This weekend sees a staggering 192 riders entered for the 87th HMT Hospitals Monsal Hill Climb in Derbyshire.
Some describe the climb as a sprinters climb. The start is pretty much flat for the first 150 yards but soon starts to climb once you pass the drive way on your right. All then goes quiet for while until you can hear the roar of the crowd and the voice of Vin Cox commentating.
Its not just a lot of riders on Monsal but even more in spectators! Russell Downing has been a popular rider on the slopes over the years
Once you pass the road sign on your left, the lactic kicks in and from there till the end is a non stop effort to the line which is right outside the Monsal Head Hotel. The course record is held by Malcolm Elliott with an amazing time of 1:14.2, this was set back in 1981. Adam Kenway got close with a 1:16.5 and Joe Clark a 01:16.7 but nobody has broken the legend’s mark as yet. Maybe this year with a big crowd cheering them on….
The event this year is expected to be a a very close run race for the top prizes. Unsurprisingly with so many riders and the event being one of, if not there most prestigous of the hill climbs, there are a lots of potential winners.
From the British champion Adam Kenway (Raleigh GAC) to Calum Brown who is flying as his win on Hardwick showed. Leon Wright could be up there and we have Joey Walker and Rob Scott from Team Wiggins. Word is that Joey Walker desperately wants to win as his dad (Chris) and sister (Jessie) have both won the event before.
Lizzy Banks who has signed for American pro team United Healthcare has to be favourite for the womens race especially as defending champ and record holder, Lou Bates isn’t riding. It’ll be close behind between Emilie Verroken, Lily Greenhalgh who is the school girl record holder and Rebecca Goodson who has won three hill climbs already this year.
British champion Adam Kenway will be rocking the stripes at Monsal
Thanks to Velo UK for the report.