National Hill Climb: The Winning Margin

On Sunday, the weird world of Hill Climbing got together to launch themselves up the Old Shoe in Wales. We were there watching, with Ben (the myWindsock big boss) propping up the famed orange banner on the climb. The headlines were that Andrew Feather took first place in the men’s race in a time of 5:29.5, the women’s race was won by Illi Gardner in 6:46.6. 

The men’s race – headline statistics

In a closely fought men’s race, the top 15 were all separated by about 45s…

1 Andrew Feather, Hunt 05:29.5 Senior

2 Tom Bell High North Performance 05:31.9 Senior

3 Richard Bussell AeroCoach 05:47.8 Senior

4 Patrick Clark Team Lifting Gear Products 05:52.9 Senior

5 Ed Laverack Backpedal 05:53.3 Senior

6 Cameron Biddle Bikestrong-KTM 05:55.7 Senior

7 Kieran Wynne-Cattanach Team Lifting Gear Products 06:01.3 Senior

8 Will Lowden WattShop 06:04.8 Espoir

9 Leon Wright Race Hub 06:07.8 Vet

10 Giles Drake Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli 06:08.6 Senior

11 Andy Cunningham Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli 06:10.3 Senior

12 Harry MacFarlane GFTL 06:10.8 Senior

13 Gabe Dellar Southampton University Road Cycling Club (SURC) 06:11.6 Espoir

14 Jude Taylor Team PB Performance 06:12.4 Senior

15 Archie Cross Bristol Road Club 06:14.9 Senior

The winning margin was tiny too – Andrew Feather just about beat Tom Bell with a narrow gap of 2.36s. To overcome this gap, any of the following would have done the trick assuming Tom is 63kg riding at 400W…

  • Tom to push 3.5 extra watts
  • Tom’s system weight to be 500g lighter 
  • A reduction in Tom’s cda by 0.035 

Cycling is a sport of narrow margins and a small reduction in performance can be the difference between a national championship and second place, as we saw here. With small margins like this, top athletes place a premium on the certainty provided by myWindsock – which you can find more on here

The women’s race – headline statistics 

The women’s race was a more open affair with bigger gaps being seen across the top 15…

1 Illi Gardner Wahoo Endurance Zone p/b Le Col 06:46.5 Senior

2 Mary Wilkinson Team Boompods 07:09.8 Vet

3 Bithja Jones Pankhurst Cycles 07:11.0 Vet

4 Frances Owen Wahoo Endurance Zone p/b Le Col 07:22.6 Senior

5 Alex Morrice Team LDN 07:43.7 Espoir

6 Abi Plowman Kendal Cycle Club 07:45.5 Senior

7 Rebecca Richardson Team Brother UK 07:51.1 Senior

8 Sara Willhoit Paramount CRT 07:56.8 Senior

9 Lucy Harris Team Boompods 07:57.9 Senior

10 Lucy Lee Team LDN 08:00.2 Senior

11 Joanna Blackburn High North Performance 08:00.9 Senior

12 Natalie Stevenson Glasgow Ivy CC 08:03.2 Senior

13 Madeleine Heywood FTP ( Fulfil The Potential ) Race Team 08:08.5 Senior

14 Lizi Brooke Wahoo Endurance Zone p/b Le Col 08:16.6 Senior

15 Alison Dockney Macclesfield Wheelers 08:16.8 Senior

Illi Gardner was on a stormer, putting a whopping 23.3s into Mary Wilkinson in second. Illi Gardner maintained a VAM (climbing rate) of 1736m/hr for her effort. This is around the climbing rate that Tadej Pogačar would hold on a medium length climb at the end of a stage – Illi has put in a fully nuclear performance here! 

Big congratulations to our own supported riders in this year’s event. Especially to supported team, Team Lifting Gear Products, who yet again took the Mens Team Prize. We had stellar performances from all our supported riders from Team Lifting Gear, FTP Racing & Congleton CC.

The national hill climb championships mark the end of the British racing season on the road with only a couple of smaller events left. It has been a great year with many wonderful events. All of us at myWindsock are excited to help athletes again reach new heights in 2023!

Click to view the conditions and predict your National Hill Climb 2022 time.