Matlock cyclists are equal to tough climb

Libby Smith and Elizabeth Webster
Libby Smith and Elizabeth Webster
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Chesterfield Couriers ran the notoriously tough Beeley Hill Climb on Sunday with Matlock Cycling Club members pitting their wits against this stiff challenge.

The hill climb is one of the longest on the calendar at over two miles, and is a real test of the rider’s endurance and power as they battle up the climb, which has sections of near ten per cent gradient.

The event was not surprisingly won by RST Racing Team’s Gunnar Gronlund, winner of the recent Monsal Hill Climb.

He smashed ex-National Hill Climb Champion James Dobbin’s 2004 time by almost 20 seconds as he recorded an astonishing 8 mins 23.1 secs.

Matlock Cycling Club had considerable success in the event as Steve Heading and Kevin White finished in the top, in eighth and ninth respectively. Their times were good enough for second and third in the Veteran category. White’s time was very impressive in his first ever hill climb.

There were other strong performances by Matlock riders with Pete Colledge knocking 20 seconds off his personal best time to finish in 10:25.1, Paul Hodgkinson, Chris Sharp, Shue Fan. Juniors Tom Colton and Josh Eaton also had strong performances.

Next Sunday sees Matlock Cycling Club’s double header hill climb with the Riber event at 10am, and Bank Road at 2pm. The field hosts some impressive names with most recent winners present, and includes in-form Gunnar Gronlund.

Meanwhile, Belper BC promoted and organised round six of this year’s Notts and Derby Cyclo Cross League at Alfreton Park on Saturday. Forty riders took part in the first race, the under nines.

Derby Mercury rider Ben Chilton won the event after edging out clubmate Matthew Luscombe by just nine seconds. Once again, Matlock Cycling Club’s Libby Smith was the fastest girl. However, she was made to work hard by clubmate Elizabeth Webster who battled all the way round the course in pursuit of Smith. Webster just fell short by a mere four seconds.

The Under 12s race had no fewer than 57 riders take part. The fastest was once again Jenson Young of Pedal Sport. John Webster was the highest-placed Matlock rider, finishing in fourth. Ffyonna Booker of Matlock CC had to settle for second in the girl’s race, behind Nottingham Clarions Poppy Wildman, who has great form at present.

The Youth race was a great spectacle as the riders battled for position for almost half an hour. Arthur Green of Matlock CC took third with Gregg Booker ninth. Sarah Lomas kept up her winning run as she won the girls Youth race.

The senior’s race had a massive field of 176 riders. Local rider James Furniss of Zepnat RT finished a superb eighth spot.

at 33 seconds down as he improves week on week, regaining some of the form seen in previous years where he would challenge for the overall.