Cyclists are up for it at uphill climbs

Chris Metcalfe, Matlock Cycling Club
Chris Metcalfe, Matlock Cycling Club

Matlock Cycling Club organised and promoted its annual hill climbs on Sunday.

Riber was the first up, with the first rider starting at 10am. The mist and fog had not lifted, with temperatures down at around six degrees, with wet roads making it very difficult for riders to get traction on the 25 per cent steep sections.

Buxton Cycling Club’s Lee Baldwin took a well-deserved win, finishing in a time of 3 minutes 40.2 seconds to beat ex-National Hill Climb Champion Matt Clinton by just three tenths of a second.

Third place went to James Allen of Sheffrec CC in a time of 3:43.8 with Chris Metcalfe of Matlock Cycling Club a close fourth on 3:49.0

First veteran rider was Chris Green who finished in 13th place overall on a time of 4minutes 20.9 seconds.

First female rider was Joanne Clay of Leek CC who came home in 25th place overall on a time of 4:51.8.

Matlock Cycling Club managed to pick up the team prize once again, awarded to the fastest three riders from the same club. The riders making up the team were Chris Metcalfe (3:49.0), Steve Strange (4:12.0), and Arthur Green (4:14.1) who was also the fastest youth rider.

Bank Road came next with the first rider off at 2pm. The mist had cleared and the riders were welcomed with glorious sunshine, but with a slight headwind facing them as they climbed out of town up the fierce climb.

Matt Clinton this time got his revenge, finishing in first place in a time of 1 minute 53.6 seconds, beating Sheffrec CC’s James Allen into second place, who recorded 1:56.0.

Riber winner Lee Baldwin had to settle for third place, finishing on 1:57.2 and was the only other rider under the 2-minute barrier.

Chris Metcalfe was once again the fastest Matlock rider with a time of 2:07.4 with Steve Strange once again being second to him with a new personal best time of 2:17.2.

Chris Green of Matlock Cycling Club was once again the fastest veteran rider, recording a time of 2:20.8. First lady rider was once again Joanne Clay of Leek CC who came 24th overall on 2:35.9.

Sandwiched into the middle of Matlock’s two hill climbs, was Chesterfield Coureurs hill climb up the long steady Beeley Moor road. Three Matlock riders took part, with just Patrick Smart being the only one to ride in all three events.

The event was won by the current National Hill Climb Champion Gunnar Gronlund of RST Racing Team in a time of 9 minutes and 6.8 seconds.

Gronlund’s teammate and local rider Matt Sumpton was second on 9:26.6 with Planet X’s Mark Lovatt third and first veteran rider in 9:48.9.

Matlock’s Patrick Smart finished just outside the top 10 in a remarkable time of 10 minutes and 51.8 seconds to be second in the junior category behind Sportscover Altura Race Teams Ashley Proctor.

Other Matlock riders to ride were Shue Fan who finished in 26th place overall on 12:02.1, and John White who was 33rd overall on 14:02.6.

Meanwhile, VC Nottingham promoted the seventh round of this season’s Notts and Derby Cyclo Cross League at the Bingham Leisure Centre.

The course was very muddy with lots of technical sections and difficult cambers making it one of the hardest in the league.

Zepnat Race Team’s Diane Lee recorded yet another victory in the women’s senior race. Lee has won all rounds so far this season, amassing a maximum of 900 points to have a commanding lead in the league standings.

Matlock Cycling Club’s Maz Heffron put in a fantastic performance despite feeling under the weather, to come home in second place, and first female veteran.

The mens senior race followed a similar pattern to the past three rounds, as Orange Monkey Cannondale’s David Fletcher proved far too strong for the rest of the field as he powered away to yet another victory.

Fossa Racing’s Andrew Naylor put up a brave fight and only finished 10 seconds down, but Fletcher always looked in control.

Third place went to veteran rider Jim Bryan of Zepnat Race Team who was a further 20 seconds down.

In the children’s age categories, Sam Gould of Matlock Cycling Club once again looked unstoppable as he recorded his sixth win in a row in the Boys Under 9’s race. Gould never looked in trouble as he opened up a commanding lead on his rivals, eventually finishing up 34 seconds ahead of second placed rider Ben Norton of Spalding Cycling Club. Third place went to Gould’s team mate Louis Swindell.

Matlock’s Harriet Limb was once again the fastest rider in the Under 9 Girls race.

Nottingham Clarion’s Poppy Wildman and Matlock Cycling Club’s Ellie Smith’s season long battle continued in the Under 12 Girls race. The pair have been separated by just a handful of seconds in all the races they’ve both taken part in so far this season, but it was Wildman who just had the edge as she came home first, with Smith just 9 seconds further back.

Such is the girls strength and talent, that they finished in 3rd and 4th place overall with just Derby Mercury’s Joshua Scales and Spalding CC’s Jake Norton getting the better of them from the boys category.

Fifth place and third boy in the Under 12’s category went to Tim Elsmore-Martin of Matlock Cycling Club who was involved in a three way sprint with Derby Mercury’s Ben Chilton (6th) and Matlock’s Reuben Orr (7th), will all three riders finishing on the same time.

The under 14s and under 16s Youth race was next up, with Tom Weeds of Derby Mercury taking the overall victory.

Weeds had Matlock Cycling Club’s Will Gascoyne and Hope Race Teams Arthur Green in hot pursuit, but had too much towards the end of the race, eventually opening up a 22 second gap from second placed rider Gascoyne.

Green finished in third place, a further 27 seconds further down.

Sarah Lomas of Matlock Cycling Club won the girls youth race by just over a minute from Belper BC’s Isabelle Boon.

The previous weekend had seen many local riders taking part in the National Trophy Cyclo Cross event in Abergavenny.

Matlock Cycling Club Youth rider Will Gascoyne had the most successful day out, as he recorded a very impressive win in the Under 16’s category.

Fourth spot in the same category went to ex-team mate Arthur Green of Hope Race Team, while Matlock’s Gregg Booker came 12th overall, whilst in the girls Under 16s category, Sarah Lomas managed to secure a top 10 finish, coming home in 7th.

Ffyona Booker, also of Matlock Cycling Club also recorded a very impressive top-10 finish, as she too came in 7th place overall in the Under 14s category.

Marianne Heffron’s season just seems to get better and better as she finished in second place in the womens veterans category, whilst fellow veteran Chris Green managed to finish in 25th place in what was a very large, competitive field.

Zepnat RT’s Diane Lee proved she can mix it with the elite riders, as she managed to finish in tenth spot overall in the senior womens race.