Worcester St Johns CC & Wyre Forest CC hill-climb & cyclo-cross | Oct 1 | Worcs
It’s rare that cyclo-cross riders compete at the same venue as hill-climbers despite their seasons coinciding — but that’s exactly what happened at Shelsey Walsh near Worcester on Sunday.
The site is legendary as the world’s oldest motor racing venue but is fast becoming a staple on both the cyclo-cross and hill-climbing calendars, with the National Hillclimb Championships set to be held on the 1,000-yard climb next season.
In the morning’s hillclimb, Jonathan Morris (Fishface Cycles RT) clinched the Sunnycam Cup as fastest rider up the climb with an average gradient of 11 per cent, clocking a winning time of 2.54.
“It was tough at the top as there was a big headwind so it was just a case of trying to get over the line which seemed to be getting further and further away,” said Morris, 25 and from Derby.
“It was quite a nice climb once I got into it and I just put the power down in the first section. But the finishing straight was into a headwind, and I didn’t realise how far it was away.”
He beat Cameron Biddle (Rivet Racing) into second by 11 seconds, while junior Ollie Morgan (Worcester St Johns CC) took third in 3.09.
Biddle, 19 and from Bromsgrove, was also part of a leading threeman group in the senior cyclo-cross which took place on the fields next to the hill-climb course.
The demanding terrain eventually told on Biddle who slipped back to third on the final lap while Ross Harnden (Malvern Cycle Sport) took victory ahead of
junior Marcus Holmes (Lichfield City CC).
“I missed the gridding so started at the back,” said Harnden. “The first few laps I worked my way through the field before sitting in for the majority of the race.
“I’m a mountain bike rider so the more hilly races suit me and I felt comfortable on the course, so I just waited to attack on the last climb of the race.”
It was a good day for the Harnden family: rising star 16-year-old Harriet Harnden (T Mo Racing) clinched the women’s victory by over two minutes, riding away from her competition in the opening lap.
Ross Harnden (l) triumphed on a testing circuit