Roads to close for top national cycling event to be staged in Stocksbridge on Sunday with former Sheffield rider Nicola Soden a leading contender for the ladies title

Former Sheffield rider Nicola Soden, title contender for the National Cycling Hill climb in Stocksbridge on  'Sunday
Former Sheffield rider Nicola Soden, title contender for the National Cycling Hill climb in Stocksbridge on 'Sunday
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Shades of the Tour de France as top level cycling returns to South Yorkshire on Sunday.

Roads will be closed as the 2014 National Hill Climb Championships take place on the full length version of Pea Royd Lane in Stocksbridge, Sheffield.

With a full rider entry of 180 riders and 15 reserves being fulfilled, competition is sure to be fierce to become crowned National Champion.

The hill climb season finishes with the National on the last Sunday of October and Pea Royd Lane, again hosts it after the its debut in 2009.

With a start time of 11am with riders starting at one minute intervals, the last rider will depart the start gate at 2pm.

The last rider off is 2013 winner Tejvan Pettinger, with his main rivals being Matt Clinton, Jack Pullar, Joe Clark or maybe a complete outsider who prefers the steepness of the 1200 yard ascent.

The women’s event is also going to be hotly contested, with last year’s champion Maryka Sennema back to defend her title.

Her main rivals are Lynn Hamel, who missed out in 2009 by 0.5 seconds, former Sheffield rider Nicola Soden, now of who now lives in Manchester, and Lou Collins.

The youngest competitors are 13 with the oldest being 69 with all aiming to become National Champions in their age category.

The event, organised by Stocksbridge CC/Irwin Mitchell Solicitors/Claremont Hospital has secured a full road closure taking place from 10.45am until 2.30pm creating safety for the riders and many spectators that will descend onto the hill to cheer all the riders on.

The event headquarters is at The Venue on Manchester Road in Stocksbridge where refreshments will be available and the presentation will take place after the event.

* VIP guest is 95-year-old Vic Clark, who rode the very first National Hill Climb Championships in 1944 where he finished second.

He won the race in 1946, 47 and 48 and has attended every championship ever since.

Special guests who are presenting the prizes include Adam Blythe, local professional rider and Stocksbridge CC patron, Angela Smith MP and the Stocksbridge Town Mayor Cllr.Nigel Owen.

* Former winners include Sheffield’s Malcolm Elliott in 1980 and former Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, MBE, who took the title for four years from 1988-91.