National title delight for Clarion’s Ingrid

Ingrid Shepherd
Ingrid Shepherd
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SUNDERLAND Clarion’s Ingrid Shepherd triumphed against the country’s best riders at the National Hill Climb Championships in Stocksbridge.

Shepherd won her age group V45 category.

Around 180 riders tackled Pea Royd Lane, a climb which includes several sections at close to a 20 per cent incline over its 0.7-mile distance.

Shepherd clocked an impressive time of 5min 24.6sec to beat her nearest competitor Sandra MacKay ( by just over a second.

The women’s overall competition was won by defending champion Maryka Sennema (Kingston Wheelers) in 4:35.3.

Houghton CC’s Ray Robinson followed up his impressive showing in the club’s annual Hill Climb Championship by competing at the Nationals,

Ray, who also runs competitively, decided the ideal preparation for the hill climb would be to race in the Sherman Cup 10k team cross country race on the Saturday.

The next day, with heavy winds and no doubt heavy legs, he aimed for a top 20 finish in the Vets race. He pushed off hard straight into a 12 per cent incline for 400 metres before turning onto Pea Royd Lane.

With the incline cranking up, many struggled to keep momentum. Worse was to come though. There was a brief respite of a false summit before the road leapt again to 20 per cent as it turned left onto the home straight.

Every last drop of energy saw Robinson cross the line in 4min 56.5sec – and 17th place in the veterans’ category, slashing a minute and half off his personal best.

Clarion’s Steve Gordon clocked 4:42.1 to finish in 106th place. The men’s competition saw Dan Evans (Team Elite) win with 3:24.2, ahead of Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) and Adam Kenway (Team Zenith).