Grey clouds and a cool wind swept over Matlock’s Riber Hill, the first hill that kicked off a triple hill climb schedule around the Derbyshire Dales on Sunday.
Riber Hill rises out of the back of Matlock and finishes close to the ruins of Riber Castle that over looks this popular Derbyshire market town. Over night rain left Riber’s steep 1 in 4 hairpin gradients slippery and it was Robert Gough (John’s Bike RT) who coped the best to take the honours from Charles Taylor (South Pennine RC) and last year’s winner and current National Hill Climb Champion James Dobbin (Arctic Premier RT).
First Lady was Marianne Britten (VC St.Raphael). First Vet Chris Green (Matlock CC). First Youth Patrick Smart(Matlock CC). First Junior Jack Shackelton(Peak Cycle Sport). Promoting club Matlock CC took the team honours.
From Riber the events moved on the short distance to Beeley Hill near Chatsworth Park. Promoted by Chesterfield Coureurs the 2.31 mile course starts just above the Devonshire Arms pub in Beeley and finishes on the top of the exposed Beeley Moors. A tail wind helped riders over the first half of the climb before switching to a stiff crosswind after the tight right hairpin for the final long straight to the moor top finish.
James Dobbin (Arctic Premier RT) made amends for his earlier third placing at Riber to storm to victory in nine minutes, a full ten seconds ahead of second placed David Clarke (Lacuna), and 20 seconds up on third placed rider Chris Myhill (Peak RC). First lady was Alex Deck (Sportscover-J.E. James) and first Vet Tony Grassby (Peak RC). Peak RC took the team honours with Chris Myhill, Tony Grassby and Steve Gibson.
The third and final event of the day offered riders a chance to test themselves on this year’s national hill climb course of Bank Road back in Matlock. Promoting club Matlock CC used it as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for their hosting of next weekend’s hill climb season’s climax.
Calmer conditions to those experienced for the earlier two events helped give a reliable indication of what will be the time to beat next weekend. Lewis Cowley (Plan B RT) came back from his fifth place on Riber to top the timings with 2:35.7 minutes from Bill Bell (Gemini BC) and Charles Taylor (South Pennine RC).
James Dobbin (Arctic Premier RT) was surprisingly nearly 15 seconds back in seventh spot with 2:50.2 minutes. First lady was Lynn Hamel (TheGreenRoomGroup.com), and first vet Chris Storer (Ashfield RC). First Junior was Jack Shackelton (Peak Cycle Sport) while Matlock CC took the team award.
Click here for a preview of this weekend’s national championships. This week’s Cycling Weekly has the results from all these events.