Yesterday I made the epic trek to the lake district to take part in the Kent Valley Road Club hillclimb. It’s 9 miles long and finishes at around 1400 feet. It’s never really steep, and there are several sections of slight downhill. the last 2 miles could probably qualify as a nasty hillclimb though, it’s steeper and quite daunting.
i rode my condor acciao, which is considerably heavier than my old hillclimb bike, probably an extra 2.5 kilos. The wheelset was a set of zipp 340s, and they were lovely. however, i can’t help but feel that i lost some time on the ascent due to the extra weight. some other riders used time trial bikes, and the winner, tejvan pettinger, rode with tribars. it’s one of those thorny ones where there’s no clear benefit to either.
i managed third place with 30 minutes dead. I am pleased with this, it was a windy day, again, and i held off the scary challenge of a legion of Scottish racing cyclists – their national junior team was on the way home from an Isle of Man stage race and broke the journey with a quick bit of hillclimbing. One of them – Tom Arnstein, was riding at Revolution when I spectated in January. Quite a strange experience to be riding in the same race.
Peter Greenwood came second, he is a racing snake in his 50s, who set the course record some time ago. pretty impressive.
this is the steepest descent you can see, with the cyclists in the foreground starting the battle with the last two miles:
prior to the M6, Shap Fell used to be a fearsome route over the high ground…