Final instalment – Francis and James do hill climbs

Here is the final instalment of Francis Schofield’s race reports covering the autumn hill climbs, many thanks must go to Francis for both competing and writing these informative, colourful and engaging reports.


The final Hill Climb of the season- Ditchling Beacon.

For James and I, the final Hill Climb of the season that we planned for was that of the infamous Ditchling Beacon, arguably the most reputable climb in East Sussex.It has been used in the Tour de France, the Tour of Britain and annually during the London to Brighton cycle ride- the last push before reaching the South Coast.

Thankfully, after my previous posts and vouches for more PPYCC riders to get involved, 6 Preston Park riders ended up doing the event, including James, Adam, Georgina and I as Junior riders as well as Jacob and Bill in the juvenile category; a pretty good group of riders.

Bill was first off the block at 8 in the morning with Jacob just behind him. They both did really well for Juvenile category, clocking in times of 5:44 for Bill and 5:49 for Jacob, which put them in the top 40 of the field of 99 riders- very impressive for the youngest two!

Then James, me and Adam set off (in that order) along with another selection of Junior riders, with james first at 8:05. All of us did well, yet especially Adam who made the climb seem flat with an insane time of 4:44, coming 4th overall, a mere 14 seconds behind the winner Bill Bell, who is one of the best hill climbers in the country.

I followed with a time of 4:58 which I aimed for (sub. 5) and James just a bit off with a time of 5:08. All of us were still in the top 22% of the field, which was full of very reputable riders. Adam won the prize for 1st Junior but James and I missed out on the podium, even though our times were pretty good. Nevertheless, we received a Hunt Bike Wheels cap for free (which helped add to our massive collections of them!) and we got some tea and cake too.

We didn’t manage to see Georgina set off as we had to go, so I am unaware of her time, yet every member who turned up helped to promote the club and the event. I believe that we would’ve also won the team prize HAD THERE BEEN ONE (thanks Sussex Nomads), which goes to show what a good a bunch of riders were present from the club. Adam then also competed in the CX race at Preston Park, which was a really well organised and well promoted event.

I would definitely recommend having a go at doing some hill climbs next year, whether you’re good uphill or not, whether you’re young or old but especially if you want to push yourself and, the main reason, indulge in tea and cake. Thanks for reading!


The Coaching staff at PPYCC have checked the results and it is the case that if there had been a team prize, fastest 3 riders, then PPYCC would have won, beating local adult clubs Brighton Mitre, Brighton Excelsior, promoters Sussex Nomads, URDT and others. A big well done to our 6 riders who’s results you can see below.