Brighton Mitre Hill Climbs 2020

Saturday was Brighton Mitre CC hill climbs on Steyning Borstal and Mill Hill. I raced these hills back in 2004-2006, but haven’t been back for 14 years.

Mill Hill
Mill Hill

First up is Steyning Borstal, a tough climb with three distinct sections. Steep, flat and then steep again.

It is a technical climb in that pacing is not straightforward because of the variable gradient. I had a good warm up and was reasonably pleased with the effort. I thought I paced it relatively well. I wanted to go fairly fast on the first and second part but make the biggest effort on the last section where it gets to 17%. I finished in a time of 4.06. I believe there was a slight headwind at the top of climb, though Alice Lethbridge set new women’s course pb of 4:55.3 and Lukas Nerurkar set junior record 3:54.2.

My time: 4.06. Power: 421 watts. Av speed 14.0 mph. max speed 2.4

steyning power

After Steyning, there is quite a long break until next climb in Shoreham in the afternoon. The virtual HQ was by a rugby field in Shoreham. Whilst warming up on my Trek Speed Concept on rollers, a chap with a couple of kids started asking me what I was doing. I replied I was warming up for a race on nearby Mill Hill. He was very polite and interested. I’m so rusty riding on rollers that unfortunately, I didn’t dare turn my head to the left to meet his eye in case I fell off. Anyway, as he walked off he said to his kids, in a very matter of fact way “that’s the craziest thing I’ve seen in a car park!”


Mill Hill

Mill Hill is a funny hill climb in that there a two quite significant down hill sections so, at parts on the climb, you can be going quite fast. I think when I did it in 2004/05, I used road bike with clip on tribars, but this year brought a TT bike, which is heavier than the Emonda, but definitely faster on the downhill. The hardest part is the first section where it briefly gets up to 10%. It’s hard to pace this kind of climb as there is a bit of freewheeling and ‘easy sections’. After the second downhill, there is a sharp right turn before final run to the line. I ended up breaking quite hard for this corner. The climb was OK, though I maybe should have gone harder at the start because there is quite a bit of recovery during the middle section. I did around 7.40.

mill hill power

Time: 7.40. Av power – 363 watts. Max power – 704 watts. Av. speed 20.9mph, Max speed 34.7 mph

On the start sheet I noted the name of Lukas Nerurkar my minute man – because in my first athletic career I was part of Bradford Grammar School cross country team. Under Selby Brock and Tony Kingham, BGS took cross country running really enthusiastically. Though unfortunately, their enthusiasm didn’t always manage to rub off on to my teenage self – my first athletic career was not exactly covered in glory, I saw it more as a slightly better option than having to play rugby. After fading away, and coming last in one race, I managed to ‘retire’ – deciding competitive sport was not for me – which it was for another 10 years. The reason I mention all this is that Richard Nerurkar was the star product of BGS cross country – going on to finish 5th in the men’s marathon at the 1996 Olympics in Athens. So this is the difference – when I was 16 I was coming last and retiring from sport. But, it’s never too late to get into sport and I’m enjoying trying my best to maintain my form as the years keep accumulating.

Overall the event was good and I enjoyed the day trip to the south coast. During these difficult Covid days it’s always nice to get out and briefly meet other cyclists, even if hanging outside by a rugby field and public toilets in Shoreham is not quite as cosy as being in a village hall with a cup of tea and results board.

It was also good to see a big field of nearly 60 riders on startsheet with quite a few riders getting ready for the Nationals in two weeks time. I heard that there were 459 entrants to the national and everyone got a place! I also noted start timekeeper was Robin Johnson, I remember when Robin organised the hill climbs back in 2005, I remember Robin because I left my bag at HQ and he kindly put it in the post –¬† I thought it was well – above and beyond the call of duty for a race organiser!

Ditchling Beacon

After Mill Hill, it was getting late but I made a short detour to go home via Ditchling Beacon. (three hill climbs for the price of two) It is a hill I have heard a lot about but have never ridden up. When I was descending, I saw a long line of cars stuck behind cyclists (most of whom were walking). There was some kind of charity ride or sportive and the hill was full of cyclists. I managed to time my run to avoid the walking cyclists. Traffic notwithstanding, it’s a great climb, not too steep, nice corners and a great view.


There was a big group of cyclists at the top cheering on the struggling cyclists. They were enjoying their hill climb challenge, just in a slightly different way to those of us racing up Mill Hill and Steyning. To be fair to the cyclists on Ditchling Beacon, I bet they didn’t waste time warming up on rollers in some obscure car park.

Dowsett and the Giro

Since cycling came back on tv, there have been some great days racing to watch. By far my favourite was Saturday’s stage. I had it on record and when I got home I watched the last hour. Like many who follow UK racing, I was really rooting for Alex Dowsett. I remember in the 2005 national 25 mile TT (when he was still a junior) we both did 54.00 and because he really likes the UK domestic scene, it’s been great watching his career progress. It’s also a reminder that even if you are super-talented, it’s really difficult to win pro races. Seven years after Dowsett’s Giro TT victory, this road stage was a very well deserved win and hopefully will secure him a good contract for next year.

Previous races in Brighton Mitre CC hill climb


2004 – 4.21 (4/42)
2005 – 4.02 (3rd/60)
2006 – 4.17 (2nd)
2020 – 4.06 (2nd)

Mill Hill

2004 – 7.?? (2nd/42)
2005 – 7.26 (2nd/60)
2006 – 7.21 (1st)
2020 – 7.40 (3rd/)

Results from Steyning Bostal 2020

PositionFirst NameLast NameGenderCategoryClubPrecise Time
1LukasNerurkarMaleJuniorVC de Londres03:54.2
2TejvanPettingerMaleVetSri Chinmoy Cycling Team04:06.8
3MatthewHoulbergMaleJuniorMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT04:11.8
4NicholasCandyMaleEspoirNorth Road CC04:14.3
5OliverHurdleMaleEspoirUniversity of Southampton RC04:14.8
6MarkAldredMaleSeniorKingston Wheelers CC04:18.5
7MarkArnoldMaleVetVTTA (East Anglia Group)04:21.0
8DavidRossMaleSeniorLFGSS CC04:21.4
10DylanGreenMaleSeniorBigfoot CC04:34.5
11JohnBlandMaleSeniorVC de Londres04:38.3
12MichaelSleemanMaleSeniorHorsham Cycling04:40.6
13GeorgeHarveyMaleJuvenileBrighton Excelsior CC04:41.3
14CrisCoxonMaleVetBrighton Mitre CC04:44.1
15TomHainesMaleVetEast London Velo04:45.8
16LaurenceRoseMaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC04:46.2
17JohnBlightMaleSeniorRapha Cycling Club04:46.9
18GlenWhittingtonMaleSeniorSouthborough & Dist. Whs04:49.8
19JoeWalkerMaleEspoirBrighton Mitre CC04:50.0
20TonyBonessMaleVetBlazing Saddles04:50.5
22Alice LethbridgeFemaleSeniorTorelli04:55.3
23AlexHarveyMaleJuniorBrighton Excelsior CC04:56.2
24KelvinNewmanMaleSeniorWorthing Excelsior CC04:56.3
25MarkSmithMaleVetCrawley Wheelers04:56.6
26JackSmithMaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC04:58.1
27PaulBarnardMaleSeniorSouth Downs Bikes / Casco Pet04:58.9
28ConnorBackhouseMaleEspoirKingston Wheelers CC05:03.2
29JackHartreyMaleJuniorKingston Wheelers CC05:09.2
30LeoDowningMaleSeniorKingston Wheelers CC05:23.5
31MartinGibbsMaleSeniorTeam TMC05:26.5
32MartinEastMaleVetWealden Cycle Club05:28.1
33OliviaWebbFemaleVetEastbourne Rovers CC05:34.1
34LauraSeniorFemaleSeniorVelo Club Godalming & Haslemere05:40.1
35BenBryantMaleSeniorElite Cycling05:41.2
36HarrisonFayMaleJuniorWelland Valley CC05:41.4
37GaryRecordMaleSeniorWest Kent RC05:42.3
38IanAndersonMaleVetYork Cycleworks05:43.2
40HenriettaAitkenFemaleSeniorRapha Cycling Club05:49.7
41JamesFlintMaleVetBeachy Head CC05:54.3
42MeganAndersonFemaleSeniorYork Cycleworks06:05.6
43DebbiePercivalFemaleVetKent Velo Girls/Boys06:12.7
44JohnMarinkoMaleVetBrighton Mitre CC06:18.8
45BeccaDrakeFemaleSeniorBellaVelo cc06:34.6
46EddSaundersMaleSeniorBrighton Excelsior CC06:36.3
47AndrewBaileyMaleVetWealden Cycle Club06:44.3
48CathyWallaceFemaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC07:29.7
49RoseMoncrieffeFemaleJuvenileVC de Londres07:46.2
50MariaDavidFemaleVetSerpentine Running Club08:05.8
51BrianJonesMaleVetHorsham Cycling08:17.9

CTT results


2OliviaWebbVetEastbourne Rovers CC05:34.1
3LauraSeniorSeniorVelo Club Godalming & Haslemere05:40.1
5HenriettaAitkenSeniorRapha Cycling Club05:49.7
6MeganAndersonSeniorYork Cycleworks06:05.6
7DebbiePercivalVetKent Velo Girls/Boys06:12.7
8BeccaDrakeSeniorBellaVelo cc06:34.6
9CathyWallaceSeniorBrighton Mitre CC07:29.7
10RoseMoncrieffeJuvenileVC de Londres07:46.2
11MariaDavidVetSerpentine Running Club08:05.8

Mill Hill overall

PositionFirst NameLast NameGenderCategoryClubPrecise Time
1OliverHurdleMaleEspoirUniversity of Southampton RC07:31.7
2LukasNerurkarMaleJuniorVC de Londres07:37.0
3TejvanPettingerMaleVetSri Chinmoy Cycling Team07:40.3
4NicholasCandyMaleEspoirNorth Road CC07:46.2
5MarkArnoldMaleVetVTTA (East Anglia Group)07:51.3
6MatthewHoulbergMaleJuniorMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT07:56.6
7MarekShaferMaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC08:00.8
8DavidRossMaleSeniorLFGSS CC08:02.0
9MarkAldredMaleSeniorKingston Wheelers CC08:08.8
10MarkSmithMaleVetCrawley Wheelers08:09.7
11JonHughesMaleVetVelo Club Godalming & Haslemere08:14.1
13GeorgeHarveyMaleJuvenileBrighton Excelsior CC08:29.9
14AlexHarveyMaleJuniorBrighton Excelsior CC08:32.1
15DylanGreenMaleSeniorBigfoot CC08:34.8
16JohnBlightMaleSeniorRapha Cycling Club08:37.7
19MichaelSleemanMaleSeniorHorsham Cycling08:44.2
20ConnorBackhouseMaleEspoirKingston Wheelers CC08:45.8
21PaulBarnardMaleSeniorSouth Downs Bikes / Casco Pet08:55.7
23MartinGibbsMaleSeniorTeam TMC09:06.2
24GlenWhittingtonMaleSeniorSouthborough & Dist. Whs09:07.1
25JackSmithMaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC09:08.2
27JackHartreyMaleJuniorKingston Wheelers CC09:12.1
28CraigSmithMaleSeniorNew Forest CC09:20.3
29IanAndersonMaleVetYork Cycleworks09:26.7
31JamesTriggMaleVetRedhill CC09:34.3
32LauraSeniorFemaleSeniorVelo Club Godalming & Haslemere09:41.8
33BenBryantMaleSeniorElite Cycling09:49.0
34TobiasBunyanMaleVetEastbourne Rovers CC09:49.2
36AlfredBunyanMaleJuvenilePreston Park Youth Cycling Club09:52.0
37MeganAndersonFemaleSeniorYork Cycleworks09:54.7
38HarrisonFayMaleJuniorWelland Valley CC10:01.1
40VikkiFilsellFemaleVetBellaVelo cc10:16.5
41JamesFlintMaleVetBeachy Head CC10:24.2
42KathrynAltyFemaleSeniorBellaVelo cc10:38.3
43BeccaDrakeFemaleSeniorBellaVelo cc10:39.5
44DebbiePercivalFemaleVetKent Velo Girls/Boys10:46.4
45BrianJonesMaleVetHorsham Cycling12:08.2
46CathyWallaceFemaleSeniorBrighton Mitre CC12:28.7
47MariaDavidFemaleVetSerpentine Running Club13:48.7


Mill Hill Women

3LauraSeniorSeniorVelo Club Godalming & Haslemere09:41.8
5MeganAndersonSeniorYork Cycleworks09:54.7
7VikkiFilsellVetBellaVelo cc10:16.5
8KathrynAltySeniorBellaVelo cc10:38.3
9BeccaDrakeSeniorBellaVelo cc10:39.5
10DebbiePercivalVetKent Velo Girls/Boys10:46.4
11CathyWallaceSeniorBrighton Mitre CC12:28.7
12MariaDavidVetSerpentine Running Club13:48.7

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