Blog by Jim Henderson. Originally posted on website.lineone.net/~jim.henderson/cycling/hc/ditchling.html
Sunday 29th October
Promoted by Catford Cycling Club on Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex
Catford CC (who lay claim to having invented the discipline) put on a great event to celebrate their hundredth year of hill climbing and the RTTC’s 50th National Championship. To commemorate the anniversary the medallists were given antique Catford medals as well as the RTTC ones. Ditchling Beacon was closed to traffic for the race and it is thought that the crowd at the top of the climb was as big as the crowd that came to see the Tour de France race up it the previous year when it came to England.
National Hill Climb Course 1995 – Ditchling Beacon The course was quite short and not very steep, with plenty of bends so you couldn’t see too far up the hill ahead of you. This made the racing very straightforward and attracted some of the top names in road racing as well as the usual specialist riders. The then National Road Champion Simon Bray rode, as did his predecessor Rob Harris.
I came to my first National Hill Climb with high hopes having won the British Universities hill climb championship the previous week on the Nick O’Pendle in Lancashire. The preparation could have been better – I hadn’t seen the course before the day of the event and rode on a standard 531-framed road bike – but I judged my ride well and finished strongly to place 15th, which I was very pleased with. I was pleased with my first full season of racing, having got my second category road racing licence and gone under the hour for 25 miles.
The main contest was between reigning champion Jeff Wright and 1993 champion Stuart Dangerfield, which ended with a decisive victory for Dangerfield of exactly ten seconds. It was not lost on me that all the top finishers rode fixed wheel machines and I went away resolving to get one myself for the next season.
|1||110||Stuart Dangerfield||Leo R.C.||3-45.2|
|2||120||Jeff Wright||North East R.T.||3-54.2|
|3||95||Chris Newton||North Wirral Velo||4-02.6|
|4||70||Chris Myhill||Chesterfield Coureurs||4-09.2|
|5||100||Rob Harris||Optimum Performance R.T.||4-12.6|
|6||86||Brian Green||Oldham Century C.C.||4-12.9|
|7||105||Simon Bray||Team Energy||4-16.2|
|8||40||Richard Taylor||V.C. Venta||4-17.8|
|9||111||Tim Lawn||Kingston Wheelers||4-17.9|
|10||56||Stuart Green||Oldham Century C.C.||4-19.1|
|15||103||Jim Henderson||Oxford University C.C.||4-25.3|
|Team:||North Wirral Velo 13-06.3; Newton, Paul Manning (4-27.7), Julian Ramsbottom (4-36.0)|
|Course:||START immediately after Underhill Road (at field gateway from memory) and FINISH after entrance to car park on right at top of hill|
|Distance 1500 metres|
|Height gain 137 metres|
|Winner average power 487 W|