Hemel Hempstead CC Open Hilly

Today was ‘The Sid Latchford Memorial’ 22 mile hilly promoted by the Hemel Hempstead CC. (course F11/22)

It is run on roads around Bagnall, Ivinghoe, Bison Hill and Dunstable Downs. There are two main climbs of Bison Hill and Invinghoe hill. It is good course, with a fair balance between flattish roads, and testing hills.

On a good day, I can cycle from Oxford to Ivinghoe (about 40 miles), so I have done these climbs on a couple of occasions, but some roads were still new.


The weather forecast correctly predicted rain and strong wind; I was surprised at the lack of DNS for the race. It would have been easy to look at the forecast and stay in bed, rather than put the clocks forward an hour and go and get a good soaking.

When it’s raining, I don’t bother with a ‘warm up’ because I just get very cold. I got there late and sat in the car until 5 minutes to go. I was going to try a No Pinz wallet, but I didn’t have time and my skinsuit had got wet getting it out of the car. My warm-up consisted of riding 200m to the start and reluctantly taking off waterproof. Once I got racing, it was a bit better, but it was a tough day on the bike – pools of standing water, roughish road surface and gusting winds.

On the descent from Bison Hill towards Dunstable, there was a particularly strong crosswind, which had me reaching for the sidebars and brakes. I didn’t want to take any risks. The cork brakes and carbon rims were a bit unresponsive in the wet. On a better day, the course would be much faster because you could descend at a faster pace. It was a far cry from recent hillies where I’ve enjoyed spinning out on a 56*11.

Because of the wind, it was even more a testing course. It was a question of trying to put out the power when you could. It was almost a relief to get to a climb, because you could really concentrate on cycling hard and not just hanging on.

The course was very well marshalled with the enthusiastic members of Hemel Hempstead. There were even unexpected pockets of spectators cheering you on at different parts of the course. A welcome sound where you’re struggling up a hill. The last few miles were very fast from Bagnall roundabout as a tailwind blew you home. I went as fast as I could, partly to keep warm. I was relieved to finish and went straight to the car to warm up.

The organiser Sam has put a lot of work into promoting this new early season classic, and although we like to complain about the weather, we’ll be able to look back and feel glad we got round on the windy and wet year of 2015.

In terms of time, I just pipped 2014 champion, Michael Broadwith (Arctic Taxc RT) by 7 seconds for 1st place. Since the national 100 in 2014, it’s become a bit of a habit to be a few seconds in front of Michael Broadwith – fine margins. Still he took it with good grace, and I’m sure he will have a good season. It’s hard to imagine there is a 20 kg difference between us going up those hills! Danny Axford (Arctic Taxc RT) completed the podium and helped win the Team prize for Arctic. First women was Jody Conibear from the promoting club Hemel Hempstead.

  • Time: 51:25
  • Av speed 25.1 mph
  • Av power : 283 watts (unweighted) – a lot of freewheeling today.

Next week Buxton Mountain Time Trial


Results 2015

Pos. Name Club Time
1 Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy CT 00:51:25
2 Michael Broadwith Arctic Tacx RT 00:51:31
3 Danny Axford Arctic Tacx RT 00:53:21
4 Richard Wood Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 00:53:52
5 Luke Clarke TMG Horizon CT 00:54:09
6 Tim Bayley Arctic Tacx RT 00:54:17
7 Ross Clarke TMG Horizon CT 00:54:59
8 Jason Green Bedfordshire Road CC 00:55:16
9 Tim Davies Icknield RC 00:55:19
10 Harry Paine Team Corley Cycles 00:56:40
11 Paul Caton TMG Horizon CT 00:57:16
12 Matthew Bond Kenton RC 00:57:19
13 Jon Friend Bedfordshire Road CC 00:57:24
14 Ian Turner North Road CC 00:57:53
15 John Lacey Hemel Hempstead CC 00:57:54
16 James Fox CC Luton 00:58:00
17 Ben Nichol High Wycombe CC 00:58:07
18 Mike Wragg Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 00:58:09
19 Geoff Reynolds Hemel Hempstead CC 00:58:24
20 Grant Orsborn Icknield RC 00:58:30
21 Mark Ellis Team Milton Keynes 00:59:34
22 Tom Deprez W Suffolk Whs & Tri Club 00:59:41
23 Tim Newman Berkhamstead CC 01:00:02
24 Roland Kemp Bossard Whs 01:00:10
25 Gavin Rumbles CC Luton 01:00:33
26 Joshua Curtis Berkhamstead CC 01:01:42
27 Abid Hussain Icknield RC 01:01:46
28 MIchael Kazer Berkhamstead CC 01:01:55
29 David Allan LBRCC 01:02:12
30 Andrew Martin LBRCC 01:02:24
31 Daniel Turney Berkhamstead CC 01:02:25
31 Richard Carr Hemel Hempstead CC 01:02:25
33 Alastair Insall Tri London 01:03:11
34 Andrew Bradley Hemel Hempstead CC 01:03:46
35 Ross Poulton Icknield RC 01:03:47
36 Nick Clarke Berkhamstead CC 01:04:06
37 Jody Conibear (W) Hemel Hempstead CC 01:04:16
38 Spencer Wilson Berkhamstead CC 01:04:43
39 James Gomm Hitchin Nomads CC 01:05:48
40 Tom Bissenden Hemel Hempstead CC 01:06:15
41 Annabel Sill (W) Team Jadan 01:06:30
42 Gavin Moore Team Velovelocity.co.uk 01:07:04
43 Jeremy Curtis Berkhamstead CC 01:07:15
44 Anthony Newland Bossard Whs 01:07:29
45 Nick Hickman Hitchin Nomads CC 01:08:12
46 Glenn Dossett Welwyn Whs 01:08:31
47 Trevor Watson Bossard Whs 01:10:36
48 Paul Thomson Hemel Hempstead CC 01:11:55
49 Simon Pyburn Berkhamstead CC 01:12:18
50 Richard Moule Bossard Whs 01:13:13
51 Lizzie Insall (W) Tri London 01:14:16
52 Andrew Porter Welwyn Whs 01:16:47
53 John Hassall Bossard Whs 01:17:06
54 Paul Dyett Bossard Whs 01:17:32
Peter Harridge Icknield RC DNF
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One Response to Hemel Hempstead CC Open Hilly

  1. Andrew March 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    a few days ago I was changing a water pump on a for focus. Whilst flushing the coolant, it ran down my arm to my arm pit. it almost brought tears to my eyes. To spend all day in it on a bike, in this wind with all the water has made me feel quite ashamed! well done.

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