WATCH: Thrills and spills at lung-busting Gas Hill Gasp

Competitors at the start of one of the races in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's cel

Competitors at the start of one of the races in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's celebrations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

There were thrills, spills, and plenty of tired legs.

One youngster gets a helping hand in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's celebrations.

One youngster gets a helping hand in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's celebrations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Dozens of riders young and old took to Gas Hill for the annual opener of the Lord Mayor's Celebrations, racing up the sheer gradient for their club, for pride, or just for fun.

A total of 89 riders took part, including road, BMX, MTB, fixed and cycle speedway disciplines, competing for top spot in each category.

Some had joined the event for the first time, and admitted being entirely unprepared for the climb.

Kyle Harper, 25, from Norwich, has just this year set up the Artel CC with his brother, who runs the Artel coffee shop on Magdalen Street.

Competitors take part in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's celebrations. Picture: DEN

Competitors take part in the Gas Hill Gasp as a start of the Lord Mayor's celebrations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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'We have just started racing this year and entering competitive events,' he said. It is a really good atmosphere so I thought I would give this a crack.

'I wasn't really prepared for it at all. I got the gear wrong both times I went up and failed miserably. It was really fun though.

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'This is a completely different ball game - I will come back next year and hopefully have learned a few lessons.'

Others were veterans of the race.

Roger Slee, aged in his 40s and from Norwich, has entered at least three times, and rides national hill racing championships through his club Tri-Anglia.

'I know it's good fun to do and I enjoy this type of event,' he said.

'There aren't any hills in Norwich, and this is about a tenth of a full hill climb.

'It is an opportunity to have a bit of fun. I have remained sort of competitive but not progressed to the next heats.'

Organiser Tim Bonnett said he was delighted with the turn out for the event which seemed to have surpassed previous years. 'In terms of cycling and its popularity it is evident it is a booming sport,' he said. '

We always like the fact this event brings together a lot of different mixtures of different cycling disciplines in the region.

'Normally the events are very separate. 'It is when you see the riders put their pint down before the race when you know it is just a bit of fun. I

'It is a bit of a celebration and we are lucky to have the support from Norwich City Council.

'There are always ways of looking at changing things and the moment you start to repeat you begin to take it for granted.

'We are looking at ways to improve for next year.'

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