IT was a beautiful morning at Medstead on Sunday, but further down the valleys between Farringdon and Four Marks, it was murky, misty and cold as eight intrepid riders matched their strength and stamina against the Brightstone Lane tarmac for Alton Cycling Club’s annual hill climb event.

Junior member Ollie Williams showed his great improvement by bettering his second place of last year with an outright win this time.

The 16-year-old’s time of 3mins 10.7secs beat last years’s winner (and club sponsor) Owen Pattinson of Owen’s Cycles by some 36 seconds. Pattinson was in a deadheat for second place with Rick Froud on 3mins 47.4secs.

Not far behind was one of the club’s youngest juniors, 14-year-old Ollie Suatt, who also beat the four-minute mark with his 3mins 50.6secs.

New member Sophie Shryver, the only female in the competition, recorded 5mins 42.8secs at her first attempt.

Keith Parrish, Stuart Palmer and Charlie Williams completed the field.

Dick Weatherbed, Andy Elliott and Alan Jacob did the timekeeping and pushing-off.

Ollie Williams had tuned up for the event by taking second place in his age group at the 2015 National Hill Climb Championship the previous week.

He made the long trip to Yorkshire to join 224 other starters in the championships which were hosted by Yorkshire Cycling Federation.

Facing the riders was the 0.9-mile Jackson Bridge climb, near Holmfirth.

Williams’ time of 5mins 22.7secs was good enough to make him runner-up in the 16 years category, missing out on top spot by only six seconds from Devon Round (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) who recorded 5mins 16.1secs.

The senior winner was Richard Bussell of RST Sport/Aero Coach with 4mins 5.6secs.