He has already won road races, criteriums and cyclo-cross events this season, but Graham Briggs added hill climbs to that list when he won the 84th Monsal Hill Climb on Sunday, his first ever victory in the event held in the Peak District.
The Rapha Condor JLT rider finished second last year and finally topped the podium at the third time of asking, beating a strong field containing NFTO Pro Cycling’s Russ Downing and Adam Blythe, as well as the winner of the last two events, Jack Pullar (Starley Primal).
With a vocal crowd lining the route, Blythe powered up in 1:21.8, giving the remaining four riders something to aim for and it was Briggs, with a time of 1:20.5, that took top spot. Russ Downing was second in 1:21.1 and Blythe’s time was enough to earn him third.
Briggs, from Rossington in South Yorkshire, said: “It’s great to finally win this one after finishing second last year, I’ve ridden all of the hill climbs in the UK and this is my favourite but I am biased being a fairly local lad.
“Sheffrec always put on a great event and this was no exception. It’s been a good year for me, I’ve won all sorts – criteriums, cross races and now hill climbs! I’ve been preparing for this for three weeks so now I’m just going to take a couple of weeks off.”
The fastest woman was Jessie Walker of Matrix Vulpine, her time of 1:57 enough to beat Lou Collins into second place. GB Cycles’s Nicola Soden was third.
Top veteran was Ben Lowe of Nonna La Squadra in 1:31.3 and quickest junior was 16-year-old Robert Gray of Clifton CC with a 1:27.2. The school boy category was won by Holme Valley Wheeler, Henry Cash in 1:38.3.
Meanwhile, the reigning national hill-climb champion Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT) continued his build-up to the 2014 title race with victory in the Otley CC two-stage event in West Yorkshire on Saturday.
Pettinger was quickest on both Guise Cliff and Norwood Edge, giving him the overall win ahead of Henry King (Ilkley CC) by 18.5 seconds.
Elsewhere, Glyndwr Griffiths (Arctic Tacx RT) won the Bath CC Hill Climb on Sunday.
Held on Hinton Hill near Wellow, the one-kilometre course was conquered in 2:18 by Griffiths, four seconds ahead of BH Solidor’s Ben Davis. Ben Nichol of Amersham RCC was third in 2:28.4.
The women’s category was won by Christina Gayles of Bristol South CC and fastest veteran was Adrian Lawson of Cadence RC in 2:30.3. Welwyn Wheeler Jamie Dene was the youngest competitor at 13 years of age and won the under 16s event by over a minute in 3:28.2.
Ben Davis took another podium finish after winning the Chippenham and District Wheelers Hill Climb on the Saturday. His time of 4:41.5 beat Performance Cycles’ Tony Kiss’ time of 4:42.78 into second place and Charles Coleman of Felt Colbornes was third in 4:43.99.
In the Severn RC Hill Climb near Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, Matt Fratesi was victorious as the Dream Cycles rider completed in 1:56.8 – a fantastic time for an under 16. Rob Gough of Arctic Tacx RT was second with 1:57.6 and Ben Davis was on the podium for a third time this weekend with a third place finish of 1:58.5.
On Saturday, Louis Szymanski of ABC Centreville was quickest at the Rossendale Road Club hill climb in 2:52.7. Junior rider Adam Hartley of Velocity WD40 was just a second behind him and Ashley Touring CC rider Ivan Paul was third with 2:54.1.