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Hill climb tales for club’s special night

REIGNING British hill climb champion Andrew Feather was the guest speaker at Stratford Cycling Club’s end of season awards night held at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

He gave a little insight into the fascinating physical challenge of hill climb racing. Often drawing huge, fanatical crowds lining the steep inclines, these short punchy time trials attract all levels of cyclists and winners can be determined by the smallest of margins.

Four-time champion and YouTube star Feather had many stories to recount, from filming on iconic Tour de France climbs with GCN, climbing the height of Everest in a day, to winning this year’s national championship by just 18 seconds.

Alan Ford collects his trophy from Andrew Feather at the awards evening.
Alan Ford collects his trophy from Andrew Feather at the awards evening.

The club’s own accomplishments were celebrated after a season full of time trials, hill climbs, social rides and cyclocross. Most recently the club organised a hugely popular visit to Derby Velodrome to experience the thrill of track cycling.

Along with the season’s retrospective, many of the club’s trophies were awarded to the year’s stars by club chairman Wedge Adams and special guest Andrew Feather.

It was very much a family affair with Philip Marks taking no fewer than four of the club’s time trial awards and his equally talented son, Lewis Marks, taking the youth time trial award.

Dawn Compton was awarded the best placed female time trial rider of the club’s competition series this summer whilst Steve Groves successfully contested the road bike time trial category. This is a category which has recently been recognised nationally, by the governing body, and all time trial events now welcome this more accessible format.

The winner of the club’s own hill climb event over Saintbury Hill was Ben Phyall and, in recognition of the most modern cycling and e-sports trend, the Zwift Trophy for virtual racing was won by Richard Shepard.

The winter sport of cyclocross was next, with the awards going to Emma Bexson and Paul Freeman for the highest number of points in their respective senior races of the West Midlands League.

The most improved rider awards were given to Dawn Compton and Phillip Bromwich. These were judged by the club committee and awarded to riders making the biggest year-on-year improvement.

The final trophy was for Clubman of the Year. This is a discretionary award made by the committee to the member who has made the greatest contribution to the club over the past 12 months and it went to Alan Ford for all his work and dedication to the junior section who will have their own special awards night soon.

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