2021 National Hill Climb Competition
Saddleworth Clarion member Martha May-Tibbot scored an astounding 13th place in the National Hill Climb Competition held on a closed road course up the iconic Winnats Pass near Castleton, Derbyshire. It was the first time that the pass had hosted the Nationals since 1977 and a fantastic crowd turned up to cheer on the nations top hill climbers.
Clarion member Martha qualified to ride through a string of strong placings leading up the ‘The Nationals’ and competed on a day where the wind and torrential rain was as brutal as the 20% gradient of the hill itself. Martha completed the 1 mile course in 4.48.8
The course itself took in two cattle grids and climbed the notoriously tough climb that cuts through the limestone high above the popular tourist spot.
Having taken an early lead Martha was eventually squeezed out by the overall winner Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles), who recorded a winning time of 4-00.4
In other racing news, Friezland School pupil Seth Mitchell made the podium of the North Cheshire Clarion Halloween Cyclo-Cross race. Seth, a second claim member, racing in East Bradford CC colours finished 3rd in the U8 category beating members of other Clarion clubs from around the country.
Clarion Sunday 2021
After a few early morning showers the day turned into a wonderful celebration of the Cycling and its history.
Around twenty Saddleworth Clarionistas joined their comrades from sections including London, Brighton, Stockport, Bolon, North Cheshire, Crewe, Barnoldswick the Yorkshire Coast and of course Clarion 1894 who arranged and hosted the event.
Clarion House provided a table of cakes and pints of tea and the spirit of fellowship saw that all Clarion cyclists were welcomed alike.
A B and C ride departed Saddleworth for the hills below Pendle whilst family groups arrived by car and some members joined other Clarion sections for their ride out.
Next year the event should return to its traditional early Summer slot and we look forward to meeting again with our comrades from around Britain.
Wild Wales Challenge - Words by Neil Warner
It was good to see such a strong turnout from Saddleworth Clarion. I believe there were a lucky 13 members of Saddleworth Clarion riding the event this year which must surely be a club record. 9 rode the long route and 4 the short route, although it was not actually much shorter. And one of the latter was Daniel Kremer who impressively rode to Bala the day before and on the day itself also retraced the route by riding 5 miles to the start from the Bryntirion Inn and back again afterwards. At least I only had to ride in 2.5 miles from my campsite.
It was a typical Wild Wales Challenge with a great scenic route on remote roads, variable road surfaces continually up & down, with some very steep climbs. As always an excellent well supported & organised event. A great day's riding I'm sure you'll all agree.
In the spirit of the friendliness and bonhomie between riders that epitomises the event I stopped 13 miles from the finish to help a fellow rider from Liverpool Century who was clearly struggling with replacing his tyre after a puncture. It turned into a protracted 38 minute stop involving multiple inner tubes (4) and repeatedly struggling with getting the tyre on/off his deep section rims. Almost had to resort to using glue and patching a tube. Pleasingly I persevered and succeeded in getting him back on the road.
Hope the event lived up to the expectations of those of you making your debut on the Wild Wales Challenge. Clearly the fine sunny and warm weather on Sunday (when the early morning most and coolness finally dispersed) helped with the enjoyment of the day.
It was the 36th Wild Wales Challenge this year, only my 14th. Not yet got the latest slate plaque added to the collection.
Look forward to an even greater turnout from Saddleworth Clarion for the 37th event in 2022.
Exciting PunkTT news as the competition has drawn to a close.
This year's champions are:
First woman - Martha with an astonishing time of 56:28 - successfully defending her title from last year.
First man - Joe T with a blistering time of 51:03.
Well done to all those who took part, the event was well supported.
Martha and Joe - you are going to look so cool when you get your winners' t-shirts.