Arkesden Hill Climb Championship proves a hit with local cyclists

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 November 2019

Winners face the camera at the Arkesden Upill Bike Sprint Challenge (pic Mark Bourdillon)

Winners face the camera at the Arkesden Upill Bike Sprint Challenge (pic Mark Bourdillon)

Mark Bourdillon

Uttlesford's finest cyclists took part in the inaugural Arkesden Hill Climb Championship on Sunday.

Donna Dale celebrates her success at the Arkesden Upill Bike Sprint Challenge (pic Mark Bourdillon)Donna Dale celebrates her success at the Arkesden Upill Bike Sprint Challenge (pic Mark Bourdillon)

A field of 100 tackled the famous Col du Long Lane near Arkesden, with the beast of a climb being navigated twice.

As well as an individual time trial, cyclists went up again as pairs in head to head races.

Family, friends and local residents created a traditional hill climb atmosphere with horns, cow bells and chanting to encourage everyone up the steep incline.

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Donna Dale took top honours in the women's event, posting the fastest individual time and then breaking away from Claire Hall to win the gold-medal race.

Helena Dyce pulled away from Emma Koppe in the final 100m of the bronze-medal race to claim the other podium spot.

In the men's event, 16-year-old Alex Dale was fastest in the individual event and then showed great speed in the final section of the climb to win the gold-medal race against Jack Stanton-Stock.

Meanwhile, Salvatore Messina pipped Sim Fawsett to the bronze medal.

Organiser Craig Dyce was delighted with the success of the first running of the event and said: "We've proved that Essex does have hills and that Saffron Walden residents come out in numbers to support sporting events."

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