Hafren CC Pentre’r Beirdd Hill Climb

The second course record of the 2017 Coaching Revolutions Hill Climb Series saw Dan Watts finally get the better of Kirk Vickers in Round 5, Hafren CC’s Pentre’r Beirdd climb – with the Top 5 seeing some red hot competition. Watts was determined not to play second fiddle on the tricky 0.9 mile climb which throws a few changes of gradient at competitors to break up their rhythm, with the first five riders covered but just five seconds.

Watts was delighted to lower the benchmark to 3 minutes 46 seconds, commenting: “I was pleased to finally score a win, and the Course Record was an added bonus, although could of gone to anyone of the five of us with some very close racing good to see. Another top event in the Series put on by Hafren“.

Watts and Vickers were split by a solitary second, with the pair locked in a fabulous battle for supremacy. The Rhino Velo rider pushed team mate David Scott into third, again by a second and was complementary about both the level of competition on show and the event: “It was a nice climb, though I went to easy in the first half and had too much in the tank at the end. A top ride from Dan“. Meanwhile Scott, who has been third in all four events he has entered added: “The climb suited me much better, though it couldn’t have been any closer in the Top 5 so I’m  happy with 3rd again“!

One rider making a name for himself in Tyler Brennan, putting in a fabulous effort of 3:49 to push out Hafren CC team mate Chris Roberts, the event winner in 2016, out by a second. This took victory in the Junior Championship, with Brennan not only beating Junior Series leader Devon Round by five seconds, it was good enough for 4th spot overall. Brennan has won the Junior category in all three events he has ridden, taking a maximum 60 points in the process – though he revealed astonishingly that this was the first time he had ridden his own club’s event!

The 18 year-old commented: “I was quite pleased with the win. I’d never done the course before, but I favour that one better than the rest. It does change gradient, but as long as you hit it hard at the bottom you can make it up in the big ring – or at least I did! It flattened off a little bit towards the top and that’s where I really pushed on“. Brennan also elevated himself to 5th spot in the Overall Championship as a result of this fine ride.

If Brennan hadn’t ridden his home course before Neil Coles made sure he knew what was in prospect on a scoping out ride from Oswestry. That proved important in his taking victory in the Veterans Championship by two seconds from Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ Andy Collins with a top 4:40. This moved the Oswestry Paragon rider to the head of the table, with Mike Holwill also taking advantage of Ian Coupland’s absence to move into joint second spot.

Coles stated: “I had practiced the climb last month, but never raced it. My plan was to ride the approach and finish in the big chain ring, but that changed when the chain kept dropping on my warm up starts, so instead I had a spinning start on the small ring. This felt too leisurely, but it soon caught up with me at the steepest part of the climb. As it turned into the final drag I changed plan again and settled into a small ring, high cadence ‘Froome-style’ spin, but burned out for the final sprint and just suffered to cross the line. I’m happy with my 4:40 baseline“.

If Coles had had to reconnoitre the course that wasn’t the case for Emma Serjeant, who put home advantage to good use to beat 14 year-old Mid Shropshire Wheeler Lucy Hart by three seconds with a good ride of 5:20. The extra two points proved vital to split Serjeant and Hart, who had shared second place in the Women’s standings prior to this event, with the Hafren CC rider edging four points closer to Women’s Series leader Jenny York, who ended the evening on 6:05. Serjeant commented: “My local climb – and my favourite! My legs were screaming coming out of the last corner, but I had to keep pushing on to the finish line“.


Pos’n Name Club Cat Time Points No.
1 Dan Watts SCCA Private Member S 3:46 20 18
2 Kirk Vickers Rhino Velo RT S 3:47 18 22
3 David Scott Rhino Velo RT S 3:48 16 5
4 Tyler Brennan Hafren CC J 3:49 14 15
5 Chris Roberts Hafren CC S 3:50 12 3
6 Devon Round Rhino Velo RT J 3:54 10 26
7 Matty Redworth Mid Shropshire Wheelers J 4:11 8 21
8 Ashley Banks Hafren CC S 4:17 6 29
9 Sam Holwill Hafren CC J 4:27 4 12
10 Alex Loven Fibrax Wrexham RC S 4:32 27
11 Ryan Griffiths Hafren CC S 4:37 2 25
12 Neil Coles Oswestry Paragon CC V 4:40 2 8
13 Andy Collins Mid Shropshire Wheelers V 4:42 2 16
13 Conrad Taylor Hafren CC S 4:42 2 24
15 Tom Richardson Oswestry Paragon CC S 4:45 2 6
16 Paul Williams Oswestry Paragon CC V 4:48 2 1
17 Justin Walsh Oswestry Paragon CC S 4:50 2 4
17 Mike Holwill Hafren CC V 4:50 2 11
19 Darrell Walsh Oswestry Paragon CC V 5:16 2 19
20 Emma Serjeant Hafren CC L 5:20 2 9
21 Lucy Hart Mid Shropshire Wheelers LJ 5:23 2 17
22 Des Pugh Hafren CC V 5:27 2 2
23 Glyn Jones Hafren CC V 5:30 2 20
24 Fred Meredith Hafren CC J 5:35 2 13
25 Andrew Palin Hafren CC V 5:48 2 28
26 Jenny York Mid Shropshire Wheelers LV 6:05 2 7
27 Louise Downward Hafren CC L 6:25 2 14
28 Steve Taylor Hafren CC V 6:36 2 23
29 Ron Perks Wrekinsport CC V 8:48 2 10