The hill climb season is a uniquely British affair. Running for approximately six weeks, from mid-September to late-October, riders pit themselves against some of the toughest climbs in Britain in a series of uphill time trials.
Imagine a regular time trial ratcheted up to 11 – a short, sharp test of rider against the road and Britain’s challenging topography – and it all culminates in the National Hill Climb Championships.
There’s only one way to ride a hill climb – hard, fast and with searing pain in your legs and lungs. But how hard, how fast and how painful? This on-board video from last week’s nationals, featuring Courtney Blockley-Campton, provides a unique insight.
Watch Blockley-Campton as he takes on Bank Road in Matlock, a 0.6-mile climb with an leg-stinging average gradient of 11 per cent and maximum gradient of 20 per cent.
Blockley-Campton powers away from the start line and quickly gets his cadence up to around 90 rpm – with his power sitting consistently north of 500 watts throughout the 2:37.5-minute effort. The Lutterworth Cycle Centre rider’s heart rate peaks at an eye-watering 198 beats per minute.
Blockley-Campton’s ride, cheered on by hundreds of supporters lining the road, was enough to earn him 29th place on the day, finishing just under 20 seconds behind Metaltek-Kuota rider Adam Kenway.
And what does the aftermath of an all-out hill climb effort look like? Here’s Blockley-Campton as he needs help from his bike and to the side of the road, gaspsing for air.
Hillclimb aftermath! Wrecked me. pic.twitter.com/DtPc9AiuAu
— Courtney Blockley (@CourtzBC) October 30, 2016