Sam Hill used to race his brother Ben up just about every hill in Canberra nearly every day before the cold weather got the better of him.
Published by The Canberra Times, 22 September 2017: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cycling/national-capital-tour-brothers-ben-and-sam-hill-cycling-against-each-other-20170922-gymk1o.html
But he’s back in Canberra and the brothers are set to tackle Mount Majura together – not for old times’ sake, but for the National Capital Tour.
Sam Hill lives in Newcastle but he’ll be riding for Canberra outfit Phoenix Cycling Collective, and he’s been living on his brother’s couch during his return to the capital.
Canberra-based Ben Hill is riding for Taiwanese-sponsored, Slovenian-registered outfit Attaque Gusto and looms as one of the tour favourites alongside Tiffen Cycling Team’s Matthew Rizzuto.
Having his brother on the couch hasn’t been a problem for Ben – he’s loved having him around again.
“He’s based himself in Newcastle now so we don’t get to race together a lot,” Ben Hill said.
“When he was in Canberra we’d be racing each other up every hill five days a week. It’ll be good to have another showdown, it’s been a while.
“We raced against each other as recently as the two the National Road Series races at King Valley and Amy’s Otway Tour. I had a few mechanical issues at King Valley and in Amy’s it was a different race.
“He was in the breakaway while I was in the bunch or I was in the breakaway while he was in the bunch, so we never really got to see each other that much.
“Being in a smaller local field, we’ll be around each other a lot more.”
While 27-year-old Ben moved to Canberra and stayed after school, Sam’s only link to the capital is the team he is riding for.
The 22-year-old followed his older brother to Canberra straight out of year 12 but moved back to Newcastle because he couldn’t handle the cold – laughing he’s “a bit soft” when it comes to the weather.
Racing against each other in Canberra’s premier event is the latest step in a 10-year journey for the Hill brothers, who were lured into cycling by their dad.
“He used to do triathlons but he busted his knee and he was just forced to ride from then on,” Sam Hill said.
“Ben picked it up and he got really serious about it. He started getting some good results and I thought that looks like fun, I might start riding bikes myself.”
Canberra will go without a National Road Series race this year, meaning Ben Hill’s partner Rebecca Wiasak and a host of other leading riders won’t be competing in the National Capital Tour.
Cycling Australia is committed to bringing an NRS event back to Canberra but in the short term it opens up a window of opportunity for the next generation in the capital.
The event will be held on closed roads over three stages and wraps up with a mountain top finish on Mount Majura, a climb upon which Ben says the brothers will be “pretty evenly matched”.