So the final race of my season and it is the most important race of the year for me. The National Hill Climb. This year it was being run by Buxton Cycling Club and they were using the climb of long hill. This is not your normal hill climb as it is run on a main A road and the average gradient is between 3 & 4%. The main debate before the race was would it be a testers or a climbers hill. As it turned out it would be a climbers hill. After recoverying from my cold i had hoped for a top 50 but knew on this climb it would be difficult.
It was only an 75min drive to the HQ so i wouldn't need to stay over night beforehand. The other half said she wanted to come which is the first event she has attended this year after being a pain in the bum at last years national. I had said i would never take her again but i relented. At least the weather looked like it would hold out and not be to cold. We got to the hq at 9.30am which was in plenty of time before my start time of 11.46am. I wanted to get a parking space as i knew the car park would fill up quick. On signing on we were givin a nice goody bag which i thought was a nice touch.
I decided that rather than park in the carpark i would park in one of the laybys on the climb so it would give emma something to watch and also once i was done i would beable to see some of the big guns going up.
The big concern of using long hill was going to be traffi and lesuire cyclists using the climb as the race was going on. People had said that there wouldn't be much traffic but unfortunatly this turned out to be the opposite. I think that the good weather had brought everyone out into the high peak. Whilst i was warming up i saw Stuart Baker have to stop as a truck had stopped on the climb. On talking to him back at the hq he had to stop again further up the climb.
For my warm up i decided to not take my heart rate up to high i just thpught i would just do about 30mins. I had decided to use the clip on aero bars but not the areo helmet. Most big guns were on full areo set ups. There was a head wind on the climb but i am not sure if it was as strong as the open event in september.
I rode down to the start and my heart rate was all ready at 140bpm so i knew it was national day. I started of well and soon got into a rythem. I was surprised as to how many people were on the road side cheering the riders on as we got further up the climb. I felt i was going ok and i was going faster than i had in the open event but would it be enough to make the top 50. At about 250m to go i got stuck behind 2 cars who were trying to pass a group of lesuire cyclist's. This did cost me a couple of seconds which as it turned out would have moved me up a few places but not enough to cost me a top 50 place. As soon as i finished i turned round and made my way back down the climb stopping to thank a few people from huddersfield who i had heard shouting incuragement as i raced up the climb.
I didnt warm down as i just got changed and packed my stuff in the car so i could watch the remaining competers go past
Matt and Gunnar as they came past me
So the top three were
1. Gunnar Gronlund 12:49
2. Richard Handley 12:56.1
3. Matt Clinton 12:57.5
My finishing position was 66th in 15.21.3
So a big thank you to Sam Clark at Buxton CC for putting on the event. Now for 2 weeks off and then back into it so i can crack the top 50 next year.