Ace Taylor is king of the Hill

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IAN Taylor raced to victory in the Sunderland Clarion Hill Climb.

The race returned to the longer climb of Silverhills, rather than its shorter Team Valley neighbour Lady Park.

Taylor riding for ciclocostablanca.com took the victory from a field of 28 other starters, and in doing so set a new course record of seven minutes 16.5 seconds.

Nick Spencer (Gosforth RC) finished second, three-tenths of a second behind.

Hetton Hawks’ Luke Mullen maintained his impressive form to finish third, and be the first junior home, in 7:19.1.

With the competition based on one rider one prize, fourth-placed Tim Wilcock (Tyneside Vagabonds) took the best junior prize, despite finishing behind Mullen.

Jon Bayley (Gosforth RC) came in fifth, while Karl Denton (Newcastle Cheviot CC/OCC) produced the best veteran time.

The competition for the Peter Foster Memorial Trophy, awarded to the best Sunderland Clarion rider, went to first-time entrant Craig Stephenson, continuing his great string of results.

Stephenson finished 10th overall, with a time of 8:20.3, almost four seconds ahead of Neil Wallbank, who was second Clarion rider home in 8:24.0. Steve Gordon was the third Clarion man in 8:31.7.

Local riders will now head to the Stang, in North Yorkshire, for the National Hill Climb on Sunday, hoping that Silverhills was suitable preparation.

This year’s climb was the last to be organised by Ian Taylor and his family, and Clarion would like to express their thanks for the efforts they have gone to over the years.

Results: 1st Ian Taylor (ciclocostablanca.com) 7mins 16.5sec (new course record), 2nd Nick Spencer (Gosforth RC) 7.16.8, 3rd Luke Mullen (J) Hetton Hawks) 7.19.1, 4th Tim Wilcock (J) Tyneside Vagabonds) 7.43.1, 5th Jon Bayley (Gosforth RC) 7.43.4, 6th Karl Denton (V) Newcastle Cheviot CC) 7.44.1, 7th Robert Shields (GS Metro) 7.52.0, 8th Ben Lane (V) GS Metro) 7.54.9, 9th Chris Burns (Ferryhill Wheelers) 8.15.9, 10th Craig Stephenson (Sunderland Clarion CC) 8.20.3, 11th Paul Hague (V) Gosforth RC) 8.22.8, 12th Neil Wallbank (Sunderland Clarion CC) 8.24.0, 13th Richard Lilleker (Cleveland Wheelers) 8.29.8, 14th Steve Gordon (V) Sunderland Clarion) CC 8.31.7, 15th Chris Barnard (Sunderland Clarion) CC 8.35.7, 16th Joe Mann (J) Derwentside CC) 8.39.2, 17th Angela Hibbs (L) Tyneside Vagabonds) 8.42.0, 18th Carl Mustill (V) Ferryhill Wheelers) 8.44.0, 19th Kris Adlington (Sunderland Clarion CC) 8.53.0, 20th Craig Berry (Cestria Cycles RT) 9.06.7, 21st Tom Guy (V) Sunderland Clarion CC) 9.26.0, 22nd Andrew Ayre (V) Sunderland Clarion CC) 9.26.8, 23rd Ingrid Shepherd (L) Sunderland Clarion CC) 9.32.9, 24th Norman Grotz (Sunderland Clarion CC) 10.22.1, 25th Nick Jobson (V) Cestria CC) 10.24.1, 26th Mark Tully (Sunderland Clarion CC) 10.50.3, 27th Steve Kerr (V) Sunderland Clarion CC) 11 mins 11.2, 28th Oliver Dollimore (J) Ryton Triathlon Club) 11.38.9, 29th Allan Smith (V) Sunderland Clarion CC) 11.46.6.