Scarborough Paragon veteran David Thompson started his end of season hill climbing efforts with the Yorkshire Road Club two-stage promotion near Harewood House.
With gusty headwind conditions, the shorter hill was used for the first stage, followed a short time later by the long hill version, incorporating the sting in the tail, yet another short hill to the finish line.
Thompson came in eighth overall and was in the prize list for first fastest veteran (over 40 years) in a time of 8:46.2. James Colman won the event (Witham Wheelers) in 7:24.6.
The following morning nearer home, David tackled the Bridlington Cycling Club’s hill climb at Flixton where he finished in fifth place overall and again won the fastest veteran award in a time of 3:40.3.
James Colman repeated the overall victory in 3:09.5.
The course here was a bit slippy with wet mud on the road near field entrances after the overnight rain, which meant wheel spin for the competitors. It was also a very tough headwind for the climb, so the results were slower overall from last year.
Then it was over to Hackness for Scarborough Paragon’s first ever open hill climb event on the windings.
The course was thankfully dry and sheltered from the wind due to the nature of the tree line cover for the half-mile route towards Silpho.
David Thompson came in third this time in his own promotion, with a time of 2:50.7 and was the fastest veteran. In a repeat of the morning’s event, James Colman came out in first place 2:35.6, just over 2 seconds shy of the club and course record, while Bridlington’s Miles Flather posted the second best time of 2:39.4.
Some of the riders by this point had very tired legs after completing their fourth event within 24 hours.
These events formed events four and five out of 12 qualifiers in the Yorkshire Cycling Federation Hill Climb League, so there were points on offer for placings.
Thompson was the best veteran in all four races over the weekend, showing why he has won the league’s veteran title for the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011). There are some big races in the Pennines coming up in the next few weeks, which won’t be easy.
The nearest challenger to Thompson will be Bridlington’s Andy Askwith who has already bagged some points from an unseasonable summer hill climb qualifying event, backed up with two sixth places in Sunday’s events. Praise was extended to the young riders who took part in the Paragon race; 15-year-old Harry Brown recorded a brilliant time of 3:11.9 for ninth place overall, just pipped by one second for the junior prize by Clifton CC rider Nathan Veall.
James Thompson also did remarkably well with his 12th place result of 3:32.8, beating three men into the bargain and setting a new club record for the hill for his age (14).
The usual club event followed on from the open race; there were only two riders, Voyin Maric who posted 3:27.4 and Rich Porter ( York Uni) who did an excellent 2:47.6, good enough to take a top three place in the open event.