DESPITE facing a record field of 130 riders, unfancied Tom Bailey took the individual title and led the local Sheffield University to team victory in the British Universities Sports Association hill-climb championship on the Curbar Gap course in Derbyshire.
Bailey, whose only previous recorded top-10 performance during the autumn hill-climb campaign had been ninth in the Thurcroft CC event on October 14, took full advantage of a following wind when he stormed up the 1,796-yard Curbar course near Baslow in 5-35.0 to finish with virtually 10 seconds to spare over Oxford?s David McGaw.
Charles Taylor (Staffordshire), like McGaw a regular performer in open events and regarded by many as favourite to take over the title from Matt Clinton, winner for the previous two years, was a further four second back in the bronze medal position.
Former British Best All-Rounder Gethin Butler, who is studying at the University of Central Lancashire, finished fourth. Nicola Duggan (Bath) won the women?s title.
British Univs SA Ch?ship (Curbar Gap, Derbys, 1,796 yds).-
Tom Bailey (Sheffield) 5-35.0
D. McGaw (Oxford) 5-44.7
C. Taylor (Staffs) 5-48.4
G. Butler (Central Lancs) 5-59.2
O. Lovell (Nottingham Trent) 5-59.9
M. Peppit (Lancaster) 6-03.5
Team.- Sheffield (Tom Bailey, John Henneghan 6-29.4, Andrew Steel 6-32.2) 18-36.6.
Nicola Duggan (Bath CC) 7-18.0
M. Ferrier (Leeds) 7-47.3
A. Chester (Manchester) 8-00.5.
Team (2 riders).- Manchester (Alix Chester, Joanna Smith 10-28.4) 18-28.9.