Cycling Weekly takes a look at the best British hill-climb events on this year's calendar - great to take part, and even greater to watch!

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 the Shelsley Walsh motor circuit in Worcestershire on October 28.

Here we pick out some of the best events to go and watch – or to try out for yourself.

>>> How to ride faster up short, steep hills

Bradfield

Friday July 6

Sadly, entries have already closed for this rare summer hill-climb, which has one of the best atmospheres of any event along its lung-busting course that links Low and High Bradfield. Definitely worth going along to watch it, even if you can’t ride it.

Porlock Toll Road

Sunday September 30

Run by Minehead CC, this race features a TDF-style start ramp and close to seven kilometres of sumptuous winding gradient through the woods that higher up reveals epic views out to sea.

Monsal Hill-climb. Photo by Andy Jones

Monsal Head

Sunday October 7

This famous event with its 39-year-old record is the one all the climbers want to win, but they will have their work cut out as it’s short and shallow enough to appeal to the pure power of the lighter sprinters.

The Rake

Sunday October 7

Run by Lancashire RC on a road so steep it has a handrail for pedestrians, the Rake has been a classic on the calendar for generations.

The Catford

Sunday October 7

The oldest running bike race in the world — it was first raced in 1887 — the Catford CC event up Yorks Hill in Kent has an atmosphere not matched anywhere else, with the last 100 metres of brutal 25 per cent gradient often lined four-deep on either side with screaming spectators.


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The Bec

Sunday October 7

Once you’ve ridden the Catford you must head over to the Bec for another helping of pain up White Lane in the second half of this famous South-East double header.

Matlock CC, Riber and Bank Road double-header

Sunday October 21

If you love pain and savage gradients then these are the events for you, with Riber in the morning and Bank Road in the afternoon. Set on 25 per cent slopes, these are two of the toughest events on the calendar.

British Hill-climb National Championships

Shelsley Walsh motor circuit, Sunday October 28
Want to pit yourself against the best riders in the country? Then try and get a ride in the National Championships, set to be held this year on the Shelsley Walsh motor circuit in Worcestershire.