Sep 08

Out and about with HTRC at the Spout hill climb

Another lovely evening for TTing and tonight was Hull Thursday’s annual hill climb of Brantingham’s Spout Hill. Better known locally simply as ‘Spout’, it has a fearsome reputation as a bit of a lung buster and leg burner.


Averaging a gradient of 10% and maxing out at 14% (around 1km long), the numbers though not epic, when riding under TT conditions make it feel like more like Acklam, a bit of a beast.


Here’s a quote from Amanda Dean our veteran female Thursday rider on what Spout is like to ride:


“Heart auditioning for Alien. Lung linings scrubbed with a nail brush. Heart eventually stops trying to eject itself from the chest cavity and the queasy feeling comes on.”


I don’t think I could put that better myself!


The descent is pretty fearsome too and best left for the MTB riders with their disc brakes and body armour and full face helmets.


And on to tonight’s contenders, which surprisingly is light in numbers especially with this being Grand Depart year, however the field still consists of some of the top local grimpeurs.


First over the line tonight was a total newbie, Charlotte Dalton, her first ever TT, and she chooses Spout certainly a brave decision. Charlotte puts in a great effort, my prediction of 04:40 is smashed to pieces as she finishes with a time of 03:55.  Well done!  When asked why she want to ride Spout, “For fun” was the reply.  “Bravo” to her, though her prediction of Froome to win the Vuelta is looking precarious!


Speaking to Mark Walker before his ride I asked for a predicted time, a thoughtful response of 02:49 was the reply, a very respectable time. Mark’s finish time tonight was 02:58, 6 seconds down on last year’s time of 02:52 and 11 seconds off his prediction, impressive. I wondered why slower than last year, especially with Graham Morgan going 2 seconds quicker than last year at 02:39, well done Graham, and better luck next time Mark!


When quizzed for a prediction time, Will Thomas hesitantly responded with 03:00, then thought about it and finished with 03:20. Will being a powerhouse of a rider with a build not suited for flying up hills I was surprised by the initial prediction, though finishing tonight with a time 03:15, 03:00 looks well within his grasp. Maybe George Leighton‘s time of 03:10 with his comment “A comfortable win over Will” just might provide that bit of motivation to get there.


One of the most pleasing and encouraging things I heard all evening after asking how they got on, was “Not happy”. This was from junior Callum Keenan, who finished at the back of the much more senior field is certainly in sight of a bright future. Keep it up Callum. We’re all really keen to see how you develop over the coming years!


Terry Parker who was 61 the week before the Spout TT was telling me he’d won the same TT when it was a handicap race in 1973. The 1973 race consisted of doing Spout Hill and Brantingham. I’m not sure why we don’t do the same nowadays, maybe we’re becoming a bit soft (erm, I was busy doing some media work for this report being my excuse for not doing Spout tonight)? Terry was unsure if he could compete tonight, I advised him that he could and the TTs are open to non-HTRC riders though it’s advisable to email the TT secretary a couple of days before the race.


The current record of 2:18.6 made in 1997 is something most of us will never need to worry about troubling. However, I got chatting to Charlotte’s brother Alex Dalton who told me that he’d done a time of 02:21, and would have raced tonight had he’d not been on a multi-stage race in the days previous.  Well come on Mr Dalton, let’s see you go next year!


Hope you like the pics Mike McAllister took at the event


Come on you Thursday!


Mike McAllister
Hull Thursday Road Club