Riders' heart rate and power data from the Monsal HC show how deep you have to go in a hill climb

Maximum heart rates of 200bpm+ for many riders

Riders at the Monsal Hill climb hit some serious heart rate and power numbers
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

If you're thinking about doing a few hill climbs this autumn and are not quite sure what to expect, then this article might help to explain just how much it's going to hurt.

As well as being a test of power-to-weight ratios, hill climbs are about which riders can go the deepest and hardest, and some of the figures from this weekend's Monsal Hill show just how deep and hard some riders went.

Unfortunately neither of the winners uploaded their riders to Strava, but we have got the details of Andy Nichols and Elizabeth Banks, who both rode to third place finishes.

>>> Adam Kenwayand Rebecca Goodson win 2017 Monsail Hill climb titles (photos)

For his 1-21 effort, Nichols recorded (opens in new tab) an average power of 673 watts, including a 910 watt acceleration as he got up to speed off the start line.

As for Banks, she hit (opens in new tab) an average power of 428 watts and a maximum power of 598 watts, and an average heart rate of 185bpm.

However, some of the truly staggering heart rate figures come from riders further down the field.

>>> Is heart rate still relevant in the age of the power meter?

NFTO Race Club's Mike Morris, fifth in the men's race, recorded (opens in new tab) an average heart rate of 188bpm and a maximum heart rate of 199bpm for the 500-metre long climb, but the prize for the highest heart rate of the day probably goes to Harry Thompson (Leicestershire RC).

Thompson, who for some reason was riding a cyclocross bike (but still managed to finish in a very respectable 42nd place), went seriously deep hitting a maximum heart rate of 204bpm just as he crossed the line.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.