Matlock Cycling Club’s double-header hill climb took place on Sunday in mild and dry conditions, meaning riders could concentrate fully on the effort required to get up the fiercely steep Riber and Bank Road.
Having won the previous week’s Beeley Moor and Monsal Head Hill Climbs, expectations were high for RST Racing Team rider Gunnar Gronlund going into the Riber Hill Climb, the first of the double header to take place. The question was whether he could defeat ex-National Hill Climb Champion Matt Clinton of Mike Vaughan Cycles, and the current record holder Dave Clarke of Endura Racing.
Gronlund did not disappoint. He made light work of the climb to record a superb time of 3 minutes and 36 seconds – faster than the second placed rider, Mike Cuming of Twenty 3C Race Team – by nearly four seconds.
Matt Clinton had to settle for third place with a time of 3:45.2 while Endura’s Dave Clarke came home fourth in 3:47.1.
Just four tenths of a second separated Matlock Cycling Club’s father-son duo Chris and Arthur Green.
Chris just had the edge by the narrowest of margins as he recorded 4:18.0 with son Arthur finishing on 4:18.4.
Arthur’s time smashed his own previous juvenile course record by over half a minute, while Chris was comfortably first overall in the veteran’s category.
They were the only two Matlock riders to finish inside the top ten placing eighth and ninth respectively.
Chris Sharp proved hill climbs really are his strongest discipline as he came home in 11th place overall with a superb 4:23.5 – narrowly edging out Peter Colledge, who recorded a personal best time of 4:26.8.
Having raced some four hours earlier up the tougher Riber climb, the tired riders took to the start line for the afternoon’s ascent up Bank Road.
Unfortunately, the climb had to be cut short due to roadworks, making it just over a minute in length, so the time gaps were very small.
Mike Cuming and Matt Clinton had to share equal first place, clocking identical times of 1:01.0.
The shorter climb suited Matlock’s Peter Colledge as he was the first Matlock Cycling Club rider to finish – coming home in ninth place overall with a time of 1:10.3.
Chris Green was the second Matlock rider finishing just four seconds behind – good enough for 13th place overall.
VC Nottingham promoted the seventh round of the Notts and Derby Cyclo Cross League on Saturday at the Bingham Leisure Centre.
Matlock Cycling Club enjoyed its most successful round of the season to date in the junior races with wins coming in most of the boy and girl categories.
First off was the Under 9s race, won by Derby Mercury’s Matthew Luscombe.
Matlock Cycling Club’s Libby Smith was comfortably the fastest girl in the race and was strong enough to finish in fourth overall, only 39 seconds down on Luscombe’s winning time.
Matlock’s John Webster won his first race of the year in the boys under 12s category.
Webster looked really strong right from the off.
He came into the home straight level with Oliver Snodden but managed to just outspring Snodden on the line.
Webster’s teammates Tim Elsmore-Martin and George Swindell were both well placed finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively and were both were within a minute of Webster’s time.
Ffyonna Booker got the better of Nottingham Clarion rider Poppy Wildman to take the girl’s Under 12s win for Matlock.
Arthur Green put in the dominant performance in the under 16s youth race as he took his first win of the season.
Green – so dominant in the under 14s category last year showed real strength and guile as he managed to pull away from Rutland Velo’s Oliver Maxwell to create a winning margin of 23 seconds.
Sarah Lomas recorded yet another win to take the girls under 16s race.
Lomas has won every race so far this season in the league in her respective category.
The seniors race had 129 riders take to the start line.
After six laps and just over 50 minutes of racing, only 30 seconds separated the top six riders.