Over one hundred cyclists including pros and amateurs showed true grit, guts and determination to put on a fabulous competition for the massive crowds at the 2013 Monsal Hill Climb time trial today, Sunday, October 6.
National Hill Climb champion Jack Pullar, of Madison Genesis, retained his Monsal Hill Climb crown for the second year after a tightly fought battle with second-placed Graham Briggs, of Rapha Condor, and third-placed Russell Downing, of Team Net App Endura.
The suspense was heightened among the spectators as the back end of the field began turning in finishing times around the one minute 30 second mark after completing this one-in-six, 675 yard steep climb.
Rousing cheers dragged riders across the finishing lines and very respectable times soon started to earn a second round of applause as supporters marvelled at the speeds.
Briggs first got tongues wagging with an amazing one minute, 21.4 seconds, popular Downing - who has been recovering from a broken collar bone - clocked up a very respectable one minute, 22.5 seconds, but it was Pullar’s one minute, 19.9 seconds that clinched the Monsal Hill Climb’s Dick Aldridge Memorial Trophy.
Pullar said: “For the first half of the climb it seems like maybe you’re not going to have it in your legs and they start to burn and for the last 30 metres it’s just a blur and all you can hear is the fantastic crowd.
“I have so much respect for everyone at all levels who takes part in this event because so many of them have gone flat out today and given it their all.”
All those riders who gave blood, sweat and tears at Sheffrec Cycling Club’s Monsal event should also take heart from Russell Downing who revealed that no matter what the ability of every competitor, the pain levels were the same for everyone.
He said: “The burning and build up of blood in your arms and legs makes it very hard. Once again, it’s been great to ride Monsal.”
Winners in different categories at the 83rd anniversary of the event, sponsored by Simplyhealth, Pelican Cycles and the Derbyshire Times, included The Monsal Hill Climb 2013 School champion Matthew Cosgrove, of Sportcity Velo, Junior champion James King, of Team Sportscover, Vet’s over 40s champion Darren Otter, of Rutland CC, and Ladies champion Jessie Walker, of Matrix Fitness Racing Academy.
Graham Briggs said: “This was my second time at Monsal. It’s been great to come back here and see the top guys and everyone of all levels coming together with such a great crowd.”
For a full list of riders’ results and pictures of competitors, which will be available to purchase, keep posted to the Derbyshire Times’ website www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk throughout the week.