The 2021 National Hill Climb Championship will return to Winnats Pass after a 44-year absence.

Set in Derbyshire's Peak District, regarded as the home of hill climbing, this year's championships will take place on 31 October with national law firm Irwin Mitchell as headline sponsors for the second year running.

Winnats Pass will host this year's National Hill Climb Championships.
Winnats Pass will host this year's National Hill Climb Championships.

Jointly organised by myHill Cycling and Rutland CC, race volunteers will come from Sheffrec CC and Lifting Gear Products/Cycles in Motion, while the sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell will cover the organisational costs and measures to ensure the safety of fans and riders for one of the most eagerly awaited events in the hill climb calendar.

The race attracts the cream of the UK's hill climb specialists, with professionals rubbing shoulders with top amateurs, who will need to be at their best to take on one of the most famous climbs in the UK.

For locals and cycling enthusiasts alike, Winnats Pass needs no introduction. The course will start from the first cattle grid and end at the second one; making up the best and hardest section of a 1.8km climb, with an average gradient of 11.4%.

Last year's edition in Streatley, Berkshire was won by Andrew Feather (men) and Bithja Jones (women). All eyes will be on Feather again this year, who is the current Strava King of the Mountain on Winnats Pass, while the current Strava Queen of the Mountain is occasional contributor Emmie Collinge.

Emmie Collinge (seen here on the Strade Bianche) is QOM on Winnats Pass.
Emmie Collinge (seen here on the Strade Bianche) is QOM on Winnats Pass.

Stuart Smith of CTT said: "Despite the challenging circumstances, last year's championship was a great success and we are delighted that Irwin Mitchell has agreed to return as our headline sponsor.

"This year will see some normality return and with it will come the excitement this premier event generates and what better place to come to see the country's best riders in action than the ultimate test provided by the stunning Winnats Pass.

"It's a pleasure to be working with the Irwin Mitchell team again as we prepare to host the event on what is quite simply one of the most imposing hill climbs in the UK."

Peter Lorence, an associate at Irwin Mitchell and an experienced biker and cyclist himself, said: "The nationwide lockdown has been a challenge for many sporting events, so we are proud to be able to sponsor the National Hill Climb Championship again, as we all look forward to our much loved sporting events returning to normality.

"In our work, we support many people who have been injured on the roads, so it means a lot to us to be able to work with the organisers at CTT in delivering a safe race for all involved and promoting the benefits of cycling, not only as a great sport but also a way to travel and keep fit.

"Winnats Pass has been a venue for the Championships on ten occasions and given the tough climb, it's not hard to see why. Winnats is unique and a real test, as the smell of burning car clutches on the pass can testify to. It promises to deliver a fantastic event and we can't wait to see the riders in action."

If you fancy tackling Winnats Pass for yourself, the climb features on the Tour of the Peak sportive. The next edition is set to take place in May 2022.

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