Women's contest saw Maryka Sennema defend her 2014 title as Richard Bussell added the hill-climb to his National-10 title
- Photos by Andy Jones

Maryka Sennema (Paceline RT) successfully defended her 2014 title in the National Hill-Climb Championships, but there was a new men’s champion with Richard Bussell (RST Sport-Aero Coach) taking the honours.

Bussell, the 26-year-old who is also the National 10-Mile champion, was almost five seconds ahead of defending champion Dan Evans (Cannondale UK – Team Elite) on the 0.9-mile Jackson Bridge climb near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, while Joe Clark (Envelopemaster) was six seconds off Bussell’s pace in third.

>>> Check out the facial expressions at the Bec Hill Climb (video)

Sennema was just 2.3 seconds ahead of multiple national champion and GB rider Hayley Simmonds (Team Velosport) who had won the University hill-climb title the day before, while last year’s runner-up Lou Bates (Carnac Planet X) was third fastest female, another 0.7 off the pace.

Maryka Sennema, women's winner, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Maryka Sennema, women’s winner, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Bussell, who won the Catford CC hill-climb and placed second in the Bec event the same day, had only won two hill-climbs in comparison to Evans’ eight prior to the Nationals, but had the power to take victory by a comfortable margin.

The course had been extended by 80 yards due to logistical reasons, meaning a new course record was set. The previous long-standing course record of 3:49.9 set in 1994, belonged to Jeff Wright, who was present at this year’s event.

“It was a lot harder today than when I won the ten-mile championship,” said Bussell. “My preparation was a lot harder for this event.

Richard Bussell, men's winner, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Richard Bussell, men’s winner, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

“I really had to concentrate on losing weight and I’ve lost six kilos since I won the ten-mile title. I’m going to make up for that tonight and eat as much as I like! But hopefully I will be back next year to defend both my titles.”

And women’s winner Sennema added: “I’m happy the season is over! It was closer today, and nice to see so many girls now taking hill climbs seriously. I’m half a kilo over weight which would make it easier.”

Joe Clark, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Joe Clark, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Dan Evans, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Dan Evans, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Hayley Simmonds, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Hayley Simmonds, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Lou Bates, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

Lou Bates, Hill-Climb National Championships 2015

  • Gary Jogela

    Bussell still went up faster though eh

  • Andrew Warby

    Pacing is pretty important. Bussell nailed it, Evans didn’t, Bussell won. 5 seconds is a huge margin when you look at the rest of the top 10.

  • J1

    Indeed, but I see in the other article that Evans got his pacing wrong, so really he lost it.

  • Andrew Warby

    He rode up the hill faster, it’s quite simple really.

  • J1

    How did he beat Evans? I don’t actually believe that.

  • Joe

    Yeah, Bussell smashed it, both him and Evans were looking fast even leading up to the line.

    I also would recommend it as a good event to watch, you can set up camp, get to see all the racers and it gets more and more exciting throughout the day as the speed goes up.

  • Gary Jogela

    Wear a good quality winter jacket to get perfect cool.also,I hope Darcy gives Richard a name check on “strictly” next Saturday

  • Dan

    Wouldn’t call it a “perfect cool”, but couldn’t agree more about the event. Watched everyone from 1 to 240, was amazed by the speed of Bussell and Evans especially, but the juniors were equally impressive (as far as I know everyone made it up?).

    Really recommend to all cycling fans as an event to watch in future!

  • Joe

    I attended the race today and as a local I absolutely loved it; the temperature was a perfect cool, the crowds were great and the organisation seemed solid. A big well done to local lad Tom Bell for coming in 5th after being placed as a complete unknown at 200/1 on Paddy Power.