Donovan blasts to hill climb crown

Jamie Donovan on his way to glory. Picture: Dave Swaffer
Jamie Donovan on his way to glory. Picture: Dave Swaffer
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Jamie Donovan claimed glory in the annual Portsmouth North End (PNE) hill climb.

The junior rider showcased his promise with a lung-busting time of 4min 10sec on the 2.2km ascent of Portsdown Hill from Southwick.

He beat Cycleworks talent Ben Briffett into second spot by 16sec, while fellow PNE member Dave Dawkins finished third in 4.32.

A total of 23 riders signed on for the battle on one of Portsmouth’s iconic climbs.

With an average gradient of four per cent and highs of more than nine per cent, the end-of-season challenge was a tough test.

And the competition was strong – particularly between PNE members.

Fourth place went to Tom Morris (4.34) as the host club continued their stranglehold on proceedings.

Rhys Lippiatt and Tom Goodyer (4.35) were split by just two hundreths of a second for fifth and sixth respectively.

David Persaud was seventh in 4.39, with Rob Panter (4.47) just a handful of seconds further back as the top eight riders all broke five minutes for the climb.

Fareham Wheelers starlet Caitlin Peters was the first woman home in 5.26.

Meanwhile, there were some fine performances in round four of the Wessex Clyco-Cross League on Sunday.

Among the stand-out results was Adam Potter, of Portsmouth-based i-Team, who finished second in the boys’ under-12 category.

His club-mate, Will Cooper, was fourth in the boys’ under-16 race, while Solent Pirates duo Max Edgington and Max Meadwell were fourth and fifth at under-14 level.