With the sun shining relentlessly outside and the roads beautifully dry and clear, CUCC should be celebrating another rampant BUCS campaign and the start of the fair weather race season. Instead, the boredom of being stuck at home has forced some people to insane measures including Everesting attempts, alpine passes on a TT bike – and worst of all – attempting to change a pressfit bottom bracket yourself. So in an attempt to distract from this madness, here’s a long-awaited roundup of CUCC’s racing activity from Lent term before it passes from living memory and into folklore.
First up was the notorious Ely Hardriders TT, incorporating 25 miles of some of the “most beautiful” countryside the Fens have to offer. Those daft enough to insist on racing this early in the season, however, were spared by the weather gods, as Storm Ciara forced the event to be called off. Quite incredibly the weather still didn’t look as grim as it has done in recent years when its been run!
Next up was the North Road Hardriders just north of London, with an exciting course featuring several U-turns in the road just to keep it interesting. A great showing for CUCC saw Elspeth run away with the women’s event, whilst Rob, Jack B, John, and Jack K came home 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th in the mens’ classification. The three racing first-claim for CUCC – Rob, Jack K and Elspeth – also did well enough to see CUCC take home the team prize.
Then it was down to second-hand car dealer country for the Hainault Hilly 50km in Essex. Another great weekend for the light blues with Jack B in 2nd, Ali in 3rd (despite somehow puncturing in the car on the drive down) and Jack K 4th (including a meaty late start penalty for forgetting his rear light). Dave made his long-awaited bike racing debut, taking a 62-tooth 1x setup to an event with the word “Hilly” in the name, and Andy Salkeld got round with a power PB!
The last weekend of racing before the world went mad featured the West Suffolk Wheelers sporting 21 miler (which Jack won), and also our local 25 on the Lee Valley E1 course. CUCC fielded a strong 7-rider lineup including Euan, Dave, Dan, James Q, along with Ollie Moseley and Tom Bishop. Euan got a cheeky top 10 (5th) and CUCC took the team prize! Dave in particular was thrilled with his ride.
The road racing season got going nice and early with some incredibly grim and choppy crits at Hog Hill through Jan and Feb. These saw some CUCC members making their racing debuts, including Anne-Marie, Robbie, Ollie Fox, Alex Bartram and Sam Massey and who all put in some very strong rides! Further mentions go to Ffion and Craig who each won a 2/3/4, and a Will Weatherill-Ollie Fox 1-2 in a 4th cat race.
Next was the start of the actual road races, with the Crest CC road race just outside Cambridge. Very strong rides from Craig and Jack B (ably assisted by a cheeky first lap move from alumnus Toby Parnell) put them in the early break, and Craig stuck it out to take the win! Craig doubled this up a week later with a win at the BRRT Spring Classic, and also netted a phenomenal 2nd at the prestigious Betty Pharoah Nat B.
Finally before the curtains dropped was the Ike Saul memorial, with Jack B getting up the road with (not actually very) recent (any more) alumnus Felix Barker. Felix stuck it out to the finish where he was unfortunate to finish 4th in a 3-up sprint for the line (not a typo).
And that’s pretty much a wrap! Hopefully some more updates to come soon once we can start making the most of the increase in training volume that the current situation has allowed…