When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
CYCLING: Pettinger bags maiden UK title
10:00am Friday 1st November 2013 in Sport
UK Hill Climb Championship
OXFORD’S Tejvan Pettinger made it ninth time lucky when he won the UK title at The Strang in Yorkshire.
Sri Chinmoy rider Pettinger, who lives in Florence Park, pipped James Gullen (Team Hope Factory Racing) by just two seconds on the 2.33-mile climb near Langthwaite.
Despite bagging scores of victories across the country, 36-year-old Pettinger had never made the national podium before, with fourth in 2010 his best finish.
But his time of 7mins 57.736secs ended all that, with Gullen clocking 7.59.824.
“I’m really happy,” said Pettinger.
“I’ve been trying for quite a few years and I’ve done a lot of open events and broken quite a few course records, but I've never been able to get on the podium at the national champs.
“I knew this year was a really good chance because the hill suits me and I knew I was in good form.”
Pettinger is a former Oxford University student and current economics teacher at Greene’s Tutorial College in the city.
His preparations included riding the course 12 days beforehand in a “ferocious headwind”, but it all proved worthwhile.
Pettinger felt he had ridden well enough to challenge, but did not know he had won until he walked into race headquarters at the end.
He said: “Right at the finish, I made my only mistake in the climb, for some reason I stopped sprinting just before the finish.
“I just held back a fraction of a second too early, I don’t know why, perhaps I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stop going down the other side with a 40mph tailwind!
“Anyway I was pleased with my time of 7.57 and how I’d ridden.
“It was a bit of relief just to know I’d done a good ride, and maybe even good enough for a medal.”
He added: “I never made it to the results board before enough people told me I’d won to believe it.”
Comments are closed on this article.