Happy new year and Ciao Tutti! Here’s a little recap of the 2023 hill climb season – if it sounds a bit odd that’s because what I’ve done is just copy and paste some of Colin Atkinsons N&DCA hill climb updates, directly into Chat GTP and asked it to reword it, magazine article style. Genius eh? Well to be fair, a lot of it sounds a bit weird and shit (some of it in a good way, some of it not) but I’m going with it anyway. ChatGTP also seems to especially love the words ‘prowess’, 'dedication', ‘camaraderie’, and ‘securing’. Over to you Skynet...
Muckle Cycle Club has once again been making waves in the local cycling scene with stellar performances in recent hill climbs, showcasing their strength and determination. Let's delve into the details of some of these exhilarating events.
The morning of the Protech Velo hill climb brought favourable conditions, and the competition was fierce. The standout performer of the day was Hugo Storey, securing a remarkable victory by nearly 6 seconds. Muckle clinched the top spot in the team prize, with Colin Atkinson securing 4th place, and Jonathan Cairns taking 8th place. Jonathan also dominated the +82kg category, while Colin claimed victory in the veterans' division. Owen Haggerty narrowly missed the team prize by a mere 0.3 seconds. Kudos to all the racers, with special mentions to Michael and Phil, securing impressive positions
Lee Ager flying up the Winters Gibbet (photo Dub Devlin)
10 Muckles raced the GS Metro Hill Climb up Hedley on the Hill, and incredibly we had 5 in the top 10. Hedley witnessed an impressive turnout from Muckle's hill climbers, and despite challenging conditions, Muckle riders demonstrated their prowess. John Bowman claimed 5th position overall, earning the title of Muckle's fastest rider and top veteran. The team, strategically led by Adrian Armstrong (6th), Colin Atkinson (7th), Matty Smith (8th), and Lee Cuthbertson (9th), secured the team prize once again. Other Muckles racing included - Hugo Storey in 12th, Michale Noble 17th, Daniel Kane 18th, Owen Haggerty 21st, and Scott Gibson in 28th position.
Next on the agenda was the windy Allen Valley Hill Climb, where Muckle CC continued to shine. Lee Ager was the fastest Muckle, with Matty Smith, Adrian Armstrong, and Colin Atkinson close behind asserting their dominance, and securing top positions. Daniel Kane and Hugo James performed admirably just outside the top 10. The Muckle team displayed camaraderie and support, with Andy Smith capturing the moments on camera.
John riding to 2nd place up Peth Bank at the Cestria CC Hill Climb (photo by Ray Haldane)
The MCC Hill Climb up Prospect Hill witnessed a spectacular display of talent and tenacity as Muckle Cycling Club took on the challenge in the final hill climb of the North East season. The day was marked by standout performances, record-breaking feats, and a strong sense of camaraderie.
The highlight of the day was Muckle CC’s Grace Inglis, whose performance left a lasting impression. Grace not only secured victory but also smashed the hill climb record, finishing a staggering 25 seconds ahead of the competition. Her extraordinary ride showcased not only skill but an undeniable determination to conquer the challenging ascent.
John Bowman, an integral part of Muckle CC, delivered yet another exceptional ride, finishing just 0.2 seconds behind the formidable Alexander Storey, who took second place. The difference in age—15 years—between John and Alexander adds an extra layer of admiration for Bowman's prowess. Kieran Wynne-Cattanach claimed the top spot, asserting himself as one of the country's premier hill climbers.
Muckle corner on Prospect Hill. 2024 Nationals are gonna be pure bangin! (photo-Adam Hope)
The spirit of Muckle CC was alive and well as the team rallied together for a formidable presence at Prospect Hill. With seven riders securing positions in the top 11, the collective effort showcased the club's strength and commitment to the sport. The team's outstanding performance is a testament to their dedication and passion for hill climbing.
Not only did John Bowman secure an impressive second place overall, but he also clinched victory in the VETs HC league. His time of 3 minutes and 49.3 seconds not only made him the fastest Muckle CC rider up Prospect Hill but also shattered the Vets HC record by an impressive 9 seconds. Bowman's consistency and skill have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the hill climb scene.
Alexander Storey of GS Metro clinched the Men's N&DCA HC League for the second consecutive year, with an impressive record of victories. John Bowman took second place overall (as well as 1st V40), making a remarkable comeback after sitting out last year's hill climbs. Colin Atkinson took third place, while Hugo Storey finished 4th meaning MCC claimed the Men's Team Prize for the eighth consecutive year, a testament to their consistent dominance in the league.
The pride of MCC - Grandadwatts, the fastest over 55 year old (photo by James Vincent)
In a display of tenacious spirit, a formidable team of 10 Muckles descended upon Ambleside for this year's National Hill Climb Championships up The Struggle. The challenging course witnessed impressive performances and notable achievements for the Muckle contingent.
Natlie Lye showcased her prowess, securing a commendable 17th position in the fiercely contested women's race, leaving a mark of determination on the challenging slopes.
Colin Atkinson emerged triumphant in the V55 category (69th overall), showcasing his enduring strength and skill and adding another feather to the team's cap.
John Bowman emerged as the fastest Muckle, claiming the 33rd spot and a remarkable 2nd place in the V40 category, narrowly missing the top spot by a mere second. Adam Pinder closely followed in 34th place, demonstrating the team's consistent performance. Lee Ager secured the 41st position, and Lee Cuthbertson claimed the 49th spot, contributing significantly to the team's overall success.
Fun fact : I've beaten Lee Cuthbertson in two fell races now because he's gone the wrong way