NATIONAL HILL-CLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP
WITH just one weekend of racing left before the National Hill-Climb Championship in Devon, little in the way of a form guide emerged from the latest round of events.
It was a case of deja vu for Jim Henderson, who will be chasing his sixth title in nine years in the Sid Valley CC promotion on October 29, when he was pipped by less than a second on what was once regarded as ‘his’ course, the 947-yard Rake climb at Ramsbottom, Lancashire, on Sunday.
Henderson was beaten by Ben Greenwood in last year’s National on the Rake, and this time it was fast improving southerner Bill Bell (Gemini BC) who claimed the Southport CC rider’s scalp.
The previous day, Bell had settled for third place behind James Dobbin (Arctic-Shorter Rochford RT) and David Clarke (Team Nippo-KFS) in both Huddersfield Star Wheelers’ and Holme Valley Wheelers’ events on different versions of the Jackson Bridge course in Yorkshire.
Dobbin scored a clear win over Clarke in the longer Star Wheelers event but the pair tied in the Holme Valley version two hours later.
While Dobbin returned south to win by more than 40 seconds in Bristol South CC’s event on the two-mile Burrington Combe course on Sunday, Clarke stayed in Yorkshire to score a comfortable win in Drighlington BC’s event on the Scotchman Lane course at Batley.