The CAT and BEC hill climbs, one of the best days of the year!

​Sunday the 8th of October was magical on Yorks Hill and White Lane.​ It’s a fabulous cycling tradition, which normal mortals would perhaps struggle to understand. Young and old turn out, to compete or watch the spectacle of extraordinary men and women, boys and girls, give the year a final blast of their absolute, utter best.

It was also special because Chris Filewood, whose season was interrupted with news of his diabetes in August, made a stunning comeback. He made a promise to conquer the problem and enter both the Cat and the Bec, and he did both today in style! This is the stuff of legends! Bravo Chris! We are in awe of your drive and spirit! Incidentally, Chris was 18 last month and is no longer a junior, though for some arcane reason, CTT are a bit slow acknowledging this.

Three groups left Nero’s for the jaunt along Pilgrim’s Way on a beautiful, bright and unusually warm autumn morning and it was fabulous to see our T1 team led by Duncan and Amanda, make a special effort to ride out to support our climbers. Arriving at Yorks Hill there was the usual buzz of excitement, masses of spectators, competitors warming up…and the riders crossing the finish line, some in obvious and alarming pain!

Mikey Weavers of EGCC helps pin Chris’s number on…

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First up for us was CHRIS HEWITT and he was flying through the screaming, cheering crowds. He was going so fast he was a blur. I took a better camera to the BEC in the afternoon…

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Now to get an idea of the speed – and noise of the crowds – watch this very brief video of Chris Filewood blasting up the hill…


Nick Martin of EGCC gave it all he had and collapsed just after the finish, this isn’t uncommon! I checked he was alive (just) before taking the photo!

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He recovered quickly and was able to smile with Chris…
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Hoorah for iphones…
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THE BEC AT 2pm and the weather was still perfect, first Oxted rider up the dreadful White Lane was JANE SHRUBB.
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Quite a few of us men in the club don’t have Jane’s steely determination. Watchout for the Press Gangs end of next summer…
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Chris Hewitt was next up, this time I had the right camera – and he was flying…

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​Next was Rich Heath but I think his wife took a better shot than me!
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And finally Chris Filewood again, look at this for sheer effort!
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AND NOW A VERY SPECIAL TREAT…Austen, doing this very same hill climb, in 1986!!
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We’re waiting for the full and final results of today’s magnificent efforts but of course the minutes are seconds are, pardon the pun, secondary – it’s the taking part that matters! 
And NEXT YEAR  a lot more Oxted riders are going to do just that. And any who can’t will need a doctor’s note to be excused from supporting!
Onwards and upwards,