Mow Cop hill climb 2014

Sunday was the Lyme Racing Club hill climb up Mow Cop. Mow Cop makes a spectacular hill climb as there is a real sting in the tail with a 25% uphill finish. It makes it quite a challenging mental as well as physical test. After coming out of the lower section, you can see the hill looming up above. Deciding how much to leave for the final section is a difficult decision. I fancied going down a gear just before the start of the steep section, but like last year, I was already in the lowest gear. Probably just as well, as the only thing to do is grin and bear it and hope you keep the momentum up that 23% slope. In hill climbs it’s always a difficult balancing act to get the right pacing, but Mow Cop presents a particular challenge.

Great view looking down. You get a different kind of experience cycling up it.


Mow Cop Hill climb stats J9/14

  • Distance 0.9 miles
  • Average Gradient: 11.7%
  • Maximum gradient: 23%
  • Elevation gain: 170 metres (560 feet)

Last year, there was a persistent drizzle. This year, the weather was much better, though the hill was still wet, providing some minor wheel slip on the steepest sections. On the hill, especially at the top, there were quite a few spectators cheering the riders on. It was good to have a crowd to cheer you on.

In the men, Joe Clarke   (Team Zenith, who is having an excellent season, finished in 3rd with 4.28. Next came M.Clinton ( who shaved o.1 seconds off the old course record from 2013 with a 4.22. The course record lasted just one minute 58 seconds; I managed to squeeze in front  with a 4.20, to make another close finish. Like so often, another hill climb decided by a couple of seconds. In the ladies, Nicola Soden ( was first and Helen Eborall (Born to Bike – Bridgtown Cycles) second.

My race

My memories from last year are quite vague. It’s interesting how you can quickly forget about what it was like to ride a hill climb. When you’re racing, you’re on the limit, but when you reflect afterwards you always think about how you could have gone faster. In particular I had the idea next time not to be intimidated by the steep section but go harder all the way into the last section. This is all wonderful in theory, a bit different in practise.

My principle memories from last year were the rain, the steepness and getting to the start line and being a little embarrassed at my grey fuzzy socks I was wearing (last pair in draw). This year I had matching racing socks, and felt quite the part. I always worry about forgetting things – so throw three of everything into the car and hope for the best. It means I have bags and bags of stuff and can struggle to find what I actually need. My car pre-race is best described as ‘disorganised chaos’ – Lots of single items, few matching pairs. Apart from warming up in odd leg-warmers (one black, one white) it was quite a calm and enjoyable warm up. I arrived in enough time to go and watch some of the early starters suffering up the hill. It’s quite fun watching a hill climb, until you remember you have to do it yourself.


The race went fairly well. A bit of wheel slip on the first section, but nothing serious; then it was trying to keep it going and hope you have enough left in the tank to make a big effort up the hardest part of the course. Just as you’ve got over the 25%, there’s 30-40 metres of 5%, but it feels like the hardest 5% you’ll ever do. It was a relief to finish.

Will Corden and Lyme Racing put on another great event. A record turn out of 70+ riders. A nice innovation for the event was to see course records for women, veterans and juniors, a good idea for other events. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember what they were. But, will post results later.

Someone took a good video of the last steep section at Flickr



Mow Cop Folly. At the top of the hill.


An early starter


Half way up.



click to enlarge


Fastest Overall

1st: Course Record – Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team) 4:20.4

2nd:  Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) 4:22.8

3rd:  Joe Clark (Team Zenith – Buzz Cycles) 4:28.9

4th: Stu Marshall (Team Zenith – Buzz Cycles) 4:44.2

5th=:  Matt Cartlidge (Stone Wheelers) 4:49.5

5th = Chris Dyke (Manchester Wheelers) s.t.


Fastest Ladies:

1st Nicola Soden ( 6:02.7

2nd:  Helen Eborall (Born to Bike – Bridgtown Cycles) 6:10.4

3rd: Fiona Prew (Stone Wheelers) 6:45.1


Fastest Veterans:

1st Tony Cope (Leek CC) 5:22.1

2nd: Chris Wilcox (Lyme Racing Club) 5:43.1

3rd: Neil Skellern (Team Swift) 5:43.6


Fastest Junior

1st:  Daniel Minor (Lyme Racing Club) 5:00.1

2nd: Alex Copp (Lyme Racing Club) 5:13.8

3rd:  William Kershaw (Macclesfield Wheelers) 5:20.4


Fastest Juvenile

1st:  Joe Swinnerton (Lyme Racing Club) 5:31.7

2nd:  Caleb Hill (Lyme Racing Club 6:35.8

3rd:  Alex Coates (Lyme Racing Club) 6:42.0


Fastest Team of 3

Lyme Racing Club – Will Corden, Daniel Minor & Alex Copp

2014 Mow Cop Results

1Tejvan PettingerSri Chinmoy Cycling TeamM04:20.4
2Matt ClintonMike Vaughan CyclesM04:22.8
3Joseph ClarkTeam Zenith – Buzz CyclesM04:28.9
4Stuart MarshallTeam Zenith – Buzz CyclesM04:44.2
5=Chris DykeManchester Wheelers ClubM04:49.5
5=Matthew CartlidgeStone Wheelers CCM04:49.5
7Jack O’NeillMike Vaughan CyclesM04:54.3
8Will CordenLyme Racing ClubM04:55.0
9Daniel MinorLyme Racing ClubJun05:00.1
10Mark TickleLeigh Premier RCM05:05.5
11Chris BainesBuxton CCM05:11.6
12Alex CoppLyme Racing ClubJun05:13.8
13Ben NorburyCongleton CCM05:17.5
14William KershawMacclesfield WheelersJun05:20.4
15Tony CopeLeek Cyclists ClubV05:22.1
16Mark NultyManchester Wheelers ClubM05:23.8
17=Thomas HanlonHarry Middleton Cycling ClubM05:29.0
17=Wesley InskipNewcastle Racing Club 2001M05:29.0
19Joe SwinnertonLyme Racing ClubJuv05:31.7
20Chris BaileySwinnerton CyclesM05:35.7
21Chris WilcoxLyme Racing ClubV05:43.1
22Neil SkellernTeam SwiftV05:43.6
23Joshua WilkesLyme Racing ClubM05:45.0
24Keith MinorLyme Racing ClubV05:46.6
25Nick DeckerCongleton CCM05:46.7
26Olda NovakUttoxeter CCM05:46.9
27Bernard SwinnertonLyme Racing ClubV05:47.6
28Simon HodgkinsonGoldtecM05:48.2
29Rob SuttonLiverpool Century RCM05:50.4
30Oliver AtkinHeadquarters ClubM05:51.9
31Joseph EarleyLiverpool Century RCM05:52.1
32Darren PerryLyme Racing ClubV05:54.1
33Shaun BrassingtonUttoxeter CCM05:55.8
34Miss Nicola
35Kris BowditchLyme Racing ClubM06:04.8
36Dr. Helen EborallBorn to Bike – Bridgtown CyclesL06:10.4
37Phil BirchHeadquarters ClubV06:13.9
38Ben JoughinNewcastle Racing Club 2001M06:15.3
39James BrayfordLyme Racing ClubJun06:17.3


40Robert RhodesNewcastle Racing Club 2001M06:19.0
41Mark AllenCongleton CCJun06:22.4
42John HinesLyme Racing ClubV06:23.9
43Matthew OxbyLyme Racing ClubM06:32.9
44Caleb HillLyme Racing ClubJuv06:35.8
45Stephen HallLyme Racing ClubV06:38.0
46Eliot PowellLyme Racing ClubM06:41.0
47Alex CoatesLyme Racing ClubJuv06:42.0
48Miss Fiona PrewStone Wheelers CCL06:45.1
49Miss Sandra
50Miss Iona
51Miss Claire MuntonVegetarian C & ACL06:50.0
52Mrs. Jayne DickensStone Wheelers CCL06:51.1
53Andrew PrinceCrewe Clarion WhsV07:01.7
54David PrinceCrewe Clarion WhsV07:15.9
55Aidan MorleyLyme Racing ClubJuv07:23.0
56Richard HuntLyme Racing ClubV07:31.9
57Farley BarberLyme Racing ClubJuv07:38.8
58Joseph LangfordCongleton CCJun07:41.1
59Alexander PowellLyme Racing ClubM08:00.2
60Ethan DakinLyme Racing ClubJuv08:41.3
61Brian PowellLyme Racing ClubV09:44.3
 Richard BowditchLyme Racing ClubVDNF (Mech)
 John EdmondsonManchester Wheelers ClubMDNS (Apol)
 Will PeggStone Wheelers CCVDNS (Apol)
 Marc HeustonLiverpool Century RCMDNS (Apol)
 Oliver RadfordLyme Racing ClubMDNS (Apol)
 Julian WilkieCyclesport InternationalMDNS (Apol)
 Dave StarkeyMammoth Lifestyle RTMDNS (Apol)
 Max SpeddingPH-MAS – SCUJunDNS (Apol)
 Dave GriffithsParamount CRTMDNS (Apol)
 Caspar NelsonCyclesport InternationalMDNS
 Elliot Dason-BarberOxonian CCVDNS
 Simon JohnsonChester RCVDNS
 James DuncalfLyme Racing ClubJuvDNS
 Jonathan BainesBuxton CCMDNS


Photos are available from Chris Lees, see

Also, flickr set:

3 thoughts on “Mow Cop hill climb 2014”

  1. I made a short detour heading South on the M6 Junction 17 to climb this gem it’s only a short drive from the motorway and parking up in a quite country lane near Rode Hall country house posed no problems at all.This gave me a few miles to warm up and to see a little of the local countryside. Mow Cop is a really tough climb pretty much of the whole hill is visible before you and the 25% section looms towards the end section, so keep some energy in reserve.I launched an ‘attack’ to gain the momentum needed to get this part over and done with, it seemed to work. The view from the top is quite breathtaking.
    Well done Tejvan super times.


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