yesterday was the MDCC Haytor Hillclimb. it’s an incredibly beautiful part of this island; standing atop the devon moorland, the Tor watches silently over the primeval landscape of Dartmoor whilst ponies meander nonchalantly and daytrippers pause only to unburr their putties and buy ice cream. of course, there is no time to stop and stare, it’s a race, a 3.2 mile ascent of savage undulations and false-flats, up out of bovey tracey, and onwards, a ribboning single helix bringing misery to cyclists, casual and competitive. i went off too hard, a schoolboy error, always. i was also in the wrong gear, which was a bit stupid. these things happen. neither of which deprived me of my first podium finish in an open event – 3rd place – and some prize-money. james dobbin didn’t catch me either, so either i’m getting quicker, or he is getting a bit slower. i think i’m getting marginally quicker. the catch is always on, but sometimes i elude his grasp… hare and tortoise. except he won, of course.