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.
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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.
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.
“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.”