Ben Simmons prevailed at Red Bull Hill Chasers – Britain's dual uphill bike challenge – which was staged at Bristol's Park Street over the weekend.
The centre of Bristol came to a standstill, as 32 riders on a variety of bikes raced up Park Street in an attempt to become this year's Red Bull Hill Chasers champion.
A straight knockout format with two riders racing against each other saw fixies, BMX-ers, mountain bikers and road racers battle it out in an attempt to settle the fierce debate of which bike discipline is best uphill, up the full length of Park Street, in front of a 6,000 strong crowd.
Riders were paired randomly giving aspiring riders the chance to compete head to head against the 16 invited elite. The enthusiasts were made up of the fastest 16 riders from a qualifier, open to anyone, held on the morning of the event.
One of the elite competitors, Multi World Champion and Red Bull Athlete, Michal Prokop set the fastest time of the day on his 4X mountain bike but ironically was forced to retire from the Quarter Final with a broken chain. He said: "This was a unique race for me. Where else can you compete against so many different bikes?! Even though my chain broke I still had an awesome time taking on the enthusiasts!"
The semi final saw an elite vs enthusiast showdown in both races as Ben Simmons took on Gareth Montgomerie whilst John Whittington fought Cobble Wobble winner, Lewis Lacey. The enthusiasts prevailed as the final showdown saw Ben Simmons against John Whittington (23 from Redland, Bristol) both on road bikes.
In the end, there could be only one to take the crown from last year's Champion, Charge Bikes' Chris Metcalfe. And it was cycling enthusiast qualifier Ben Simmons who beat the elite riders with a blistering time.
After getting his breath back Simmons said he was,"shocked and surprised" at his win, especially as he'd travelled to Devon earlier that day to take part in another cycling event! "I've never taken part in anything as short and punchy as this before in such a great location. It's so exciting. It's a tough race and I never thought I'd win
The top three riders who claimed the podium spots and rode home on their specially made prize Charge bikes were:
1st. Ben Simmons
2nd. John Whittington
3rd. Gareth Montgomerie