A FIELD of 48 hardy cyclists took part in the Cleveland Wheelers Cycling Club’s annual Hill Climb at Clay Bank near Stokesley on Sunday but with a difference.

The usual route from Great Broughton to the top of Clay Bank was partially closed due to roadworks, so the course was switched to the minor road from Ingleby Greenhow up to the top of Clay Bank. Fortunately, the road had been recently resurfaced and was in perfect condition for the event, especially as it was virtually traffic free. It was also different in that there is a steady climb from the start before a vicious final steep 50 yards to the summit and finish line, testing the most able of riders.

First rider off was 74-year old John Kettle from the Cleveland Wheelers who rode to the top in 6 minutes 30 seconds to win his section, but he was followed by John Sample of Team Profound SB, who set a fast time of 3 minutes 56 seconds, which led for the next 12 riders, before being equalled by Michael Harcourt from Adept Cycling. 17-year old Joe Wilson from Ribble Procycling then set a rapid time of 3-36 until Peter Hook from VC York, the eventual winner, rode in five minutes later with a time of 3-22. Last man off was 18-year old Ross Turner from Cleveland Wheelers, who was tipped to win but finished 2 seconds down on Peter Hook.

In the Ladies section Hannah Farran of Boompods EDCO NRG was the winner in 4-32, followed by Gemma Pearson from Cleveland Wheelers, 20 seconds down on her time. The over-40s veterans section was won by Brian Oakley of Whitby Wheelers in 4-04, with Paul Thirling of Hartlepool CC second in 4-12. Mark Snape of Fietsen Tempo won the over-50s in 3-59 and Hilton Armstrong, also from Fietsen Tempo, won the over-60s in 4-37.

In the juvenile section 15-year old Ben White of Stockton Wheelers won in 4-34, and in the junior section the winner was Ross Turner (3-24).

The new route was considered successful and consideration is now being given to run the event in future on that course.