Brown goes from walking to winning at Monsal
Team B38-underpin Racing rider plays down his chances at the National Championships
Twelve months ago Calum Brown unshipped his chain in the Monsal hill-climb and had to walk unceremoniously to the top of the course while national champion Adam Kenway flew past him on his way to victory.
But the Team B38-underpin Racing rider made amends at this year’s event on Sunday.
He stormed to victory in the Sheffrec CC race in Derbyshire, beating Kenway by more than two seconds and coming within just 0.3 seconds of breaking Malcolm Elliott’s 37-year-old course record.
With hundreds of spectators lining the course, the 88th edition of the event proved more popular than ever as the 198 entrants tackled the 645-yard course in the hope of winning the Dick Aldridge Memorial Trophy and the £250 top prize.
“I was pleased with my ride, but there was a touch of headwind which could’ve made all the difference,” said the 27-year-old Scot who lives in Sheffield. “If there had been even a bit of tailwind I think the record would’ve gone.
Brown added that the memory of last year’s unceremonious ride “did give me extra motivation”.
With Kenway beaten, thoughts turned to his chances at the National Championships later this month. But Brown put that goal in perspective.
“It’s good to have beaten Adam, but with the Nationals being twice as long I’m not reading too much into it,” he said. “If I’m going to beat him at the National Championships people wouldn’t necessarily have expected me to beat him at Monsal.”
The title race has been switched from Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire to Pea Royd Lane in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, and Brown added: “Shelsley Walsh would’ve been a bit better for me because the gradient is a bit less and I’m about a stone heavier than most other climbers.
“But I’m still looking forward to the Nationals. It’s fairly local for me so I can get over there and ride it a couple of times. If you know the hill it gives you a bit of an edge.”
Meanwhile, Emilie Verroken (Maxx RT) was the fastest woman at Monsal this year.
“Knowing the hill gives you an edge”