mandy Hibberd (Rapha Cycling Club) finished third (5-39.4).
Third veteran woman was Michelle Williams (West Drayton MBC) who completed the course in 6-20.5.
The men’s event could not have been closer with Kidson finishing just a second quicker than Frazier Carr (Spirit Tifosi RT).
Kidson, aged 39, like Jones also won the Reading Cycling Club on Streatley hill climb last weekend and made it two wins from two rides in a winning time of three minutes and 37 seconds over the longer climb.
Narrowly missing the victory on this occasion was Carr who improved on his seventh last weekend on Streatley.
Ben McKie (VC de Londres) led the fight for the remaining podium position placing third in 3-46.8 which was just three seconds faster than his team-mate and leading juvenile Finlay Hawker who was fourth overall in 3-49.6.
First junior rider was Felix Tuck (V C Meudon) in 3-57.1 who finished ahead of team-mate Thomas Caine (4-08.70) while Thomas Lehmann (Cycling Club Hackney) was third junior (4-27.0).
Quickest veteran was Richard Cartland (HuntBikeWheels.com) whose time of 3-49.7 beat Mark Travis (Informed Sport – LGC) into second (4-04.9) while Thomas Robb (Bedfordshire Road RT) was third in the veteran age category and fastest veteran 50+ in 4-17.1.
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