Last week saw the 2011 installment of the Rollapaluza Urban Hillclimb race. A standing start hillclimb race ascending the famous Swains Lane in Highgate, the events attracted some amazing climbing talent this year, as everyone seemed keen to smash it to the finish line. The climb is an 800m steep little bugger of a climb, rising through Highgate cemetery, resting place of people like Patrick Caulfield and Karl Marx. With gradients of up to 20%, it proved a real legburner as the finish line approached....
© Chris Keller-Jackson via http://crankphoto.co.uk/I managed 11th place in the senior womens category riding for the Rapha Condor Club, with a time of 2 mins 36 , which was a bit lame as I have gone faster than that up Swains previously. However, I failed to warm up and im not really firing on all cylinders currently due to work eating into training time, so I gave it my best, alas coming up a little short this time. It did however feel quite exhilarating to be climbing and having people cheer me on all the way up the hill. Rollapaluza printed every riders name and number in a programme, so lots of people including some excited kids were shouting out each rider by name, giving a nice little feeling of being a famous rider for about a nano second! I also decided to ride my bianchi and not the condor, mainly due to it being a shade over 7kg, and I needed all the help I could get!
© London Cycle Sport via http://www.londoncyclesport.comI saw some truly epic powering up that hill, it seems like all the competitors bought their A-game to the night, and sure enough registration sold out in the blistering time of 4 minutes this year. Iv decided im totes entering again next year to better my time! Claire put in a strong performance for 5th in the ladies category which was smashed by those whippets from Look Mum No Hands team, those girls are F-A-S-T.
Pre-climb stretch, i think my warm up needs to be more comprehensive than this in the future!
Ben powers on up!
Thanks to the guys at Rollapaluza for organizing such a great event. Free to enter, it really was cool to get timing chips etc, and the running of the event was super slick. Bravo!