The National Hill Climb Championships were held last Sunday in Tralee, on the climb known locally as 'The Short Mountain'. This was the same climb used in the 2010 National Hill Climb Championships hosted by Tralee Bicycle Club when Ryan Sherlock took the victory from the defending champion and club rider Paul Griffin.
This year it was Ryan Sherlock who was the defending champion, with 48 riders on the start list featuring some serious contenders, intent on taking the coveted title.
The glorious weather of the previous day however did not last and the mist & rain returned to create conditions similar to the 2010 NHCC. Competitors were treated to proper Kerry rain, 50m visibility and a strong headwind once clear of the initial sheltered section of the climb, classic Short Mountain conditions more suited to wetsuit than skinsuit.
The steep course and weather took its toll on a lot of the competitors, with many exhausted riders just happy to cross the mist shrouded finish line at the summit, but the three Tralee Manor West riders put in exceptional performances to come away with an impressive haul of medals.
George Doyle (Tralee Manor West BC) set a blistering pace of 13:25.84 to take the A3 National Hill Climb Champ title.
Jerry McCarthy (Tralee Manor West BC) showed his recent form to take 2nd place in the hotly contested Vets (O-40) category.
Cormac Daly (Tralee Manor West BC) put in a determined effort to take 3rd spot in the Junior category.
Overall victory and 2013 National Hill Climb Champion title went to Mark Dowling (Polygon Sweet Nice), who snatched the title from defending champion and former team mate Ryan Sherlock (Cycleways) by less than a second, with Danny Bruton (NRPT) taking 3rd spot.