Jack Pullar was the victor at the Bec Hill Climb for the third year in a row, taking the win with a 1.49 despite a wet surface handicap.
An excitable crowd gathered to watch the event, in it’s 59th year, many bristling to see Grand Tour stage winner David Millar finish off his career with a bang taking part in his first hill climb – but he wasn’t to have a podium spot
The last rider off, Pullar, of Starley Primal Pro Cycling was 4 seconds ahead of joint second place riders Glyndwr Griffiths (Arctic Tacx RT) and Dan Sullivan (Norwood Paragon).
Both Pullar and Griffiths have taken the top spot before, and rode on a wet surface as autumn rain began to fall on the 1 in 4 climb from Titsey, in Surrey.
First for the ladies was Maryka Sennema, National Hill Climb champ and Kingston Wheeler, in 2.32, she was only 2 seconds ahead of Bella Leach, London Pheonix in 2.34.
Fans came out in their hordes to see ex-pro, Garmin-Sharp rider David Millar, who completed the 700m climb in 2.03 – taking 21st place with a broken hand. Despite a career spanning 18 years, this was his first taste of a hill climb, though he had stated a desire to record the quickest ever time up the ascent in previous interviews.
Always well attended, the Bec Hill Climb is a historic event that’s always organised with perfect efficiency, this year attracting Ned Boulting, who promises to ride next year.
And of course, 100 Greatest Climbs author Simon Warren, who will always ride, and then spend the rest of the event chasing riders with his 100 sign..
Two and a half hours and 150 riders to cheer in the autumn chill might seem a tall order, but the event is an annual celebration of cycling: pain, suffering, and camaraderie. Plus it’s a great chance to capture some of the very best pain faces of the year, and hang out with all your club mates at the top of a great big hill.