Burrington Combe was one of my first hill climbs I did. In 2004, I did 7.12. Then in 2005, I did a 7.05 with a roaring tailwind. That was the year Danny Axford set a new course record of 7.02.
- Length 2.2 miles
- Height Gain 100m – 268m (168)
It is a good hill climb,which usually attracts quite a good feel. It never gets very steep. It is more of a long 2 mile drag, averaging around 5%. It climbs up the picturesque Burrington Combe (not that you have time to admire the scenery) It is popular with walkers and climbers
Ever since that year, I had expected to return and put the course record under 7.00. But, hill climbs are a tough business. Each year it seemed to be either cold or a headwind or I just wasn’t strong enough. The next time I entered I went back to 7.21, before improving last year to 7.10. But, the 7.00 minute barrier proved elusive.
waiting at the start
After racing at Westclose the previous day, I felt quite good on the warm up. The best thing is that it was quite mild for October. The wind was very light, but when you could feel the wind, it was a tailwind rather than headwind. I set off at a good pace and had to overtake a car who was stuck behind some tourist cyclists ambling up the gorge. Fortunately, it was clean overtake and there wasn’t any problem.
I knew the pace I wanted to ride this kind of climb. At the half way point there is a little car park. I looked at my stopwatch and was surprised how quickly I was going. I knew there was a very good chance of going under 7 minutes. Towards the end there is a little rise in gradient around a cattle grid. But, I stayed in saddle and kept going. I finished in 6.51.
Conditions were obviously very good, with temperature helping. But, if there was a strong tailwind, it would have been even quicker. Like riding Norwood edge, I didn’t help myself to keep looking at my timer. I might take it off for nationals.
There are just two hill climbs left next weekend before the National Championships on October 30th. Some of the other contenders had great weekends as well. Both Richard Handley (Team Raleigh) and Gunnar Gronlund (RST Racing Team/Trigon) set new course records at Cragg Vale and Beeley Moor. It’s going to be quite an interesting race. Michael Hutchinson and Rob Hayles have also entered. There are quite a few riders in with a chance of a medal.
A steeper way to the top.
UH26 – Burrington Combe
Start in lay-by approx 150yrds beyond cafe, proceed on B3134 towards Green Ore to Finish at Prime line at top of the climb, approx 20yrds before Blagdon.
Course Record 6.51.0 – Tejvan Pettinger 2011.
Video of 2010 Race
PJ’s take on Burrington in 2010