Dartmoor’s Josh one of the best in the UK

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

Okehampton Cycling Club rider Josh Coyne proved he is one of the best in the UK when it comes to the demanding sport of hill climbing.

Josh raced in the British National Hill Climb Championship and competed against a tough field of cyclists.

The event was held at Pea Royd Lane in Stocksbridge near Sheffield and riders battled on a short but very tough hill, averaging 15% with some much steeper ramps. Josh, who is 23 and from Chagford, was up against a strong field which included a handful of professional riders, some of whom he beat.

He said: “With 300 of the country’s best climbers present, competition was always going to be super tough. I completed the hill in 2 minutes 30 seconds, this was just 11 seconds off the win, and only a handful away from the top 10, but placed me 18th overall. It was all good and I achieved my goal of finishing in the top 20 and look to do better next year.”

After having a successful hill climb campaign this year collecting multiple podiums and three wins over the last few months, a huge thanks must go to Nigel from BPM Coaching for exceptional
training plans throughout the year.

Josh’s success follows hot on the success last month of his clubmates Andrew White – who won two gold medals at the Invictus Games in Sydney – and coach Nigel Hale Hunter – who competed in the 24 hour World Time Trial Championships in California. Nigel said: “Josh is an extremely hard-working athlete who again this season trained exactly to a tough training plan.

‘Every year he takes a step forward to his goal of winning the national and again this year was no exception with Josh competing all over the country, winning and mounting the podium many times and last weekend breaking into the top 20 of the fastest climbers in the country. It has been a privilege to coach Josh and be part of his journey.”

Nigel himself was unlucky at the 24-hour world championships in California on October 26th and 27th. He was joined by fellow rider Tucker Sorrell from Chagford. Nigel said: “It was blistering, 34 degree centigrade heat, and I was in 30th place with 370 miles ridden, an amazing achievement at my first attempt. For me, the tendon injury I picked up in
September was always going to be a problem.

‘After a strong start, with only a few competitors all on full TT bikes (against my less aerodynamic standard road bike) ahead of me, I seemed to be coping with the tendon issue although riding a little conservatively. After eight hours the situation got progressively worse until after 12 hours and running in seventh place out of 87, I decided to avoid further injury and pull out of the competition.

‘It was an amazing experience although for me deeply disappointing at that moment. However, we will be back next year after learning a great deal about the race and will go faster, further and aim for the podium!”

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