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Report & photo credit: Guy Swarbrick

Coming as they do at the end of the season,  you know what to expect from a hill climb. It will be cold, overcast, windy and somewhere between slightly damp and soaking wet. Not so this year’s Urban Hill Climb, which saw the riders tackle a bone dry Swain’s Lane in brilliant sunshine, temperatures just under the 20C mark. Records were going to be broken.

The Youths kicked off the day with VC Londres team mates Oscar Nilsson-Julien – last year’s winner – and Freddie Mitchell topping the Under 16 Boys time sheets. Nilsson-Julien was well clear at the top of the times sheets – nine seconds ahead on 1:37.46 – and, although the two contested the final as though it was a match Sprint on the track, it was Nilsson-Julien who had the strength to take the win. In the Under 16 Girls, a dropped chain saw Lee Valley Youth CC’s Bobbie O’Brien 220 seconds adrift of fastest qualifier Lucy Wollaston who clocked 2:28. Free of mechanical problems in the final, it was O’Brien who took the win in the final.

The Junior races saw Nick Candy fastest of the men with a 1:31 – just two seconds ahead of last year’s runner-up Logan de Monchaux-Irons of CC Hackney – but it was the Hackney rider who had the edge in the head-to-head final. The were only two Junior Women entered and Kate Wootton of Team On Form was comfortably the faster of the two – crossing the finish line in 2:03 – 17 seconds ahead of Connie Hayes from Admiral Liv AWOL – and the final reflected qualifying form.

In the age categories, Glyn Griffiths was faster of the 40-44 Men with a time of 1:28 – five seconds clear of Bill Bell – who suffered a mechanical in the final and handed his opponent an easy win. The final of the 40-44 Women was an even easier win with Niki Birch of CC Hackney – who’d qualified 19 seconds off Louis Gibson’s 2:31 not taking the start and handing the win to her opponent.

Niki Birch & Louise Gibson

In the 45-49 Men’s category, 2nd to 4th were separated by 2 seconds – but James Doxey of SNCO was six seconds clear of second placed Javier Simon of APL Bike with a 1:36 and comfortably held of his opponent in the final. In the 50-54 Men, Gier Robinson of Regent’s Park Rouleurs was seven seconds clear of Ivan Jordan of Elite Cycling with a 1:42  and, once again, the final went to form. The Women’s 50-54 saw Michelle Williams six seconds adrift of Alex Marzec, who clocked 2:24 – but it was Williams who took the Final.

James Doxey & Javier Simon

Gier Robinson & Ivan Jordan

 

Rich ‘Rapid’ Stoodley of 3RT broke the two minute barrier into the 55-59 men – clocking 1:58, 20 seconds ahead of second placed Graham Irvine of London Phoenix while Hans Nilsson topped the 60+ qualifying on 2:22 ahead of Richmond Park Velo Richard Goodman.

Rich Stoodley & Graham Irvine

The times for the Brompton racers include unfolding their bikes before they started, so the fastest time of 2:11 for Michael Gallagher was impressive (and the top few riders did provide some evidence that Lycra is faster than a jacket and tie…). Gallagher won his final, as did Nakita van der Krogt who topped the Women’s qualifying with a 2:56.

Michael Gallagher

Nakita van der Krogt & Amelia Munsey

Clement Geiger was fastest of the Cargo bikes at 3:48 – just ahead of John Williams’ aero recumbent. The fastest of the Heavyweight Cargo bikes was Harry Walton – with an impressive 2:23.

Harry Walton

Sixteen riders contested the 18-39 Women’s category with Rebecca Carter and last year’s runner-up Jacintha Hamilton-Love both clocking exactly 2:00 in second and third respectively – five seconds behind Jessica Evans – who took victory in the final.

Jessica Evans & Rebecca Carter

 

Defending Champion – and National Hill Climb Champion – Dan Evans clocked 1:26, but that was only good enough for fourth – a second behind third-placed James Hayward. Chris Crabtree was a couple of seconds quicker in second but it was Calum Brown – seven seconds clear on 1:18 – who took a new course record and who comfortably took the final.

 

Chris Crabtree & Calum Brown

Final results:

Category Pos Name Category Pos Name
Youth 1 Oscar Nilsson-Julien Youth 1 Lucy Wollaston
2 Freddie Mitchell 2 Bobbie Obrien
Junior 1 Logan De Monchaux -Irons Junior 1 Kate Wootton
2 Nick Candy 2 Connie Hayes
Men 18-39 1 Calum Brown Women 18-39 1 Jessica Evans
2 Chris Crabtree 2 Rebecca Carter
Men 40-44 1 Glyn Griffiths Women 40-44 1 Louise Gibson
2 Bill Bell 2 Nicky Birch
Men 45-49 1 James Doxey Women 50-54 1 Michelle WIlliams
2 Javier Simon 2 Alex Marzec
Men 50-54 1 Gier Robsinson
2 Ivan Jordan
Men 55-59 1 Rich Stoodley
2 Graham Irvine
Men 60+ 1 Hans Nilson
2 Richard Goodman
Men Brompton 1 Michael Gallagher Women Brompton 1 Nakita van der Krogt
2 David Thorp 2 Amelia Munsey
Top 2 fastest
Men Cargo 1 Jamie Plummer
2 John Williams
Men Heavy Weight Cargo 1 Harry Walton
2 Hasnain Iqbal