Banbury Star CC’s annual hill climb for the Durran Cup may be a short event with a distance of only 700 metres but it is still, depending on your ability, between one and two minutes of hard work and pain.
The hill up to Burton Dassett is the venue and a climb the likes of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will tackle in next month’s Tour of Britain.
The outright record for the climb was set last year by local pro-rider Will Fox at just 59 seconds, with the club record standing at 1.04. A fresh evening breeze blowing up the hill was welcomed by the 25 competing riders, which included representation from six neighbouring clubs.
Youth came out on top on the night with junior club member Luke Sherlock winning the cup with a time of 1.06, just two seconds off the club record.
In second was the impressive 16-year-old Harry Kirby on 1.09. Adam Thorpe was a further two seconds behind in third, while in fourth place Sam Harding tried something different by riding a fixed-wheel bike.
For an event that does not normally attract women riders, it was good to see six turn up and produce some close times. That was clearly illustrated by the joint fastest time of 1.38 set by both Naomi de Pennington and Kelly Parker.
Sam Harding and David McCann recorded 1.12, Tobi Ng and Mark Patton timed 1.14, Simon Bull 1.16, Graham Martin 1.18 and Darren Alexander 1.21.
Thomas and Froome will tackle Burton Dassett Hill next week.
The two Tour de France winners will be riding up Burton Dassett Hill and Edgehill in next month’s Tour of Britain.
This year’s winner in France, Thomas, and four-time champion Froome will be representing Team Sky in the race, which comes through Banburyshire on Wednesday, September 5.