View from top of Westclose Hill.
Saturday was was a hill climb in the Mendips, Somerset. Quite an interesting climb. Over a mile long, the gradient gets steeper as you near the top. The bottom is fairly shallow with a small section of downhill. Towards the top there are a couple of sections at 16%. Before a final flattish ‘sprint’ for the top. It requires a solid pacing strategy and also you need to take the changes of gradient in your stride.
I arrived a little late so didn’t have time to have a practise climb. I rode around the village of Westbury and warmed up for about 30-40 minutes. It was a tough climb as the gradient is constantly changing. It’s not a climb to sit in the saddle. As it gets steep, you need to get out of the saddle to maintain the power.
I finished in a time of 5.28 which was good enough for 1st place. Ahead of James Dobbin, Paul Jones and Neil Blessit.
It was quite a bit slower, than Jim Henderson’s course record in the 2000 National Championships. Jim wrote a report here, and mentioned in 2000 there was a ‘roaring tailwind’ But, when I finished quite spent, I wasn’t sure how it would have been possible to find an extra 20 seconds.
After the race, I spent a bit of time taking photos. You could just make out Glastonbury Tor in the distance. The sun was creeping through the clouds and it was pleasantly mild. A great day for cycling. After racing, it was nice to have a bit of ‘social’ cycling to enjoy the weather. It was a fairly small field, but for a hill climb not bad. Nice event organised by Weston Wheelers.
Looking down the hill from half way. When riding it feels much steeper than it looks.
A flatish section before last lunge to the line.
Weston Wheelers RC 2011
1 Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy CT 05:28.3 S
2 James Dobbin Adeo Cadence RT 05:54.7 S
3 Paul Jones Bristol South CC 06:00.7 S
4 Neil Blessitt Severn Road Club 06:08.7 V
5 Thomas Baylis Mid-Devon CC 06:29.5 J
6 Marc Allen Swindon RC 07:01.3 V
7 Kye Martin Mid-Devon CC 07:09.2 J
West Close Hill
START in Rodney Stoke approximately 150 yards from A371 at steel cover 3 yards beyond far gatepost to water station (OS Grid Ref. ST 492498) and FINISH opposite fence post on right level with beacon/underground reservoir.
Length 1979 metres
Height gain 172 metres