Sunday 4th October saw the 85th annual Monsal Hill Climb take place in Derbyshire.
Monsal Head was packed with spectators ready to cheer on the 150 cyclists tackling the 675-yard hill climb organised by Marc Etches and his team at Sheffrec CC.
Nearly 150 cyclists took part in the short race which saw cyclists set off at one minute intervals in a bid to break the record. The current record is held by Malcolm Elliot, an ex-professional cyclist who set a record time of one minute and 14.2 seconds in 1981.
The event was open to both professional and amateur cyclists and challenged everyone no matter what their ability. The event was also rated by Cycling Weekly as the best hill-climb event in the country. The sunny weather allowed participants and spectators to take in the fabulous views of Monsal Dale and the Wye Valley.
All eyes were on last years’ winner, Jack Pullar of Velosure Starley Primal Pro Cycling team who many were expecting to take the title again. However, Jack came in fourth place finishing 1.55 seconds behind the winner with a time of 1 minute and 22 seconds.
This years’ overall winner was JLT Condor cyclist Graham Briggs, who finished with a time of 1 minute and 20.05 seconds, 6 seconds shy of the record set by Malcolm Elliot.
The women’s category was the strongest it had ever been with 24 women competing, a Monsel Hill Climb record. Lou Bates came out on top just two seconds in front of second-placed Jessie Walker. Last years’ winner for the women’s category Sarah Storey, came in third.
But it was HMT Academy with JLT Condor cyclist Robert Gray who claimed the junior title with a time of 1 minute 26.9 seconds putting him 6 seconds ahead of the runner up.
HMT Academy teamed up with JLT Condor to provide junior riders with the support and expertise of professional cyclists in an environment that would allow them to maximise their health, racing ability and personal potential. Many of the HMT Academy riders go on to compete at a semi-professional level.