By Nigel Wynn
Former Great Britain rider, time trial strongman and Strava legend Tim Stevens will attempt to scale the famous Box Hill climb in Surrey on Friday evening (July 19) in under nine minutes in a unique charity fund-raising event.
Stevens, 52, has already beaten the Strava times set by pro riders during the London-Surrey Cycle Classic Olympic test event in August 2011, and is currently third on the Box Hill (roundabout to peak) leaderboard to former Irish professional David McCann, whose time on the climb was set during the London 2012 road race last August, and IG-Sigma Sport pro Wouter Sybrandy.
Rather trying to better McCann's time - which was set with the unrepeatable benefit of being in the Olympic peloton - Stevens will attempt to dip under the nine-minute mark. The climb is 2.6 miles at four per cent average gradient, and he'll need to average just over 17.5mph to hit his target.
"I'm using Box Hill for this charity because of its obvious fame," said Stevens. "Hopefully it'll attract more attention. To be honest, I can't stand this climb. I would go more for a three-minute effort but steeper!"
Stevens rode for Great Britain in the 1985 World Championships team time trial. He held the 25-mile time trial competition record as a junior and won a host of one-day races including the Perfs Pedal Race, Jock Wadley Memorial, and top ten placings in several Star Trophy (now Premier Calendar) events. He is still a regular on the time trial scene, where he has posted several sub-49 minute 25-mile rides and 19-minute 10s.
He is inviting people to sponsor his attempt via a Just Giving page. All proceeds will go to Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, in aid of the specialist centre that is currently treating his wife for breast cancer.
Stevens also invites everyone to come along and give him a cheer to speed him on his way. The attempt will take place at 8.15pm on Friday, July 19.
"It would be nice if somebody gave me a shout... and a push." Stevens told us. "I am going to go to the small car park near the bottom at around 7.45pm. I will then ride up the climb a short way to warm up before coming back down, going around the bottom roundabout and then it all gets serious."
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