Nick Martin places as third junior at the National Hill Climb Championships at Jackson Bridge near Holmfirth in Yorkshire.
One month ago I had not ridden an open hill climb event. Since then I have posted times in numerous events with considerable improvement, including becoming Sussex Junior Hill Climb Champion.
My Dad and I went over the check out the hill on Saturday, my first impressions being a course that would suit me due to the constantly changing gradient. The views at the top are quite extraordinary.
Today at 12.17 I found myself on the start line for what was going to be a very tough mile ahead. I set off at a brisk pace and averaged 22kmh for the first third of the course. At the halfway checkpoint I had a time of 2.09 which was the 2nd fastest time under 18, however I quickly realised I would be unable to match my earlier efforts in the final section. By the last 300 metres I had lost my swift smoothness I had set at the beginning and found myself longing for the finish line. Where is this finish line !
Finally it came and I crossed it in 5.31. I got off my bike and crumpled into a ball on the side of the road, quite a sight for anyone watching. In hindsight I definitely did go off too fast, which was due to watching the first juniors go off at a fast pace.
Nonetheless my time preoved to be 12th fastest under 18, a time I am quite pleased with as I know I can improve significantly in the years to come. Next year I’ll come back and aim for a top 5 placing.
In the battle for the overall title Richard Bussel stormed to victory in 4.15 completing a very impressive 10 mile and hill climb double. Dan Evans finished 5 seconds back.
Photo courtesy Russell Hicks