“There’s a howling tailwind” said Robin before the start. There may have been, but I didn’t feel it on the way up! Feeling tired before the start of a race isn’t a good, but I gave it a shot, and made it to the top of the hill in a respectable sub-5 minute time, with Robin somewhere around 30 seconds faster (results to follow). I may have slightly misjudged my timing, looking at my effort on this video someone has uploaded of the race. The final stretch was definitely not pleasant.
Time to enjoy some leisurely rides and cake for a while.
Thanks to Matt Grantham (Eastbourne Rovers) for putting this video online.
And so to the last event of my short Hill Climb season, the East Sussex Cycling Association event up Firle Bostal. Over these past few weeks, I have developed a bit of a love hate relationship with these hill climb, time trial things. I love the idea of sticking on a number and fastest time up the hill wins. Genius! But I hate the predictability of the outcome of these events. I am sure that I would hate this a whole lot less if I was winning (or was even in with a shout of winning) every week. But I’m not! And as everyone hates a bad looser, I’ll stick to the line that it’s the predictability that I hate!
So the night before the event I scanned the start sheet. Ed Bradbury and James Lowden are riding. That’s the first 2 places taken care of. A quick check on the BBC weather site – there will be a tailwind. That’s Pete Tadros’ 3:41.1 course record sure to be smashed. Pete himself will be there as last man off and Will Adams is riding too. So the best I can aim for is 3rd placed vet…
And lo it all came to pass. Ed Bradbury stormed up the hill in 3:25.5 to beat James Lowden (3:33 I think). Pete Tadros was close to his old course record to win the vets prize with Will Adams posting a 4:03 (or so). I was pretty pleased with my own ride and felt that I had paced it about right. 4:25 was obviously still in the “not fast enough” category, but I don’t think I could have got much more out on the day.
Luke De Quay felt he had paced his ride well too. Right up until the last couple of hundred metres – when he discovered that in fact, he hadn’t! It’s a horrible, lung bursting, gut wrenching, leaden legged, sufferfest of crawl to the finish line when this happens. But Luke put on his best hill climb face (as seen in popular media outlets – you’ve seen the Bec CC video right?) and clocked a 4:48 (ish, I’m not good with exact numbers!).
And with that, both Luke and I vowed that we’re done with Hill Climbs for this year. Luke promises to be back next year – possibly with a more trick hill climb machine. Me? I’m not promising anything! I’ll have to wait and see what next season brings…
Results can be found here (links to Sussex CA website)