Big cash for hill-climbers this weekend
David Clarke, 6th, National Hill-Climb Championship 2009
Hill-climbers could find themselves significantly richer after this weekend with big prizes on offer to the winners of the Bec CC and Catford CC hill-climbs on Sunday.
As the build-up to the National Championships at the end of the month continues, some of the top riders in the country will be heading for the Catford event on Sunday morning to target a possible £550 prize (if they break the course record).
But the big money is up for grabs later in the day, with the Bec CC putting up £1,000 for the winner of their event.
The Catford CC event is on the 660-yard Yorks Hill climb at Goathurst Common, where last year's winner Rob Gough (Adeo Cadence) returns to defend his title.
Team-mates James Dobbin and Tavis Walker will also be riding, while rival Pete Tadros (In Gear-Quickvit) will be hopeful of taking the win.
It is a busy weekend for Tadros, who is riding both the Catford and the Bec hill-climbs on Sunday as well as both of the Brighton Mitre events on the previous day.
Second last year, Gough will be aiming to take victory in the lucrative Bec CC event, although last year's winner Germain Burton, the 16-year-old Team de Ver rider, returns to defend his title and has a hard season of riding in Belgium under his belt.
Also riding the Bec CC event are Freddy Johansson (Team UK Youth) and Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport RT), who will be hoping that their road skills prove transferable.
The previous day, Tadros will be warming up for the Catford and Bec events by competing in the Brighton Mitre CC events on Steyning Bostal and Mill Hill in Sussex.
Tadros won the Sussex CA climb last weekend on the same Steyning Bostal course as the Brighton Mitre's morning event, and will be aiming for victory both there and on Mill Hill.
But his team-mate Will Mangar - who beat him on Mill Hill last year - will look to spoil his party.
In Derbyshire, Sheffrec CC stage the popular Monsal Head hill-climb on Sunday, which last year was won by Sky Pro Cycling's Russell Downing.
The northern event has attracted former national champion Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) for the 645-yard climb, which has a full field of 120 plus reserves.
Clinton is last man off, and he will have a tough job chasing down Swedish international mountain bike rider Gunnar Gronlund (RST Racing) who is the penultimate rider to tackle the hill.
And Clinton is making a weekend of it in the North. On Saturday, he is riding both the Holme Valley Wheelers' morning event as well as the Huddersfield Star Wheelers' climb of Jackson Bridge.
The morning's event is over a 1.3-mile climb at Holme in West Yorkshire, where another former national champion, James Dobbin (Adeo Cadence) is down to ride.
And in the afternoon, the pair will duel once again in the 1,540-yard Jackson Bridge climb.
This weekend's top events
Saturday, October 8
Holme Valley Wheelers hill-climb - Holme Valley, West Yorkshire (course V9915, 1.3 miles), 10am.
Huddersfield Star Wheelers hill-climb - Jackson Bridge, West Yorkshire (course V9912, 1.540 yards), 2pm.
Brighton Mitre CC hill-climb (Steyning Bostal, West Sussex, 1.672 yards), 11am.
Brighton Mitre CC hill-climb (Mill Hill, Shoreham, 4,682 yards), 2.30pm.
Sunday, October 9
Catford CC hill-climb - Yorks Hill, Goathurst Common (course GH32, 660 yards), 10am.
Bec CC hill-climb - Titsey Hill, near Limpsfield, Surrey (course GH31, 700 yards), 2pm.
Sheffrec CC hill-climb - Monsal Head, Derbyshire (course OHC3, 645 yards), 11am.