The Monsal Hill Climb started as a couple of mates timing each other in a race up an unpaved hill at the end of the track season.
Now in it’s 87th year, Monsal is one of the marquee events in a short hill climbing season that closes out the traditional domestic racing calendar in the UK.
Riders come from all across the North to test themselves at a race whose past winners include Tom Simpson, Malcolm Elliott, and more recently the 2016 British road race champion Adam Blythe.
The record for the climb remains unbeaten since Elliott’s effort of 1:14.2 in 1981; anticipation of a new benchmark grows steadily among the hundreds who come out to support each year.
Plucky amateurs go head to head with World Tour professionals and local legends turn out to set the example for the next generation, all while the local cycling community comes together to cheer and support.
The tea shop at the top of the hill offers a roof over your head if it’s chucking it down, the bacon sandwiches can be smelt from down the climb and the Packhorse Inn a few minutes away serves a very good pint.
Local events like Monsal are everything that is great about bike racing in Britain.
Here are a few photos from this year’s event.