The 2011 edition of the Otley CC hill climb was run under unseasonally warm temperatures. The hill climb season usually means wind, rain and cold (2 years ago, the first climb had to be shortened after 50mph winds). But, despite being October, it felt like it could have been the south of France. I do like the heat, though I was surprised at how much I was drinking during the two stage event. Not often you feel in danger of being dehydrated in UK in October.
The first climb is Guise Edge. A short and mostly steep effort of about 0.8 miles. The first section is the steepest before going around a hairpin bend and levelling off a little for the finish.
I finished in a time of 3.25. Just ahead of Matt Clinton and Gunar Gronlund. I think it was a course record.
A great day to be on the bike – whether a great day to be racing up hills depends on your point of view
After descending Guise Hill, it was off to Norwood Edge for final climb of the day. The course record is 4.42 set by Jeff Wright in 1994. Although the course record has stood for a long time. The balmy conditions meant I thought it could be close. There was a light tailwind, but the high temperature seems to help.
I rode both climbs on gears. Norwood Edge has a steep section at the start before levelling off a little.
Climbing Norwood Edge.
Because the course record was on my mind, I kept looking at my time elapsed on my speedomer, which probably wasn’t a good idea. When I saw the line, I sprinted and finished with a time of 4.46 - 4 seconds off. Gunar Gronlund was also quite close behind with 4.52.
The race was generously sponsored by MAS Consultants, Chevin Cycles and Shutt Velo Rapide. It was a very nice pay check - £115 for 9 minutes work. I will also be getting a pair of shutt velo rapide shorts to test. It was also good to see a big turnout for a hill climb and even a fair few spectators on the climbs. If only all hill climbs could be run under these weather conditions maybe they would be much more popular ….
Interestingly, Chris Boardman once did this event when it was run on East Chevin. I don’t know if he ever raced Norwood Edge, but would be interesting to find out.
A welcome sight – the Finish Sign
It’s hard work this hill climb
Ilkley CC beat GS Metro to team prize by one second.
|1||50||Tejvan||Pettinger||Sri Chinmoy Racing Team||08:11.5|
|2||10||Gunner||Gronland||RST Racing Team-Trigon||08:24.8|
|6||25||Andrew||Pearson||Huddersfield Star Wh||10:06.1|
- 1st Juv Tom Cullen Otley CC 16-06-2
- 2nd Juv Ryan Wakefield Otley CC 17-50-8
- 1st Lady Victoria Annis VC Bradford 12-52-5