It was a hot and humid Tuesday that greeted the twenty racers taking on the double headed hill climbing monster of round 6 of Le Series de Spring. We rendezvoused on Clough Lane and went through the usual ritual of registration and chucking money and random prizes in piles. This fortnight’s donation bought two races for the price of one, a time trial and a technical hill climb testing both fitness and bike skills. First off was the time trail, up what used to be affectionately known as ‘The Rocky Bastard’ before Sheffield’s Highways and byways boneheads decided to make it in to yet another 2 metre wide perfectly manicured, accessible to all but satisfying none, right of way (see Ride Sheffield for more info on the struggle against the insanity). It’s been part of my local loop for as long as I’ve been riding mountain bikes and before being sanitised was a real technical challenge. As it is now, it’s a short steep climb which peters out in to three flattish corners before rejoining the road, the perfect setting for the first half of the race.
We set off in number order at 30 second intervals up the hill. Marian was kind enough to start us off and Si Garrard was good enough clock the times at the top of the hill. I was first off and miss judged the length of the hill holding back a bit too much, leaving too much in the tank. As I rolled back down the hill to go and setup the second half of the evening I was greeted by many a grimacing face, most of them swearing at me and telling what I wanker I was for thinking this one up. They love it really. With only half a minute between racers and an average time of just under 3 minutes there was lots of overtaking going on which confused the timings slightly but we got them ironed out eventually. Swinny blasted his way to the win narrowly beating Martin Baker as the both got in under the two minute mark. Dave James’ commuting legs and lycra fetish brought him an impressive third place with a 2:11. We had four new riders join the racing for the first time for this one and hopefully they haven’t been too put off. Marco and the Monk Twins all competed well and I may have to consider adding some youngster categories to give them a fighting chance. Race done, it was a ride back down the valley to the steep bit.
|Position||race #||Name||1st run||2nd Run||Best||Points|
I picked a quiet spot in Bingham Park and set up a series of gates meandering up the hill taking in various obstacles along the way. A bit more like a trials course than a hill climb really but all rideable, riders got points for every set of posts they got their front wheel though. Dave James and Si Bowns got the awards for chumps of the night, they both managed to completely miss the first gate. The first real obstacle came at gate two with a long set of slippery roots to be reckoned with and tape to stay within. Lots of riders pushed the limits of the tape only to fall foul when trying to get past the next post. The next gate surrounded a nasty rock step but it had just enough of a run up to make it rollable. However, with most folks in granny there were many legs spinning out. Following the step came a steep and loose loam covered bank at a point where most riders who’d made it this far were out of breath. Matt Hunt made it here twice but his big wheels couldn’t quite gain the traction needed. Then at the top of a testing climbing came a couple of tight corners with a short downhill section to mix things up. This was the downfall of Henry Norman who just under estimated the under growth. Rob Jolley was one of only two riders to complete the course on his first run ploughing through most of the obstacles like they were birds in Corp. The Pearson Bro’s used their trials skills to back hop their way to the top in impressive style, Chris doing it twice, Tim needing a second attempt. Victor of the first leg, Swinny, and current series leader also made it to the top on his second go after a poor first attempt getting to only gate 3.
|Spring Series – Round 6 – Hill Climb|
|Overall||Race #||Name||Time||Tech||Total||Series Points|
Making up the scoring system on the spot, the winner of the first leg was awarded 16 points with second place gaining 15 and so on. The same applied for the second leg but points were awarded equally to any riders reaching the same gate. The total of the two then gave the race winner. This would have been easy enough had it not been for the infestation of midges biting at every exposed bit of flesh. Thankfully everyone was patient enough and the prize giving went without riot.
So to the series standings. Swinny is still way out out in front but Timmy has pulled ahead of his brother and is now in equal second place with me. Martin Baker continues his climb up the table nudging ahead of Chris Pearson. Jody takes over as the current Ladies champion putting quite a lead in to Katie Hallam.
|Spring Series Standings|
|Position||Name||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Total|
Its amazing that we’ve had over 60 riders having taken part in the series but I’ve decided its about time to draw a line under spring and to roll on summer. We will have two more races in this series, the next one will be Cycle Speedway, the following race will be a classic Peaks XC route heading out from 18 bikes. More details will follow and calculations of series points to see who can still clinch the win??