Saturday, October 19, 2013

2013 Irish Hill Climb Championships

2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 1st... what's next? Those are my previous results in the Irish Hill Climb National Championships - how would I do in 2013.

As I mentioned earlier, much of August and September was spent racing in Belgium. No training, just race and recover for a month - I loved it. When I got back to Ireland, it resting, then winning the Irish MTB Marathon title followed by more recovery for the final race of my season - attempting to defend the Hill Climb title I won in 2012.

The first time I won the Championship it was actually held on the same climb in Kerry - Short Mountain. Basically the climb was about 1.9km at 7.5%, 900m at 3% with the final 1.2km around 12% with some steep pitches. Like in 2010, rain and a block headwind getting worse as you climbed where the order of the day.

I went through my normal warmup (rollers, about 30 minutes) and got to the line perfectly on time. My pacing plan was pretty simple - get up to speed, then back way back off on power until I see a rolling average around 445-455W. Keep at that for the first few minutes. Then on the 'flat bit', try to keep the power up (not tracking numbers, just making sure I don't go too hard or too easy). 1.2k to go (you hit that ramp), all out to the finish. Last 5 minutes was close to 500w so I paced it very well considering the conditions and gradient. It was a lot windier at the top, a lot steep so it made sense to 'spend' your energy there.
Last off - photo, Karen Edwards
I finished 2nd... by .7 of a second to Mark Dowling. .7 of a second equates to about 150-250grams of weight across me or my bike. On the day, I couldn't have done many things better - my problem (the .7 seconds - probably more like giving away 15) was eating too much tasty food in Belgium when I was racing there and after a long season, not being particularly focused on this race (and being lean). I put on a chunk of muscle mass (which helps) in Belgium, but also body fat and didn't lean down enough when I got home.

My final two races of the season, both National Championships, were 1st and then 2nd. Not perfect, but it still a nice way to close out the season.

Now to find a team for next year...


Anonymous said...

Hi, nice pics and congrats for your "almost-win". If you don't mind, just a question I'm always wondering about: the tarmac seems quite rough, what pressure did you use in your tires? I'm always doubting what pressure to put in according to weight and the road conditions. Well, hope you're lucky with the team and thanks for your "kudos".

Best wishes from Las Palmas


Ryan Sherlock said...

Hey Maximo,

The road surface was pretty rough and I ran the Schwalbe Ultremo ZLX (super light) clinchers at about 110 psi (75kg for me) - I could (maybe should) have run them a little lower due to the course tarmac but played it safe. In training, I usually run 25mm Ultremo ZX tires about about 100psi for the Irish roads, and when running the same tubeless, down to 95 or so. I seldom have more than 115 in any conditions.

I'm looking forward to getting back over to GC - hopefully towards the start of January. I'm usually based around Vecindario but would love to spend more time riding north-east. Beautiful long climbs up there!


Anonymous said...

Yes, I was thinking about those pressures too, it's quite tricky sometimes. I don't know if I'll be riding on January, but having a look on Strava, it seems you know the island pretty much already. Maybe you don't know the road that goes from Fontanales to Juncalillo, it's really nice on winter/spring. Also you can have a look on going to Artenara from Fagajesto through Presa de los Perez; there are several roads you can pick, I think they fixed them not long ago (they where for MTB before :) ).

BTW, there was a fire that got burn up to 500Ha yesterday near Cruz de Tejeda, thank goodness temperature went down and it rained a bit through the night and it's now under control.

Have good training

Miguel said...


Your personal Google...


patrick said...

ive been following your blog for a couple of years and enjoyed following the interesting mix of an elite athlete and a tourist guide

so whats happening in 2014 ?

Are you active in cycling ?

Ryan Sherlock said...

Yeah - I am still active and really should write up a few more pieces - most things I put up on twitter.

Valey Wheelers Cycling Club said...

The 2015 Irish National Hillclimb Championships will be hosted by Valley Wheelers Cycling Club in Ballingeary Co Cork on Saturday 3rd October.It will be followed by our annual hillclimb sportive 'Trasna Na nGleannta' on Sunday 4th October.
Hope you and many more can make it Ryan.
More info on