Easter break report – Continued open success and a new Club Record!

Despite BUCS being the main goal for most of our riders, CUCC have been dominated open races across the country!

The weekend before BUCS TTT, John Mulvey won the West Suffolk Wheelers & Tri Club sporting 21 mile Time Trial by almost 4 minutes! Also at the race was Hans Verschueren in 16th. Seb Dickson also fancied a bit of road racing, and won the Paul Simon Homes RR, soloing to the win.

A very aero Seb on his way to victory in the Medway Velo

Whilst we had a few riders in action at the TTT, we had Nick Grogan competing in the Manchester & District TTA 10 Mile TT, coming 51st in a 25:05. Also in action was Max Vesty at the Harrogate Nova CC 15m TT, recording a 36:07 to come 20th, whilst Euan Tebbutt came 18th at the Coalville Wheelers CC 10, in a time of 24:26.

Jack winning the Ilkley CC open 10

The day after, we had six riders in action and recorded two wins! Seb Dickson won the Medway Velo Club 21.9m TT, with a winning margin of 36 seconds, whilst Jack Brown won the Ilkely CC 10 up in Yorkshire, with his 24:12 being over a minute quicker than his nearest rival! Toby Cowell rounded out the Ilkley podium with a 25:20 on a really windy and hilly course, with Max Vesty recording a top 15 too. Rob Walker was down in Wessex, looking to start off a successful defence of his Espoir title at the National TT series. He recorded a strong 5th overall, and 2nd Espoir. Away from TTing, John was racing the Wally Gimber Nat B with the Activeedge Race Team, coming 14th, whilst Women’s Captain Ffion came 6th at the 1st round of the National MTB XC Elite Series.

John Mulvey in action at the Chelmer CC Hardriders (photo thanks to Davey Jones)

Anne-Marie Bowring was our sole representative at the 10 put on by the University of Bristol Cycling Club, once again PBing with a 30:06. Lucas He put in a storming performance at the Orwell Velo 20m TT, coming in 2nd in quite a strong field! We had 4 riders at the Chelmer CC Hardriders just south of Cambridge. Seb was the quickest CUCC rider of the day, coming 3rd, with John Mulvey in 7th, Tom Bishop in 26th and Ben Ferris in 41st. Jack continued his fine form, taking his 3rd victory over 10 miles in 2019 at the Stretford Wheelers 10 in Cheshire.

Tom Bishop at the Chelmer CC Hardriders (photo thanks to Davey Jones)

It would appear there’s no better way to spend Mother’s day than with a few TTs! Jack Kellam visited his local ski slope that is the R25/3h in his quest for a PB. He came 8th in a classically competitive field for the fastest 25 course in the country, and rode a 52:13. James Quigley took a visit to his home club’s event, the City RC (Hull) 15 mile TT, riding a 40:05 with clip ons.

At the Lewis Balyckyi Crit Series in Preston, Will Weatherill recorded his first ever points, with 9th in the 3/4 race.

Ben Ferris at the Chelmer CC Hardriders (photo thanks to Davey Jones)

Dan O’riordan rode in the Kingston Phoenix RC 10 on the 6th April, coming 36th with a 24:02. Also that day saw the on-form Lucas He also PB over 25 miles at the Lea Valley 25 along the E2/25, riding a rapid 50:28.

The very day after the BUCS 10, Rob travelled up to Worcester to ride in the 2nd round of the Sigma Sport Classic Series, coming 6th in a strong field, and with some quite tired legs I imagine!

Lucas He on his shiny new P3

A small contingent of CUCC riders also decided to pay homage to the mighty R25/3h, with the 25m Club Record (48:45 set by Michael Hutchinson in 1999) being the goal of the day. It looked like sub-optimal conditions for the course, with the wind facing in the completely wrong direction. Despite the mechanical help of alumni Felix Barker, Seb was 44 seconds late to his start due to an ill-timed puncture, but still recorded a mid 50, with Craig Rogers riding a 52:36 in his first ever 25-mile TT. A straight seed at the end of the event made for some interesting riding, meaning Toby was Jack’s minute man, with the two’s PB being separated by 6 seconds before the race! Also racing was Scott Davies of Team Dimension Data, although his efforts on a training camp in Gran Canaria seemed to have taken their toll. A quite frankly stupid descent gets the course going, with some riders going in excess of 50mph on the skis. At the end of the 25 miles (finishing at the bottom of the big hill), Jack had taken the club record (set when he was just 3 months old) by 24 seconds, recording a 48:21 and also finished 2nd on the day to Chris Fennell, with Toby also riding home with a 50:16.

Women’s Captain Ffion

Ffion was also in action at the ‘Battle on the Beach’ in South Wales, coming 2nd despite an unfortunate crash on the first lap, and getting to within touching distance of the race leader near the end!

Next up sees CUCC continuing to race at Open TTs, Road Races and MTB races, before Varsity at the start of term!

BUCS TTT & 10

After a fairly solid start to the season, with a host of open victories under our belt, we were itching to get started with our 2019 BUCS Time Trial campaign. Hoping to repeat the success from last year (including topping the BUCS cycling table and a national TTT title), we were somewhat confident in continuing our domination. However, the best-laid plans….

Men’s A Team on the start line

Saturday 23rd March – BUCS TTT

With a host of new talent coming into the club, we had 3 men’s teams and 1 women’s entered to race round the quite rolling 22 mile course in the Cotswold hills. A north-easterly wind meant for some fast conditions, with our course record from 2018 looking under threat, but hopefully only from our A team!

The first bit of bad news came when an unfortunate last-minute virus caused us to have to pull our Women’s team from the event, but we were still hopeful of bringing home a raft of BUCS points regardless.

Our first team off on the day consisted of a squad of freshers (Jack Kellam 1st year PhD, Lucas He and Toby Antippas both 1st year Natscis). A late arrival meant that they couldn’t recce the course before-hand, meaning the team took two wrong turns, and as a result lost about 90 seconds. Coming home in a still respectable 50:54 in 17th place, still beating lots of other A teams. Who knows what could’ve been!

The next team off the line was our Men’s B team, consisting of a trio of northerners; ever impressive fresher Craig Rogers (on his lovely Cervelo P3), Men’s Race Captain Jack Brown, and the ever rapid Toby Cowell. Things seemed to be going to plan, but then Toby’s nose decided to spontaneously start bleeding, leading to a very red skinsuit and a load of breathing struggles. They came home in a very creditable 5th place (only 4 seconds off 4th) in a time of 47:43, beating all but 4 uni A teams. With a few more years yet to come, it’s looking positive for the future!

After a short briefing to the A team, consisting of veterans Seb Dickson, John Mulvey and joined by President Rob Walker. Our guys were on for a storming time when an unfortunate racing incident from Rob meant we only finished with two riders. Unfortunately, it’s an example of how unpredictable bike racing can be, but we’ll be back again with a vengeance next year!

PosNameTeamTime
5Jack Brown
Toby Cowell
Craig Rogers
Uni of Cam B47:43
17Toby Antippas
Lucas He
Jack Kellam
Uni of Cam C50:54
DNFSeb Dickson
John Mulvey
Rob Walker
Uni of Cam A(49:52)

Seb Dickson, Jack Brown and John Mulvey on the Men’s Team podium

Saturday 6th April – BUCS 10

Putting a disappointing day behind us from the TTT, we collected ourselves and targeted the next event; BUCS 10. With a load of success at previous editions of this race, we were hoping we could once again go well and get back on top. We had a squad of 12 set out to sunny Oxford, on the 10-mile version of the course than had brought us much success at Varsity last year.

We had a few riders off early doors, with Tom Adams our first rider home in a new PB of 23:29. The ever-keen Anne-Marie Bowring set off just two minutes behind Tom, and also set a new PB of 28:28 (on a road bike with clip-ons!).

Next off came Rob Walker, hoping to set a strong early marker. A 20:44 was recorded, a good time despite a turbulent week of training leading up to the event. After a rapid rise to the very top of the CUCC racing squad, Toby Cowell then set the quickest early time for us, recording a 20:21, showing us that conditions were quite difficult out on the course.

Our very own Welshman Jack Kellam was next off, improving on his previous 10m PB set at Cuppers by over a minute, recording a 21:07. The theme of tropical students then continued, with Flora (hailing from slighty-less-sunny-than-Wales Australia) recording a 25:04. This was narrowly short of coming top-20 overall, but a great ride none the less!

A slight bit of number trouble ensued for Freshers’ TT victor Toby Antippas (pinning number 66 upside down, and only realising 2 minutes before his start), but regardless he came home with a 20:46, also a PB in only his second 10-mile TT! Then came Men’s Race Captain Jack, who after a strong run of form in open events up in Yorkshire, recorded a 19:56, to sit provisional joint 2nd on the day.

After impressing at the TTT, fresher Craig Rogers did a new PB of a 21:36, coming to the realisation that he much prefers riding uphill and not along dual carriageways. Women’s captain and cyclocross star Ffion James then set a 23:29, which ended up being the 7th fastest time of the day, not bad considering it was the first ride on the TT bike she borrowed days before!

Only two more CUCC riders were yet to ride, in the ever-ancient pairing of Seb Dickson and John Mulvey. An ill-timed car puncture added even more pressure than normal to Seb, but despite this he brought home the fastest CUCC time of the day with a 19:36, narrowly missing out on the Bronze medal by 4 seconds. John followed behind to record a 19:49, good enough to get 7th on the day.

At the end of the day, we had Seb, John and Jack bringing home the Team Silver with a combined time of 59:21, agonizingly close to the 59:15 that a strong Nottingham team recorded to win Gold. Flora and Ffion’s combined time got them 5th Women’s team on the day, gaining CUCC some of those precious BUCS points. 7 of our 12-strong squad also recorded PB’s. Well done all!

The CUCC Squad, L-R
Jack Kellam, Flora Harpley-Green, Ffion James, John Mulvey, Seb Dickson, Jack Brown, Craig Rogers, Toby Cowell, Tom Adams, Toby Antippas, Anne-Marie Bowring

 

Women’s Results

PosNameTime
7Ffion James23:29 (pb)
23Flora Harpley-Green25:04 (pb)
43Anne-Marie Bowring28:28 (pb)

Men’s Results

 

PosNameTime
4Seb Dickson19:36
7John Mulvey19:49
8=Jack Brown19:56
18Toby Cowell20:21
27Rob Walker20:44
28Toby Antippas20:46 (pb)
34Jack Kellam21:07 (pb)
45Craig Rogers21:36 (pb)
69Tom Adams23:29 (pb)

Lea Valley 25Mile TT

The second of the early season events after the Great Ely Hardriders saw an absolutely massive 18 CUCC members entered for the solo event.

However, an equally significant forecast for 40mph gusts caused a similarly large 5 people to think better of it and report a DNS and heavy use of synonyms for ‘big’.

As in previous years it also looked to serve as an initial shakedown for Varsity, with  5 OUCC  on the startsheet and some strong pre race chat.

Solo Event

The conditions did in fact turn out to be miserable, with early riders out complaining and worrying the later starters. In the end, only 2 from OUCC turned up, so we can ignore them, as we would have done anyway.

Jack Kellam pulled out a stunning ride to take 4 and a half minutes of his PB in 56:26 and a provisional 3rd place with it – in his 2nd ever open TT! One to watch.
4s back was Toby on his P5, with Toby on his P5 a further 16s back – provisionally taking the team prize and with it the ‘Dick Murphy Memorial Trophy’ for the fastest team from a London East Club.

Flora did 1:17:55, which looks good for a provisional 2nd in the Womens Event.

Andy Salkeld pulled out a 1:06:54 – a very strong ride from the only bloke on a road bike!

A few events stand out: Lucas He recorded an 8 minute late start (not included in the times below), which was impressive.
However, Andy Salkeld, yawning and stretching his arms, got out of bed to take up the challenge. Not realising that, unlike the club run, Greater Anglia will not wait for you if you have a relationship with your alarm clock that is purely advisory, Andy recorded what must be a club record 41 minute late start. (The Comp record for actually riding 25 miles currently stands at 42:58, for comparison). Chapeau! Now get your life in order.

Tom Adams went so fast he managed to catch someone who started 10 minutes after him (or maybe they turned early?!).  Finally,  Toby Antippas queued up behind people all signing the sign on sheet at Sign On, reached over the Signing on Sheet at the Sign On, took the number at Sign On, but did not in fact Sign On to the Signing On sheet at Sign On. Easy mistake to make I guess?

Recent alumnus Seb Baucutt did a 1:14:42.

Team Event

The 2Up Event saw 16 pairs entered, but 3 of them DNS’d with the forecast 40mph winds due to come in just in time for the start of this event.

CUCC was represented by an executive pairing of the President and General Secretary (Rob Walker and Seb Dickson), and would also see the first clash between CUCC and its progeny and reigning National Team Time Trial Champions John Mulvey and Felix Barker for ActiveEdgeRT.

Whilst the winds did pick up, it was nowhere near as bad as forecast (Felix ‘Mystic’ Barker’s prediction ‘oh it’ll be fine’ coming good- how does he do it?). As the forecast was for it to be terrible, it was still fairly grim.

Rob’s Calves and Seb recorded a 52:48, shaving 5s off the club record set by Seb and John Mulvey in the same event two years prior.
Seb’s skinsuit gave up after all of 300m leading to a nasty case of nether numbness. This is best left to the imagination (preferably not even there lets be honest), a privilege alas denied to anyone unfortunate enough to see them around the course. This was actually his spare skinsuit, having neglected to have washed his main (and structurally integral) skinsuit since BUCS Track in December.

In a bit of an upset, this was also good enough to hold off ActiveEdge for nearly a minute with 53:43. No other pair made it under the hour, making it a dominant display by CUCC and its alumni!

#whoarethechampions?

NameTime
Jack Kellam 56:24
Toby Antippas 56:30 (after a bit of grovelling to the event organiser that is)
Toby Cowell 56:46
Lucas He 58:08
Euan Tebutt 01:03:19
Tom Adams 01:03:34
Ben Ferris 01:05:21
Max Vesty 01:07:27
Andrew Salkeld 01:06:54
James Quigley 01:11:29
Carrie Bedingfield 01:17:55 (deffo not Flora)

CUCC Hill Climb Championship 2018

Following the successful revival of the CUCC Hill Climb Championships in 2017, on 4th November 2018 we once again headed to the much-feared Gog Magog for the 2018 Championships – 900m at 4.2% & reaching the heady heights of 67, one of the few ‘climbs’ we’re blessed with in Cambridgeshire. Additionally, this year saw the event move up to be a CTT Open event and occupy the prestigious spot as the last hill climb of the season!

CUCC member Felix Barker storming up the hill to take victory

Fortunately, unlike last year, we were blessed with a fine November afternoon for a bike race, and 38 riders readied themselves to scale the climb (some even considering it warm enough for a dip in the deep puddles near sign-on!).

Mathilde Pauls (Sigmasport) stormed to victory in the women’s event in 2-05, with Elspeth Grace (Cambridge University CC) not far behind with 2-15 and Marilou Boddé (Cambridge Triathlon Club) rounding out the women’s podium with a 2-32. Sadly CUCC women’s captain and last years winner, Ffion James, was unable to attend and defend her title, with the European Cyclocross Championships taking precedence (who’d have thought it!).

CUCC member Tom Simpson giving it everything

In the men’s event, Felix Barker (Cambridge University CC) clinched victory by the narrowest of margins over teammate Seb Dickson (Cambridge University CC), with them posting 1-36 and 1-37 respectively (No doubt a rematch will be had on CUCC’s training camp in January!). Promising fresher Isaac Brown (VC Londres) then claimed third a further 5 seconds back on Dickson and only one second ahead of 4th place!
Unfortunately, CUCC Treasurer Ben Ferris was unable to reproduce the blistering form that saw him claim the win in CUCC’s town bike hill-climb up Castle Hill last Monday, just sneaking inside the top 15 with 1-57.

A big congratulations to all riders who closed out the season’s racing today, especially to those who made their racing debuts! Our thanks go to Matthew Bond and Max Vesty for their impeccable organisation of this year’s event.

More photos are available here, and full results on the CTT website.

BUCS Team Time Trial Race Report

Cambridge had a successful day at the BUCS TTT, with the Men’s A team winning with a new course record and the Men’s B and Women’s A teams both placing third and setting times that would have seen them win previous events. Read on for a race report by Ali Golby.

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BUCS Hill Climb Results, Report and Photos

After missing last year’s event in Stirling (lovely spot, a very long way from Cambridge), CUCC were back with a strong presence in 2017. The race was held on October 28th on Pea Royd Lane in Stocksbridge near Sheffield, a steep sub-3 minute climb that was used (in a 400m longer format) for the 2014 Nationals. The women were first up, with President Jess Atkinson coming in 14th and Carrie Bedingfield following in 17th in a competitive field. Felix Barker (8th), Seb Dickson (13th) and Rob Walker (17th) made up the Cambridge men’s team who placed second on the day, while Tom Simpson had their backs in 18th. Toby Cowell was 36th, Luke Fisher 59th, fresher Jack Brown managed 70th despite having his start botched and Seán Irving was 83rd. Full results can be found below.

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BUCS Road Race Results

The Women’s Race

The women’s race started at 10am, so Jess and Lottie chose to drive up to York on the Friday night rather than have a 5am start and 3 hour drive pre-race on the Saturday. A course recce on the Saturday morning was rather eye-opening as it had a series of short, steep climbs ramping up to 18% at points. This was to be Lottie’s second ever road race (the first being BUCS RR in 2015), but Jess has a lot of road race experience spanning seven years and this was one of the hardest courses she’d seen. The plan was to stick in the bunch as long as possible and make a call at the end if they were still at the head of the race.

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BUCS TTT Results

The Men’s Race
First up on the day were the Men’s B team, hot off the disappointment of BUCS ruling them ineligible to receive a (silver) medal at either the BUCS 10 or BUCS 25. Team time trialling is a difficult discipline at the best of times, but the lumpy course near bath provides a few extra challenges with some tight corners and puncture-inducing potholes thrown in for good measure. Riders Ali Golby, Oli Mytton and Rob Walker had got in a small amount of practice together beforehand, which paid off with a level headed and well controlled ride.

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BUCS 25 and Varsity Results!

Cambridge men top the Podium, Men’s Teams 1st, 2nd and 4th overall, smash Varsity. Women’s Team 5th, Narrowly lose Varsity.

 

Saturday marked the 2nd of the BUCS Cycling Championships, this one over a much longer distance of

Luke Fisher - 12th

Luke Fisher – 12th

25 miles. Although a similar style of event, 25 miles is a markedly different distance to race over than 10, requiring a much greater degree of self control and pacing, and having much more chance of things going wrong. It also incorporated the 70th edition of the Varsity match with Oxford.

Up for the honours were 12 men- 5 were returning from last year (Including all 3 of the Half Blues), and of the 7 new riders, 5 were freshers. With the fastest three from Cambridge earning Half Blues (and the opportunity to try for the discretionary Full at the National Championships later in the year), competition was almost more fierce between the Cambridge riders than with the other Universities! Although we were feeling pretty strong and were definitely the favourites after a dominant performance in the shorter 10 Mile Championships, a lot can go wrong in 25 miles.

Fresher Luke Fisher (Tit Hall) was the first to start in the whole competition- a somewhat unknown quantity having been absent from Cuppers, but he came through to take nearly 10 minutes off his PB, a very impressive feat. This laid down a good marker, so much so that it ended up being good enough for 12th, just 14 seconds outside of the top 10. Whilst Luke was riding, former CUCC President and BUCS Champion Ed Bradbury dropped by to support his brother, and later on the old Senior Treasurer of the club came along too to cheer us on!
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CUCC Touring to The Boat Race!

Early on the 2nd April, 11 intrepid cyclists gathered as CUCC teamed up with Cambridge University Triathlon Club on a voyage to the boat races. Proceedings kicked off with a classic jaunt up chapel hill, perfect to wake us up on our way out of Cambridge. After a mere few miles, most of us realised it was considerably sunnier than we had expected… cue a major kit change for most! Off with the jackets and base layers, on with the sunglasses!

Shades, Cycling Cap, and a Pint

Shades, Cycling Cap, and a Pint

The sun stayed with us as we made our way South, covering the slightly more undulating terrain of Hertfordshire. Having covered roughly two thirds of our distance, we reached St Albans. We found ‘The Mermaid’, where half the group settled down for a pub lunch, pints and all, whilst a second group sought out the more traditional cycling staple: coffee and cake!

Relaxing in the sun at The Mermaid

Relaxing in the sun at The Mermaid

Having refuelled and regrouped, we jumped back on the bikes with London firmly in our sights. Before long, we passed the M25 and our ride began to change. Narrow winding roads became a single straight busy road which would take us directly into the centre of London. Progress was marred by traffic light after traffic light. Despite attempting to stick together, Matt and Harshal were lost to what we would later find out was a double puncture.

Finally coming to the end of this seemingly endless road, the Marble Arch appeared before us. A combination of confusing Garmin directions and lack of London knowledge led to much guesswork through the capital, but the views were not compromised. Thinking we were on the mall, some of us initiated a sprint, reminiscent of the final stages of the London 2012 Olympic road race, only to realise this was not in fact the mall, but an adjacent road. Despite this, we soon found our way to Buckingham Palace where we joined the many tourists, taking some all-important ride photos!

Striking a pose in London

Striking a pose in London

17976419_10208714746215693_1900361147_oAfter a quick stop at the palace, the ride continued over Westminster bridge before we split off to find various friends at the Putney and Hammersmith bridges. We were greeted by an awesome atmosphere on a beautiful day for the boat races! Huge respect goes to all who competed in the races with particular congratulations in order for both Cambridge women’s boats!

Although I can’t speak for the rest of the group, the journey home came with its own issues, attempting to carry a road bike on the underground whilst others confused my Cambridge cycling shorts for a rowing overall, thinking I had just come from the river.

In all, a great day’s cycling covering 70miles on what couldn’t have been a nicer day. Thanks to all who came, we look forward to cycling with you on touring rides in the future!