This Saturday night (18 February) sees the return of the Red Bull Hill Chasers event to Bristol city centre.
Last year’s event, which attempted to find an answer to the debate over which type of bike is quicker uphill, was a huge triumph, with around 5,000 spectators viewing the action on the floodlit 200m Park Street course.
It saw road, mountain, cyclocross, BMX and single speed riders slug it out in a two-rider knockout format, and was won by Matlock CC road cyclist Chris Metcalfe. Famous faces competing included Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg and Dan Fleeman. Fleeman, then reigning British hill climb champion, was knocked out in the quarter finals by a 4X rider, demonstrating the unpredictability of the event.
The 2012 event will again see 32 riders – half national/international cyclists, half local cyclists – battle it out for a Charge bike frame. The action kicks off at 7pm and follows last year’s format; head to head knockout rounds, amateurs paired randomly with the pros, and the field halved every round until a winner is declared. One major change is the shortening of the course, which will certainly favour the sprinter-types.
All amateurs are in with a chance of competing, too. A qualifying round will be held on Hill Street (parallel to Park Street) between 8.30am and 11am on Saturday morning, with the fastest 16 given the green light to compete later that day. For more information and to enter, visit the event website.