Strava stats reveal what it takes to win British Hill Climb Championships

Ed Laverack and Hayley Simmonds took the jerseys and the records on a very different style of hill climb

The 2019 winners of the British Hill Climb Championships were decided on a different type of climb, as riders tackled the 3.125 mile-long Haytor ascent in Devon.

Victory in the men’s went to Ed Laverack of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, who smashed his way to the summit in 11-37 and beat all the usual hill climb suspects, while Hayley Simmonds (AeroCoach) took victory in the women’s race.

This year’s National Championships were a different test for the uphill time triallists, with a longer course that suited less explosive riders.

But what did it take to claim the title? Strava stats may shed some light.

Laverack, 25, topped the leaderboard and took the Strava King of the Mountain on the way.

On the ‘Haytor official HC’ segment, Laverack averaged a huge 428 watts for the 11-27 it took him to complete the course, hitting a maximum of 617.

That average of 7.17 watts per kilogram carried Laverack to the top at an average speed of 26.5km/h.

“The conditions were brilliant,” said Laverack. “I had a strong tailwind pushing me towards the end, so the finish was really quick as it’s flatter too.

“I went hard from the beginning and gave it my all, and the tailwind helped towards the end. The course suited me as it’s longer, I’ve been targeting this event all year.”

Simmonds doesn’t use Strava, but second-place finisher Joscelin Lowden (The Independent Pedaler) has published her data on the social media for athletes.

Lowden climbed in 14-18 with an average power of 309w, hitting a maximum of 454.

Her average speed was around 20km/h, which earned her the Queen of the Mountain on the ‘Haytor official HC’ segment.

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Both Laverack and Simmonds stormed to first-time victories during the Nationals on Sunday (September 27), both smashing the course records in the process.

Laverack took 47 seconds from his own record for the course and took the win by nine seconds over Paul Double (Velo Club Venta).

Simmonds also broke her own course record by a huge 45-second margin, taking the win 12 seconds ahead of Lowden.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.