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Coulson climbs to victory at the Walbury Hill climb

Oxford University ace smashes course record

Phil Cannings

phil.cannings@newburynews.co.uk

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THE Newbury Velo Walbury Hill Climb course record was broken five times on Sunday.
The strong northerly wind favoured a fast day and Matthew Coulson of Oxford University CC made the most of it to clinch victory in a time of 3mins 39.94secs, smashing Richard Gildea’s existing record by 15 seconds.
New British ‘Everesting’ record holder, Max Stedman (Hunt Bike Wheels) was second in 3:45.20 and National Hill Climb champion Ed Laverack, probably riding his last hill climb this season due to Swansea where he lives entering lockdown on Sunday evening, was third with 3:49.170.
The women’s course record, previously held by Joss Lowden (4:46) also tumbled to Bithja Jones (Pankhurst Cycles) in 4:39.75.
Emma Grant of University of Bath CC was second in 4:53.39 and Rebecca Seal (Fareham Wheelers) a close third in 4:53.75.
The event was also the Newbury Velo Hill Climb Club Championships.
In the women’s competition, the most impressive ride was by Mireille Cook, who finished in 5:23.8.
She won the women’s championships and first veteran female overall, as well as taking the 40-49 age category prize.
Second Newbury Velo female was Samantha O’Connell in 6:15.4, followed by 12-year-old Emma Davies, the first rider on the course, riding to a strong third place in 6:29.1
In the men’s Newbury Velo competition, youth won over experience with Nathan Cracknell clocking 4:21.9 to take first male.
Second place went to hill climb novice Graham Stent with a time of 4:44.0 and Tom Higgins took the third spot with 4:53.2.
The event was sponsored by many local companies: Newbury Weekly News, Banjo Cycles, Worx Bikes, PedalOn Cycles, Roc Technologies, The Newbury pub/137 Distillery, Hope and Clay Construction and Francis Construction.
West Berkshire Brewery donated the rider’s bodyweight in beer for the coveted ‘Lantern Rouge’ competition for the slowest rider up the hill – won by Gemma Davies.
The event attracted 137 riders, just short of its previous highest entry of 143, and included a very strong contingent of youth and female riders.

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