My first hill climb event – KH5 Burton Dassett

Martin Norris is a second claim club member (first claim Warwick Lanterne Rouge CC), who’s been joining us for our weekly TTs. One event was our annual Durran Cup hill climb, which Martin now recounts.


Saturday 5th September was the annual hill climb event for Banbury Star CC. The course was the beautiful climb up to Burton Dassett. This climb has featured in The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour, so it has been ridden by many great world class riders.

The weather was kind and it was a pleasant morning. I’d expected a full field, but there were only 22 competitors – maybe the club’s Open TT the following day had prevented other local riders entering.

I signed in and then had a pleasant warm up ride through Avon Dassett and back along the Banbury Road. I felt in pretty good nick.

The start was in the small passing point just after the cattle grid at the base of the hill. The first few riders had done their climb as I got to the start and lined up behind numbers 9 and 10. Rider 10 was Naomi De Pennington, who had the QOM on this segment ahead of riders like Elisa Longo Borghini, Lizzy Banks, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Dani Rowe, who all sit in the Women’s top 10.

The starter counted down 3, 2, 1 and I was off. On a short climb like this, clipping in quickly is vital and I did it moderately well. The climb starts off okay, then ramps up a bit, eases up for a stretch after half way and then finishes with a bit of a ramp to the finish line which is just before the left turn into the parking area.

There were a few spectators and hearing their shouts (“up, up, up”) gave me motivation to push hard. I eased down maybe a touch more than I should have as the gradient backed off a bit, but maybe that helped me finish fairly strongly.

I stopped the clock at 1:38, which equalled my previous best time up there, but was my best time from a standing start. Looks like I did my best ever power for that time as well, which is all I could ask for really and this time beats Andre Greipel and Alex Dowsett, although maybe they weren’t trying very hard.

I came a lowly 17th of the 22 entrants, but it was a quality performance by many of them. The winner, Tobi Ng, clocked a 1:02, which is only 2 seconds slower than the KOM, shared by one Tiesj Benoot and Simon Clarke, and was from a standing start rather than a rampaging peloton.

Winner Tobi Ng set new club record

Another enjoyable event under my belt. The pictures shown are thanks to Paul Dean and Mark Davis, who take great shots at these events and share them out free of charge.

Adding to the spectacle, a vintage car rally was going on at the same time and some of the cars, along with a good overview of the day, can be seen on this video that Mark also put together HERE


Martin incidentally has his own blog page  which contains other blogs covering BSCC events he has attended. His latest blog, Coaching and “The 60 Challenge”, is an interesting read.