Marcus Cram (Blaydon CC) climbed to his first victory of the season in the GS Metro hill climb, while Hannah Farran (Team Boompods) took the women’s win.
With national champion Ed Laverack (VAMos.CC) absent due to car trouble Cram was last man away and clocked a winning time of four minutes and 14 seconds, less than a second quicker than his nearest rival.
Marcus said after the event: “I was very relieved to get the win today, even by the narrowest of margins as my training hasn’t been going too well if truth be told. I only managed to get into the top three at Winter’s Gibbet last weekend, which was disappointing, particularly as when I looked at the data afterwards, I was 12 seconds ahead at one time.
“So, you could say that today’s result is a welcomed boost, particularly as my sister managed to make the podium too in the women’s event. Nathan is a very strong rider. He beat me at the longer climb at Whinlatter last year, so I knew he would be a real threat today.
“I’ve not looked at the pacing as yet for this climb, but it will be getting some close scrutiny! I think the shorter climbs suit me more – needless to say, I’ll be looking to enter this year’s National Championships.”
The MH11 hill climb is 1.7 kilometres in length and takes riders out of New Ridley with hairpins and a varying gradient rising to a maximum gradient of 12.6 per cent before easing again.
The climb hosted the National Championships in 2017 with Dan Evans (3-54) and Jos Lowden (4-53) taking the crowns and course records.
A south westerly tailwind greeted riders making for a fast finish on the exposed upper section and good shelter lower down.
Some 79 riders competed for honours across the categories and Cram, who also won the Allen Valley Velo and North Tyneside Riders hill climbs last season, clock a winning time of 4-14.7.
Nathan Smith (Cycling Sheffield) was edged into second by just 0.4 seconds while the evergreen Colin Atkinson (Muckle Cycle Club) rounded off the podium in 4’28.8 and first of the veterans.
Farran narrowly won the North Tyneside Riders event on Winters Gibbet last weekend and was again top of the podium positions in a time of 5-33.7.
Grace Inglis (Muckle CC) finished second in 5-40.2 and completing the top three was Josie Cram (PMRR) in 5-47.5.
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