Monsal Hill climb contenders gather for cycling spectacular

Pictured is the 2012 Monsal Hill Climb champion Jack Pullar, now of Madison Genesis. Picture courtesy of Sheffrec CC Monsal Hill Climb website.
Pictured is the 2012 Monsal Hill Climb champion Jack Pullar, now of Madison Genesis. Picture courtesy of Sheffrec CC Monsal Hill Climb website.

The Derbyshire Times is supporting this year’s prestigious 83rd Monsal Hill Climb cycle time trial which has attracted hundreds of spectators and top riders year on year.

Crowds massed the crest at Monsal Head in the Peak District for free last year as the action unfolded with riders including top pros Russell and Dean Downing before Jack Pullar, now of Madison Genesis, clocked up the fastest time.

The Sheffrec Cycle Club event which starts at 11am, on Sunday, October 6, is being sponsored by Simplyhealth, Pelican Cycles and the Derbyshire Times and the 2013 edition boasts about 120 entrants from across the country after they have trained hard to take on the 675 yard sprinters’ climb.

Sheffrec organiser Marc Etches said: “What distinguishes this ever-growing popular event from other competitions is that we always try to get a mix of riders of all ages and abilities from amateur club cyclists to pro stars. I can’t think of any other sport where amateur competitors can so readily rub shoulders with their heroes from the top end of the sport.”

The Monsal Hill Climb was first run in 1930 by a few mates who just used to time each other and it began to attract more and more riders until it has now become one of the country’s top hill climb events.

Retired pro-rider and local legend Malcom Elliott still holds the record for the fastest time from his incredible 1981 performance of one minute and 14.2seconds. Current champion Jack Pullar managed the climb in 2012 in one minute 18.9seconds so Malcolm will have a keen eye on any pretenders to the crown this year.

Volunteers, marshals, supporters, villagers, local authorities and sponsors have all helped make the event the success it is today and every year more and more people across the sporting world are looking up as the Monsal Hill Climb reaches new heights.

Marc added: “I understand there have only been four chief organisers of the event since its launch so it’s very much been a labour of love and it looks like I might have this role for a lifetime. People who have been involved in the sport for many years will also get to cross paths with each other as they gather and catch up and reflect on past glories at one of the county’s loveliest beauty spots.”

This year’s event boasts one of its best fields ever with the men’s and ladies’ National Champions Jack Pullar and Lynn Hamel as well as top pro Russell Downing.

Organiser Marc Etches and the Derbyshire Times’ entrant Jon Cooper are appealing for archive material. Anyone with information can call Jon Cooper on (01246) 504524 or email jon.cooper@derbyshiretimes.co.uk with details.

For competitors and results keep posted at www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk.