Laurence Dodd riding for Sheffield Phoenix CC set the first sub 1m 30s course record by posting 1m 26.9s time in 1941, this stood for 3 year when C F Belton also riding for Sheffield Phoenix posted a 1m 25s run up the hill. This time would stand for 13 years and was finally broken by a certain Tom Simpson riding for Scala Wheelers with a time of 1m 23.4s.
This time stood until local legend Malcolm Elliott came along. Malcolm first won the event in 1980 with a time of 1m 20.6s beating Tommy’s time by over 3 seconds. Malcolm came back to Monsal the following year and set the current course record of 1m 14.2s.
The master of Monsal - Malcom Elliott on his breath taking record breaking run in 1981.
The only other rider to come close in recent years has been local professional, Russell Downing. Russ posted a very respectable time of 1m 18.3s in 2003.
Albert Thorpe organised a 60th anniversary event in 1990, he had a host of past winners attending with Malcolm Elliott by then a top pro in Spain to present the prizes. That year there were 60 entries, this was the biggest disappointment of David Thorpe’s cycling life, he finished 2nd, loosing it by less than a second, with a 1m.28s. It would have been something for the organisers son to win the 60th anniversary event. As a consolation Rotherham Wheelers won the team prize.
Ike Delbridge organised it for 25 years then Albert Thorpe ran the event for about 27 years, Albert then passed the event to his son David who continued to run the hillclimb for 14 more years. Ike was married Albert's cousin so this event was in the Thorpe family for best part of 67 years. Ike, now 95 and still going strong, he's only ever missed 2 events and was one of the original riders at the first event. After finishing organising Ike took over commentary and the PA equipment. Ike also has every program since he started organising. David passed on the event to Marc Etches in 2008. Marc is the Club Secretary of Sheffrec CC and has grown the club from just 8 members to over 100 in 10 years. Marc is a 2nd cat road rider, a qualified BC Road Commissaire, a member of the British Cycling Yorkshire Board, organises the British Cycling Wombwell Youth League, various road races all with help form his club who alos organise 3 time trials a year. Just for the record all four Monsal Hilclimb organisers have been previous riders before they organised the event.
Monsal has had many different sponsors over the years; reality hair, Derbyshire building society, Kite training for 17 years, Pritchard plumbing, Gurung training, Ideal Travel, Lilley flowers and the café at the top of the hill. More recently we have had support from A4E, JE James Cycles and Science in Sport.
The schoolboy trophy was donated by the café which stands at the top of the climb years ago. The Cope Trophy is the old North Midlands prize now presented to the vets winner. The Dick Aldridge Trophy for the winner was in the past presented by his son who sponsored the event for years as Kite Training, he also did the commentary for 17 years.
Dick Aldridge, Albert Thorpe and Ike Delbridge were the founder members of the North Midlands BCF division as was current Commentator Doug Bond. Doug will again be commentating at this years event.