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

1Tejvan PettingerSri Chinmoy CT00:51:25
2Michael BroadwithArctic Tacx RT00:51:31
3Danny AxfordArctic Tacx RT00:53:21
4Richard WoodArbis-Colbert Cycles RT00:53:52
5Luke ClarkeTMG Horizon CT00:54:09
6Tim BayleyArctic Tacx RT00:54:17
7Ross ClarkeTMG Horizon CT00:54:59
8Jason GreenBedfordshire Road CC00:55:16
9Tim DaviesIcknield RC00:55:19
10Harry PaineTeam Corley Cycles00:56:40
11Paul CatonTMG Horizon CT00:57:16
12Matthew BondKenton RC00:57:19
13Jon FriendBedfordshire Road CC00:57:24
14Ian TurnerNorth Road CC00:57:53
15John LaceyHemel Hempstead CC00:57:54
16James FoxCC Luton00:58:00
17Ben NicholHigh Wycombe CC00:58:07
18Mike WraggArbis-Colbert Cycles RT00:58:09
19Geoff ReynoldsHemel Hempstead CC00:58:24
20Grant OrsbornIcknield RC00:58:30
21Mark EllisTeam Milton Keynes00:59:34
22Tom DeprezW Suffolk Whs & Tri Club00:59:41
23Tim NewmanBerkhamstead CC01:00:02
24Roland KempBossard Whs01:00:10
25Gavin RumblesCC Luton01:00:33
26Joshua CurtisBerkhamstead CC01:01:42
27Abid HussainIcknield RC01:01:46
28MIchael KazerBerkhamstead CC01:01:55
29David AllanLBRCC01:02:12
30Andrew MartinLBRCC01:02:24
31Daniel TurneyBerkhamstead CC01:02:25
31Richard CarrHemel Hempstead CC01:02:25
33Alastair InsallTri London01:03:11
34Andrew BradleyHemel Hempstead CC01:03:46
35Ross PoultonIcknield RC01:03:47
36Nick ClarkeBerkhamstead CC01:04:06
37Jody Conibear (W)Hemel Hempstead CC01:04:16
38Spencer WilsonBerkhamstead CC01:04:43
39James GommHitchin Nomads CC01:05:48
40Tom BissendenHemel Hempstead CC01:06:15
41Annabel Sill (W)Team Jadan01:06:30
42Gavin MooreTeam Velovelocity.co.uk01:07:04
43Jeremy CurtisBerkhamstead CC01:07:15
44Anthony NewlandBossard Whs01:07:29
45Nick HickmanHitchin Nomads CC01:08:12
46Glenn DossettWelwyn Whs01:08:31
47Trevor WatsonBossard Whs01:10:36
48Paul ThomsonHemel Hempstead CC01:11:55
49Simon PyburnBerkhamstead CC01:12:18
50Richard MouleBossard Whs01:13:13
51Lizzie Insall (W)Tri London01:14:16
52Andrew PorterWelwyn Whs01:16:47
53John HassallBossard Whs01:17:06
54Paul DyettBossard Whs01:17:32
Peter HarridgeIcknield RCDNF

1 thought on “Hemel Hempstead CC Open Hilly”

  1. 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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