With the British hill-climb season now under way, Cycling Weekly has taken a look at the best events on this year's calendar
The British hill-climb season is short, but definitely sweet as professional riders with end-of-season form pit themselves against hill-climb specialists and have-a-go club riders.
Events are great to watch and the ‘classic’ events are always packed with spectators, with a steady flow of riders coming past at full tilt.
The season traditionally draws to a close with the British Hill-climb National Championships, this year taking place at Hedley on the Hill on October 29.
Here we pick out some of the best events to go and watch – or to try out for yourself.
The Crowd Favourites
Sheffrec CC Hill-Climb
Monsal Head (OHC/3), October 1
Celebrating its 87th birthday in 2017. Malcolm Elliott’s best of 1-14.2 from 1981 still stands as the course record. The top of the climb resembles a temporary bike park, as spectators aplenty test themselves up the 675-yard hill, before watching the experts.
Bec CC Hill-climb
White Lane (GH/31), October 8
Part of the famed South-East double-header along with Catford CC’s event on Yorks Hill (see below), this 700-yard climb averages 13 per cent and always boasts sizeable crowds come rain or shine.
Halifax Imperial Wheelers Hill-climb
Stocks Lane (V9919), September 23
Having returned to the calendar in 2015, the 2008 national champion Matt Clinton highlighted this 900-yard climb which pushes 30 per cent in places, as “one of the hardest on the calendar”.
Lancashire RC Hill-climb
The Rake (L812), October 8
Jack Pullar, who won the men’s national title on the Rake in 2012, said: “There are handrails for people walking up it, it’s that steep, and it’s mid-range in length, so it’s probably the most painful type”.
Catford CC Hill-climb
Yorks Hill (GH/32), October 8
Former women’s national champion Maryka Sennema highlighted this as a challenge. “It’s difficult to pace and too easy to go fast on the shallower gradients. I say every year that I’m going to achieve a good time on it but as yet I just can’t conquer it.”
Watch: How does weight affect your climbing speed?
Hedley Hill (MH11), October 25
Hedley on the Hill in Northumberland hosts the hill-climb season-ending national championships for the first time and is promoted by local club GS Metro. Ben Davis currently holds the course record, but former national champion Dan Evans ominously matched his time on Strava during a course recon ride in August.