Huddersfield Road Club: Ripponden New Bank

and proverbially, what a difference a day makes. ripponden nestles cautiously at the foot of of a vertiginous piece of moorland. this makes it perfect for a hillclimb. it was a beautiful and crisp morning, no clouds, possibly a slight headwind over the top. the field wasn’t massively strong, with the exception of tejvan pettinger, who is massively strong.

the first half of the climb looked horribly steep, a typical wall, after which it gradually levelled off with a fast finish. i rode it twice beforehand, as i had done with Barley the day before, marking off two points that would act as markers for the level of effort, and to break the climb into three. this makes it more manageable. the first bit filled me with trepidation, misjudging it or going too hard would really take a toll later on.

in the end, it didn’t seem nearly as bad, i went quite quickly up it, hit the flatter sections with a bit of vigour and consciously looked to push a bigger gear. i rode hard to the line and felt that i’d learned from yesterday. i bagged second place, the second time this has happened this season in open events, and was very pleased. it gave me a filip for the nationals next weekend. and i got my name in print (outside of the results pages), if you read down far enough, and if you count bikeradar online as being ‘in print’, and if you accept that words relating the scale of someone elses’s victory to your own performance are a good thing. i accept all of the above.

there are only 4 minutes and 30 seconds of the season left.

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