Bowditch slips into bronze

FORMER national hill climb champion Ann Bowditch finished overall third on her return to the annual event after a five-year gap.

Supermarket warm-up: Ann Bowditch uses the shelter of a trolley park to warm up for the big event. (Picture by Mike Brehaut, 1280798)
Supermarket warm-up: Ann Bowditch uses the shelter of a trolley park to warm up for the big event. (Picture by Mike Brehaut, 1280798)

FORMER national hill climb champion Ann Bowditch finished overall third on her return to the annual event after a five-year gap.

Staged on the infamous Rake course in Ramsbottom, north of Manchester, the Guernsey star clocked 3min. 23sec. for the brutal climb and, with that, also claimed the veteran prize.

The course is famous for being such a tough hill which climbs 321 feet in 947 yards with an average gradient of one in eight.

The course starts at a slope of one in 20, which steadily increases. At the toughest part of the ascent, in the final third, the hill reaches a gradient of 25%, which would test any competitive cyclist.