With the National Hill-Climb Championship just four weeks away, the leading contenders continued their build-up to the event on Dovers Hill in Warwickshire with a series of tough climbs last weekend.
Two of the likely pre-race favourites for the National Champs, Tejvan Pettinger and Matt Clinton, locked horns at the Otley CC two-stage event in West Yorkshire on Saturday.
Victory in the opening 1,400-yard climb of Guise Hill went to Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) with 3-56.4, while Pettinger was not far behind with 4-02.1.
In the second stage, on the harder but similarly long Norwood Edge, went to Pettinger. And his time of 4-56.8 was almost 12 seconds faster than Clinton in second, which gave the Sri Chinmoy CT rider from Oxford overall victory by around six seconds.
Meanwhile, in the south In Gear-Quickvit RT’s Pete Tadros had a busy weekend, finishing with a win and two second places.
He was runner-up by just one second in the Kingston Wheelers event on Leith Hill, with Kenilworth Wheelers’ Steve Allen taking a close victory, and Tadros then won the Sussex CA climb of Steyning Bostall convincingly by 14 seconds.
Tadros then defended his title in the Wigmore CC event on Hollingbourne Hill on Sunday, but was beaten into second spot by Basil Moss over the 1,350-yard climb.
Strong winds meant Tadros was 11 seconds slower than his winning time last year, and was less than two seconds behind Moss, the 25-year-old Cambridge CC rider.
Elsewhere, Blackburn & District TC enjoyed a clean sweep of the podium in the Rossendale Road Club climb on Crown Point in Lancashire.
Team-mates Ian Stott and Chris Edmondson shared victory with 3-00.4, while Carl Helliwell made it a 1-2-3 with third spot, nine seconds back.
Arctic Premier RT rider Robert Gough had a winning margin of around ten seconds as he won the VC Walcot climb of Claverton Down near Bath on Sunday, while Richard Cartland (Team Corley Cycles) was second and former national champion James Dobbin (Arctic Premier RT) third.
And in Cheshire, Charles Taylor (South Pennine RC) won the Withington Wheelers climb of Peaslows Hill, covering the 970 yards three seconds quicker than Buxton CC’s Lee Baldwin.
While Cartland was second in the VC Walcot event, Team Corley were celebrating a win in the Severn Road Club climb of Hinton Hill near Pucklechurch, where Michael Smith covered the climb in 1-50.8 to beat Chippenham & District Wheelers pair Robert Gough and Robin Coomber into second and third respectively.