Na­tional Hill-climb Cham­pi­onships

Oc­to­ber 18, 1953

Cycling Weekly - - FROM THE ARCHIVE -

It had been a 75-mile trip for young Pat Boyd to the start line of the 1953 Na­tional Hill-climb Cham­pi­onships at the base of Win­nats Pass in Der­byshire.

The Birken­head CC rider ap­pears to have en­joyed the race judg­ing from this im­age — and well he might as the 20-yearold’s per­for­mance was the sur­prise of the day, tak­ing third place be­hind sea­soned hill-clim­bers Roy Keigh­ley (Ship­ley RC) and Ron String­well (Bram­ley Wheel­ers).

Boyd had suf­fered a string of un­timely punc­tures dur­ing that year’s road rac­ing sea­son and so was prob­a­bly pleased that luck shone on him that day and he was able to show what he could do.

In­deed, his bad luck may have been passed on to the day’s time­keeper, Mr Holmes, who nearly didn’t make it to the start line. Holmes’s car had bro­ken down and he was for­tu­nate to get a lift from a pass­ing friend.

But Holmes was there with his stop­watch when Boyd topped the time sheets with a mark of 3.56. Boyd sat at the top of the leader­board for an hour and a half be­fore Keigh­ley bested him with a 3.43 with, as Cy­cling re­ported, “the great per­for­mance of his three-year ca­reer”. That was de­spite a head­wind, which pre­sum­ably is why the spec­ta­tors needed such mas­sive coats.

String­well was off last, hav­ing won the Up­perthorpe CC event on the pass the pre­vi­ous year, but he couldn’t recre­ate his 3.36 ride to take the ti­tle and had to set­tle for sec­ond place.

Photo: Cy­cling Weekly archive

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