National 10 winner to slim down for Hill-climb Champs
Midlander defends his National 10 title
ational 10-mile time trial champion Richard Bussell (Aerocoach) has said he will need to lose 5kg if he is to successfully defend his national hill-climb title in October.
Bussell edged out James Gullen (Pedal Heaven) by just four seconds to defend his National 10-mile title on a rolling course in Hampshire on Sunday.
He is also the current reigning national hill-climb champion following a victory on the 0.9mile Jackson Bridge climb near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire last October.
On that occasion he got his weight down from 76kg to 70kg, though he wasn’t completely happy with the result. “I just looked ill to be honest,” he said. “It did mean I could just eat afterwards.”
This year’s target should be slightly easier as he is starting from just 75kg. “If you’ve got the fitness you don’t need to train that much different, just lose the weight,” he said. “The advantage I’ve got over other hill-climbers is that they are already light, so they’ve got less to gain. If I can lose the weight I can make the biggest gains.
“I’ll take it easy after the TT this week, just nice social rides.”
This year’s National Hill-climb Championships takes place in Matlock in Derbyshire on October 30. The course, which runs up Bank Road through the centre of the town, is shorter than last year’s course at 0.6 miles and averages around 11 per cent, much like last year’s Jackson Bridge climb.
Steep then steady
However, while Jackson Bridge is a series of steep ramps the Matlock climb is more consistently steep through the first half before flattening off in the later stages — a profile that may allow powerful but heavier riders to claw back time lost on the lower slopes.
Bussell will also look to build strength and conditioning over the winter after picking up a small injury over the course of this year’s time trialling campaign in which he placed second in the National 25-mile event and in the National 50-mile time trial. He pledged to return to defend his National 10mile title next year.
For full National 10 coverage see page 68
“If I can lose weight, I can make the biggest gains”