National Hill Climb Championship 2010


Photo thanks to – The Taylor

Earlier in the year  I had ridden Dovers Hill, and done 4.03, so I mostly knew what to expect. After winning so many hill climbs this season I thought I had a chance of a medal; in the end it was very close, just missing out by 1.1 seconds on third place.

Warming up with umbrella

Dovers Hill is a fairly standard British hill climb course -  1 mile / average gradient 10%, and has been used a few times for the hill climb championship. The road was closed off to traffic and at the top there was a lot of spectators.

It was mild, but with frequent showers. I was lucky to have a team mate, Vilas, hold an umbrella during the worst showers whilst on the turbo.
cyclingA competitor on climb

I paced the climb fairly well. Start fast and just try to hold on. By the half way point you are feeling pretty stressed, but, then you have to keep pedalling harder knowing you have only two minutes to last out. At this point, the crowd started to thicken. I remember seeing old OUCC team mate Jim Henderson (former champion) roaring me on, but, the rest is a bit of a blur. I had to overtake my minute man on the inside. I didn’t loose any time, but when you’re head is blurry it’s hard to make a decision whether to go inside or outside. My legs were hurting like never before so I was at least giving it everything. There were so many people at the top I wasn’t entirely sure where the finish line was.

Anyway, I saw Robert Gough lying on the floor so knew that was it  I didn’t stop but just rode straight down via another ascent. When I got back to the car I was cold, and my head was still spinning. Now, that’s what I call a good day out!


I’d pretty much given it everything. A quick look at the results board showed not many people had done a sub four minute ride. I had just pipped Mike Cuming  (Team Raleigh) into 5th and was just behind Michael Smith (Team Corley). Dan Fleeman (Team Raleigh) and Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan) were again deserved of top 2 spots. Women’s Champion was Lynn Hamel – Team NCA, just beating Chrissy Radon (team Zappi) into second place.

I had at least narrowed gap on Dan Fleeman from 32 seconds (2009) to 15 seconds. On the postrum, Dan said something about forgetting his skinsuit and having to borrow one 30 minutes before the start. And I thought that was the kind of thing I did…

It’s a funny result coming 4th. It’s my best ever position, yet 3rd would have been even better! Part of you can’t help but think maybe I could have got another second from somewhere. But, it’s the same from everyone, If I’d been 10 seconds slower I would have been in 12th position – so it’s very close up top.

I’m really looking forward to next year’s championship on Long Hill. I broke the course record this year, and it is the kind of climb that will really suit me (though it may also suit other road riders who may be tempted to have a go).

Anyway, it was a great event. I love doing the national  hill climb championship. There’s a great crowd and you can just give it everything knowing that it’s the last race of the season. Also nice to meet so many people who seem to read the random ramblings on this blog.

Brief mention to junior champion, Chris from Buxton CC. (who got biggest cheer from enthusiastic Buxton team), lantern rouge John Newsome (Rhos on Sea CC), pj (top 25) and  Neil Blessit (top vet cat C)

Thanks to all at Coventry CC and those cheering us riders on.


It was a nice drive back – Bourton on the Hill

Pos Rider Club N1 Time N3
1 Dan Fleeman Raleigh UCI Team 03:41.1 01:59.9
2 Matt Clinton 03:47.7 01:59.9
3 Michael Smith Team Corley 03:55.3 02:05.8
4 Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team 03:56.4 02:07.0
5 Mike Cuming Raleigh UCI Team 03:57.9 02:14.6
6 Robert Gough Arctic-Premier Racing Team 03:59.6 02:06.6
7 David Clarke Pendragon / Le Colgano 04:01.3 02:12.8
8 Peter Tadros In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp A 04:01.3 02:07.2
9 Thomas Clark VC Bristol 04:02.0 02:36.2
10 Charles Taylor South Pennine RC 04:02.1 02:12.2
11 Steve Allen Kenilworth Whs 04:05.2 02:07.3

Top 11 from CTT

Photo Taylor gallery of champs


6 Responses to National Hill Climb Championship 2010

  1. Dave Preece November 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Sorry I’ve not commented earlier, I moved house the weekend of the national and I’ve only just got back on line.

    Awesome ride by you, shame you couldn’t quite get 3rd. I was fairly rubbish and finished 100th I think. My excuses are numerous.. I’d moved house on the friday, I’d worked the previous 25 days with no day off, I have no natural talent, I warmed up and raced in the rain, I broke my light rear wheel the day before… etc, etc. but like you I love the national hill climb.

    Not sure about next year though.. It’s not really going to be the same on a long and fairly flat road. For me the national should be on a hill so steep that it’s a battle just to get to the top.

  2. pj November 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    oh – and that’s marc allen of swindon road club in the picture.

  3. pj November 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    well done on a really fantastic season – and an amazing result at the national. it’s hard to comprehend just how quick you were going – both here and in the other hillclimbs i’ve seen you ride.

    when all is said and done, i managed 24th (tom clarke came 78th, not 9th) and in my first season of racing that’s something that’s left me pretty gobsmacked.

    it’s such a fantastic event; 4th place in a very strong field is an amazing result, and i have a feeling you’ll go even better next year.

  4. tejvan November 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Thanks for comment John. It is hard to warm up when its raining, but can make a big difference. Yes, very small margins at the top.

  5. John Newsome November 1, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Great ride yesterday Tejvan, shame about missing out on the podium by just 1.1 seconds! Still, like you said, at least you’re moving upwards in terms of overall placings in the Nationals…which is the right direction. Next year will be a podium place for sure. It’s amazing how close the finish times are, with just 7 seconds separating 3rd and 10th places, which shows how important little things like equipment, gear selection, or a few pounds on the waistline can be in this type of event at the top level! Also interesting to notice the great variations in the split times at half way-showing how some people probably overcooked it in the first half (like me) whilst others maybe saved something for the steeper 2nd half of the course and focussed their efforts there. Thanks for the Lantern Rouge mention; better to be infamous than ignored eh!!! I don’t think anything would have made that much difference to me, even EPO! Though, having said that, I made the big mistake of using my lighter (by 2kg) carbon fibre bike which only has a double chainset and a relatively high 1st gear (especially when you’re only averageing 6.8mph). This meant I got the gear turning over nicely in the lower flatter section, but then got a bit too confident, put too much power into it too soon, and paid the price big time on the much steeper mid and upper parts of the course, ending up grinding away and vastly over geared. Just what I shouldn’t have done! Doing previous hill climbs at this gradient should have made me fight the vanity of a nicer, more expensive, lighter bike, and use my older bike instead, which has a triple chainset giving much lower gearing. This would have enabled me to ‘spin’ on the steeper sections, keeping below oxygen debt levels, not building up so much lactic acid, and probably riding the hill both more efficiently and faster!! So, the end result might have been an improvement of 10-15 seconds, but at least i’d then have only been 2nd to last! Oh well, lesson learnt for next year. I also think that a longer and harder warm up ride of 45 minutes or so would have had me firing on all cylinders, rather than being a bit cold and stiff from waiting around for the start time; the heavy rain just before my start put paid to that though. Anyway, great event; really enjoyed taking part and will come back again next year, fitter, a stone lighter and spinning rather than grinding!! Like I said, how many other sports can the average guy in the street take part in at National Championship level…not many. Keep up the training, have a good winter and see you on the podium in 2011.


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