Just one week before the National HC Champs on Bank Road, Matlock CC organised their annual double-header on the fearsome climbs of Riber and Bank Road.
Clinterval Coaching had three riders in attendance, with Jack O’Neill (B38/Underpin Racing) and Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) taking to the twisty, slippery ascent of Riber, with Jen Doyle (RLSCC) joining them in the afternoon for Bank Road.
Simon Warren calls Riber a “legendary climb” in his 100 Greatest Climbs book, giving it 9/10. The first section is relatively steady as a climb, but the road soon levels out and then turns left, here you hit a series of increasingly steep hairpins, covered in leaves and holes, reaching over 25% before reaching the crest.
Jack pulled out a stunning ride, finishing in 3:38.5, taking full advantage of his excellent form to finish in 3rd place. Matt wasn’t quite as lucky with the varying gradients and tight-hairpins not suiting his fixed wheel bike. It would be 9th for Matt in 3:43.8.
A few hours later nearly 120 riders took to Matlock town centre for Bank Road – the loaction of next weekend’s National Championships, albeit on a longer version of the course.
Jen Doyle was the first of our riders to ride, coming on leaps and bounds since taking up the Clinterval Hill Climb Plan. Hitting yet another power PB, Jen tackled Bank Road in 3:42.0. Unfortunately due to the oversubscription of the National Champs, Jen will not be racing next weekend to test herself on the full version of the course.
Matt hit the climb next, on a normal day his fixed suiting Bank Road, but with a tough headwind, that wasn’t today. A good start saw Matt in contention at half-way, but the top section saw him lose signifcant time to clock 1:57.9 – and finish yet again in 9th place.
Our last rider, Jack yet again showed up his coach by doing a much more controlled and consistent ride taking 5th in 1:55.7.
In both events, the in-form Joe Clark would win comfortably, putting him in as hot favourite for the National Championships next weekend.