Post Race Chat: Adam Kenway (Monsal HC Winner)
Winner of the Monsal Hill Climb on Sunday was roadman Adam Kenway who was 10th in the Manx International at the start of the season racing for Metaltek Kuota. Last year at Monsal, he was beaten by Joe Clarke by a narrow margin similar to the Adam had over Joe this year so it’s one all in that race!
It’s the biggest hill climb of the year is how winner Adam Kenway (Metaltek Kuota) described the Monsal Hill Climb which had a great crowd cheering on the 180 or so riders. “It’s a really great event with the atmosphere from all the spectators and for some reason, Marc (Etches, organiser) always seems to get the great weather as well.”
The first rider to really lay down a challenge for the win at Monsal was Russell Downing who with a personal best up the Monsal Head climb, took over the lead with still four or so riders to go. Adam explained “I heard at the bottom before I started Russell’s time and knew I had to do something special to beat it”.
“I think everyone was really up for it this year and there’s been banter on Facebook and in forums and so many wanted to win this”.
Adam explained his Kuota hill climb bike weighs just six kilos and added that it rides fantastic too. “The ride on the Kuota is stunning” he added before telling us that he had a single 42 tooth chainring as well as the bars chopped off.
“It’s a little bigger than a 39 chainring so you can roll it over a little bit and I find it helps to shorten the chain and it feels like you’re on a big chain ring.”
About the win, he says “It’s great to win here and I feel sorry for Joe because I was in the same position last year but I’m really happy to win this one.” Asked if there is a technique to going fast on Monsal, he replied “you get to the halfway point and it almost feels effortless and then suddenly the lactic hits the legs and you just need to have that confidence you can keep it going all the way to the top and not panic and change down.”
“If you change down a gear or two, its game over so you need that confidence in yourself to hold it to the top.”
Adam gets encouragement from race organiser Marc Etches as Adam’s legs scream with lactic near the top of Monsal
It’s been a good season for Adam with a number of wins on legendary climbs like the Cat and Fiddle and asked if he looks forward to the Hill Climb season each year, he says “yes and no. All my teammates from the road season are off on holiday and chilling and I’m getting ready for the hill climbs. But the atmosphere is great among the riders”.
Leading up to the national hill climb championships, Adam says that between Monsal and the champs on Bank road, he’ll carry on with the intervals as well as some track racing at Derby to get ready for something very different to the hill climbs and that’s the track nationals at the end of January 2017.
Being fairly local to the climb for the nationals on Bank road, Adam says he’ll be doing some intervals on that a few times a week prior to the big day so he knows the climb inside out. He added it’s going to be a close race for the Hill Climb title and it could be any one of the leading contenders.
Bank Road is a bit longer than Monsal, and Adam’s held the course record for one of the courses used on Bank Road so knows it well. “Matlock always put a good event on so it should be a really good day” Adam finished with.