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Gary takes on Banbury Star CC’s Sun Rising Hill

Gary Ashwell reports on what sounds like a top morning at the Banbury Star CC Hard Riders TT this morning (Sunday 27 June).   That sounds like a tough TT – well done Gary!

“This morning I did the ‘hardride 23mile TT’ hosted by the Banbury Star Riders cycling club. An out and back route starting and finishing at Wroxton. An undulating road but pretty straight, but with some rough road surface sections and including the infamous very steep ‘Sunrising Hill’ of 17% incline of over 1k which we had to go down on the way out then climb on the way back.  Ascending the hill was to put it mildly, very scary with a two hair pin ends,even though I took it steady I was 8th fastest down surprisingly according to the Strava segment, and my foot slipped out of the peddle on the left hand bend which was little panicky 😳.

So the first 15 miles was fairly fast going, for me anyway and I hit 10miles in 26 mins and 15 in 40 mins despite a naughty side wind, so I was well in for my target time of under a hour. A turn at a big roundabout took me back through the village of Ettington where I got slowed down with a bit of traffic which lost me a couple of minutes. Then at 17miles I hit the hill again which I now had to climb. Down into the lowest gear and decided to get my head down and stay seated for the 1k of sheer hell ! Committing myself to standing on the pedals I thought might put me in trouble if I didn’t manage it all the way to the top.

A crowd of people cheering on the bend halfway up was a massive help and I felt for a moment I was riding in the tour de France 😁, but then the legs started to burn and with a lorry right behind me I lost focus for a moment and had to get off 😢. After I decided to take a few secs breather and let the lorry past I walked a bit until I found a suitable spot to climb back on the bike. With the hill now behind me, I knew from on the way out that there would be a nice fast run in for the last 5 miles, so I really went for it averaging between 26 and 27mph to the finish. I was quite pleased with my time despite those few blips.

I’m looking forward to doing it again next year now I know what to expect 😊 I’m still waiting for the official result …the photos are from on the hill 🥴 …footnote to my partner Louise Shearsby: Thanks for coming and supporting me Lou ❤ ….I will forgive you when you said I looked like the oldest there 🤔😂

Full results: https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-results/21369 

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