Andrew Feather (HuntBikeWheels.com) completed a perfect season with a 15th victory in a row to clinch the men’s RTTC National Hill Climb Championship sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
Feather, aged 35 and from Bath, won the title in 2018 before losing his crown last season on a much longer climb of over 12 minutes, finishing eighth.
However he was back with vengeance this year, starting last man on the Streatley climb of 0.8 kilometres in length in Berkshire where he clocked a winning time and set a new course record of 2-04.86.
The hill, with an average gradient of 13% and a maximum of 25.9%, runs from near Streatley School and heads towards Goring & Streatley Golf Club with the steepest section after the half-way point.
Feather was favourite for the event having won 14 events in a row this season in a remarkable unbeaten campaign.
The short nature of the Streatley climb meant that only a perfect performance on the day would take the coveted title.
First of the last four men away from the starting gate was Callum Brown (The Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion) who set an early benchmark amongst the late starters of 2-12.14.
However, he held the lead for less than 30 seconds when National Hill Climb Champion in 2016, Adam Kenway (VITUS Pro Cycling powered by Brother UK) powered up the climb smashing Brown’s time and the course record in 2-08.69.
Next to finish was Tom Bell (High North Performance) who had won his last three events including the Muckle CC race on Prospect Hill last weekend.
Bell lowered the course record further taking three seconds off Kenway’s time clocking 2-05.9.
Last man away Feather executed his ride perfectly recording an average speed of 14.5 miles per hour up the climb to clock a winning time of 2-04.86.
“To win 15 from 15 this season I’m really cuffed,” said Feather.
“I’ve done quite well over the year to go unbeaten and I’m really pleased as today’s event could have been anybody’s.
“I held a good power of 660 normalised watts which I was pleased with and when I recced the course I went pretty close to the course record.
“I knew on the day with the spur of it being the National Championships and the live timing that I would go quicker.
“I don’t like looking at my power data until after the first 10 seconds, but I knew I was going out too hard as it was showing almost 800 watts.
“I tried to calm down and ride within myself for 30 or 40 seconds and then when I was halfway up the climb I went as hard as I could to the top.
“Luckily the weather stayed dry for our event as I had debated whether to use a slightly heavier training wheel but I didn’t get much wheel spin at all.”
Brown led The Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion to the team prize alongside Andy Nichols (2-14.6) and Nicholas Latimer (2-27.0) to make a combined time of 6-53.7.
First under-23 rider home was Charlie MacTear (High Wycombe CC) in 2-14.8 while Glyndwr Griffiths (73 Degrees Bicycles, Westside Coaching RT) was quickest veteran in 2-22.8.
Last year’s National Champion Ed Laverack (VAMos.cc) was unable to defend his title due to Covid-19 traveling restrictions.
* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission.