Ed Laverack (Backpedal) made the long trek from his home in South Wales to the North East worthwhile by winning the Muckle CC hill climb on Prospect Hill, while Blaydon CC’s Sarah Wilkinson was fastest female.
27-year-old former national hill climb champion Laverack recorded a winning time of three minutes and 35.9 seconds which was 15 seconds clear of his nearest challenger.
Prospect Hill saw over 100 riders tackle the 0.9-mile climb with a 7.5% average and maximum of 11.8% towards the bottom of the climb. A fine, dry autumn morning greeted riders for the closing North East event in the 2021 calendar near Corbridge, Northumberland.
Laverack won the National Hill Climb Championships when it was held on the long Haytor climb in 2019 before missing last year’s event due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
It was Laverack’s sixth hill climb victory of the season as he prepares for next weekend’s National Championships.
After winning the same event in 2019 David Huck (Barrow Central Wheelers) had to settle for second this time out 15 seconds back in 3-50.7.
Meanwhile, Kieran Savage (Cycling Sheffield) finished a further second back in third completing the course in 3-51.3.
The Spindata prediction had Laverack winning by just a second and clocking 3-50 but he was much quicker in reality.
Fastest junior rider John Russell (Team Bikestop Tyrekey) secured a top five position with 3-56.6 which should give him confidence for next weekend in his category at Nationals.
Meanwhile, Euan Dinning (Gosforth RC) was the fastest juvenile clocking 4-52.2, and quickest veteran was Colin Atkinson (Muckle Cycle Club) who placed sixth overall in 3-58.1.
Muckle CC also took the team award with a trio of John Bowman, Colin Atkinson and Andy Richardson combining.
“I am both relieved and surprised with today’s win as I’m still learning lots about these short efforts,” said Laverack.
“Today’s climb was so busy as there was always something happening – lots of corners to ride, and each corner was packed with people cheering you on so you were constantly getting an extra boost.
“Even though it was a three-and-a-half-minute climb for me, it felt so short – it was over before you knew it and I really enjoyed it.
“I’ll do one more proper effort midweek to see where I am at for Nationals. In terms of Nationals, if the weather is bad it will make the effort longer for everyone – if it rains or if there is a strong headwind it will favour me more as a seated rider.
“Lots of people have been saying that Winnats is going to be about three minutes so today’s ride has been perfect preparation just in case next week is slightly longer due to any prevailing conditions.”
Meanwhile, in the women’s category Wilkinson took victory in a time of four minutes and 56.9 seconds.
After taking two runner-up places in both the Team Kirkley Cycles and Houghton Cycling Club events on her last two outings Wilkinson was not to be denied this time out.
Host club rider Katy Denham took second (5-03) while Joanne Rea (Team Kirkley Cycles) completed a successful season with a third placed finish completing the climb in 5-06.
“This climb feels awful so you never know whether you’ve done well or not done well as you cross the finish line,” said Wilkinson.
“I made sure I didn’t go off too fast this time and really pushed hard on the top section after the last main right hander.
“Looking back, I paced my ride really well and I’ve gone quicker than my last effort on Prospect Hill in 2019, so more than happy with that.”
1 Ed Laverack Backpedal 03:35.9
2 David Huck Barrow Central Wheelers 03:50.7
3 Kieran Savage Cycling Sheffield 03:51.3
4 John Bowman Muckle Cycle Club 03:51.7
5 John Russell Team Bikestop Tyrekey 03:56.6
6 Colin Atkinson Muckle Cycle Club 03:58.1
7 Christopher Lockwood Durham University Cycling Club 03:58.3
8 Nick Munro Royal Air Force Cycling Association 03:59.2
9 Lee Ager Blaydon CC 03:59.4
10 Andy Richardson Muckle Cycle Club 04:00.3
11 Alexander Storey GS Metro 04:00.7
12 Matty Smith Muckle Cycle Club 04:02.1
13 Matthew Smith Muckle Cycle Club 04:06.5
14 Graeme Wardale South Shields Velo Cycling Club 04:09.4
15 Thomas Prentice GS Metro 04:10.2
16 Roddy Weir Muckle Cycle Club 04:10.5
17 Tom Harcourt Team Bikestop Tyrekey 04:10.9
18 Noel Stoddart Blaydon CC 04:11.1
19 Benjamin Johnston Racing Metro 15 04:15.3
20 Daniel Moore Muckle Cycle Club 04:17.9
21 Andrew Duggan Muckle Cycle Club 04:22.1
21 Ben Wilkinson Muckle Cycle Club 04:22.1
23 Dave Diston Muckle Cycle Club 04:24.4
24 Josh Reid Gosforth RC 04:25.7
25 Wilson-Jay Brown PM Racing UK 04:27.5
26 Adam Wood Muckle Cycle Club 04:27.6
27 Leon Potter Muckle Cycle Club 04:28.5
28 Sean Dodsworth Richmond CC 04:31.7
29 Darren Robson North Tyneside Riders CC 04:32.2
30 Simon Crisp Gosforth RC 04:34.4
31 Brian Ward Protech Velo 04:34.5
32 Steven Armstrong Derwentside CC 04:35.1
33 Lewis Wake Team Kirkley Cycles 04:35.6
34 Shaun Brannan Muckle Cycle Club 04:37.3
35 Daryl Ahomet Muckle Cycle Club 04:37.5
36 Daniel Kane Muckle Cycle Club 04:38.0
37 Nick Bellew Teesdale CRC 04:38.4
38 Brendan McMillan Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service CC 04:42.8
39 David ZüRCHER Muckle Cycle Club 04:44.3
40 Philip Gilbanks Muckle Cycle Club 04:44.6
41 Rob De'Giovanni Muckle Cycle Club 04:45.6
42 Matthew Williams Muckle Cycle Club 04:46.2
43 Joe Reed Muckle Cycle Club 04:46.5
44 John Sample Protech Velo 04:47.1
45 Joe Stringer Muckle Cycle Club 04:50.2
45 Greg Charlton Muckle Cycle Club 04:50.2
47 Alexander Hutchings Muckle Cycle Club 04:50.7
48 Euan Dinning Gosforth RC 04:52.2
49 Chris Morris Muckle Cycle Club 04:53.3
50 Nick Badcock Team Kirkley Cycles 04:53.6
51 Ian Gallon North Tyneside Riders CC 04:54.3
52 Keith Melvin Rock To Roll CC 04:54.7
53 Sarah Wilkinson Blaydon CC 04:56.9
54 Ben Swinney Muckle Cycle Club 04:58.0
55 Kieron Campbell Muckle Cycle Club 04:59.8
56 Charlie Thew North Tyneside Riders CC 05:00.0
57 Ian Spence Teesdale CRC 05:01.1
58 Sam Leng AIMS Cycling 05:01.9
59 Marcus McQuillan Muckle Cycle Club 05:02.4
60 Katy Denham Muckle Cycle Club 05:03.0
61 Dean Madden Barnesbury CC 05:04.9
62 Barry Fordham Cestria C.C. 05:05.6
63 Joanne Rea Team Kirkley Cycles 05:06.0
64 Lee Ridden Reifen Racing 05:06.1
65 Ben Lane GS Metro 05:06.6
66 Christopher Beaty Allen Valley Velo 05:07.7
67 Michael Noble Muckle Cycle Club 05:11.7
68 Paul Hague Gosforth RC 05:12.0
69 Jonathan Cairns North Tyneside Riders CC 05:12.5
70 Adam Harrison Barnesbury CC 05:17.9
71 Ben Talks Team Newcastle Triathlon 05:19.3
72 Peter Stokoe Reifen Racing 05:20.9
73 Dan Richardson North Tyneside Riders CC 05:24.0
74 Mateusz Mazik Muckle Cycle Club 05:24.2
75 Mason Bulfin North Tyneside Riders CC 05:29.1
76 Caitlin Pollock Team Newcastle Triathlon 05:31.9
76 Georgia Doolan Muckle Cycle Club 05:31.9
78 Owen Haggerty North Tyneside Riders CC 05:32.4 &am