Iconic hill climbing cycle race returns home to Peak District spot with 'imposing' gradient

An iconic cycling championship is to return ‘home’ to a Peak District beauty spot this year

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 6:00 am

The 2021 RTTC National Hill Climb Championship will take place in October with national law firm Irwin Mitchell headline sponsor for the second year running.

Following last year’s championship in Berkshire, the event is returning to Winnats Pass, regarded as the home of hill climbing.

The race attracts the cream of the UK’s riders, with professionals rubbing shoulders with top amateurs, who will need to be at their best to take on one of the most famous routes in the UK.

Winnats Pass in Castleton

For locals, and cycling enthusiasts alike, Winnats Pass needs no introduction. The course will start from the first cattle grid and end at the second one; making up the best and hardest section of a 1.8km climb, with an average gradient of 11.4 per cent.

Last year’s event in Streatley was won by Andrew Feather and Bithja Jones. All eyes will be on Feather again this year, as he is the current Strava King of the Mountain on Winnats Pass, while the current Strava Queen of the Mountain is Emmie Collinge.

Stuart Smith of CTT said: “Despite the challenging circumstances, last year’s championship was a great success and we are delighted that Irwin Mitchell has agreed to return as our headline sponsor.

“This year will see some normality return and with it will come the excitement this premier event generates and what better place to come to see the country’s best riders in action than the ultimate test provided by the stunning Winnats Pass.”

Jointly organised by myHill Cycling and Rutland CC, race volunteers will come from Sheffrec CC and Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion, while the sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell will cover the organisational costs and measures to ensure the safety of fans and riders.

Peter Lorence, an associate at Irwin Mitchell and an experienced biker and cyclist, said: “Winnats Pass has been a venue for the Championships on ten occasions and given the tough climb, it’s not hard to see why.

"Winnats is unique and a real test, as the smell of burning car clutches on the pass can testify to.

"It promises to deliver a fantastic event and we can’t wait to see the riders in action.”