What it takes to finish 29th at the British National Hill Climb Championships

Obviously created by a bunch of cycling masochists who thought that a ‘normal’ time trial was not hard or lung bursting enough, the series of ‘hill climb’ time trial races held all around Britain from September to the end of October is a lot like another product from that small island… Marmite. In that you are either going to love it or hate it. Either way if you do one you will feel pain.. and ALOT of pain at that.

How Much Pain?

How much pain I hear you ask? Well lets take a look at some numbers:

This hill climb series culminates in the British National Hill Climb Championships, of which the 2016 edition has just been held. One of the competitors, Courtney Blockley-Campton hooked up a GoPro action camera to his bike which not only shows us the view, but also his very impressive power output and heart rate during the short but grueling 2:37 minutes it took him to complete the 0.97km climb on Bank Road in Matlock:

Wow! As you can see there is pretty much only one word to describe this type of event – Ouch!

Whilst only a short climb, it has an average gradient of 11% and maximum 20% and right from the start, Courtney “settles” into a punishing pace with his power never really dropping below 500 watts and his heart rate quickly rising well above 190 beats a minute, peaking at around 198. I say again… Ouch!

Final Position
An excellent effort I think you will agree and good enough for 29th place, just less than 20 seconds behind the winner Adam Kenway of Metaltek-Kuota.

The photo below is from Courtney Blockley-Campton Instagram account and shows him during the climb

29th in the National Hillclimb. That REALLY hurt!

A photo posted by Courtney Blockley-Campton (@courtzbc) on

If you needed any more evidence that this will rally hurt you then take a quick look at the video below of what happens to Courtney (and I am sure many other competitors) after crossing the line… Ouch:

More on the 2016 British National Hill Climb Championships

If this has wet your appetite for pain, then you can take a look at some more action from this years Championships in the video below filmed by Julian Gee:



  • 1st: Adam Kenway (Metaltek Kuota RT) 2.18.2
  • 2nd: Isaac Mundy (Oxford University CT) 2.20.4
  • 3rd: James Lowden (Team ASL360) 2.20.8
  • Kieran Wynne-Cattanach (Rhos-on-Sea CC) 2.23.6
  • Joseph Clark (Envelopemaster Giant Sheffield) 2.23.9
  • Leon Wright (Team PB Performance) 2.24.4
  • Richard Bussell (AeroCoach) 2.25.7
  • James Hayward (Woolwich CC) 2.26.8
  • William Bourne (Handsling Racing Team) 2.27.6
  • Shaun Dolby (Birdwell Wheelers) 2.28.2


  • 1st: Lou Bates (Veloschils Interbike RT) 2.57.1
  • 2nd: Becky Lewis (Wrexham RC) 3.01.5
  • 3rd: Joanne Clay (TORQ Performance) 3.01.8
  • Joscelin Lowden (Lewes Wanderers CC) 3.01.9
  • Fiona Burnie (Bishop Auckland CC) 3.07.1
  • Lynn Hamel (Team Lusso 72 Design.com) 3.09.8
  • Maryka Sennema (PacelineRT) 3.10.9
  • Alice Lethbridge (Starley Racing) 3.11.5
  • Rebecca Goodson (Sheffrec CC) 3.15.4
  • Jessica Roberts (Team Elite/Paul Bethell Electrical) 3.20.8

The Course

Name: Bank Road
Location: Matlock, Derbyshire, England
Distance 0.97km
Average gradient: 11%
Maximum gradient: 20%
Height gain. 110m

On Strava

A full report with more photos can be found here.

The Main Title Photo is of Thomas Mead-Herbert (Watford Velo Sport) – Sorry I am not sure who took it as I found it on social media. If it was you, please drop me a line and I will fully credit you, or take it down if you wish.