Town Bike Race 2018

Monday the 29th October was an auspicious day for all aficionados of the sport/high art form of Town Bike Racing*. The course, as set up by statute, was castle hill. The event officials were, at the start: a traffic light, and at the finish Seb Dickson, who was also chief commissaire by virtue of being the more human of the two (not by much).

The nature of the start requires good gridding technique, with only a short neutralised section of about 20m from the Pick to the lights. Men’s Captain Brown secured pole, obviously fancying himself (but that has nothing to do with the town bike race).

Start: A few fluffed starts from the less experienced, those who can track stand getting a mighty benefit. Poor quality of bicycles apparent in the squeaky whiny sounds.

+30s: Like a mass of outsize bats, with gowns fluttering in the wind the pack charges past the gallery and onto the hill proper.

+45s: Jack Kellam’s bike eats his gown. Race over for him. Squeaky whiny sound get louder.

Finish: Charging up towards the finish line booth/ bus stop comes Ben A Ferris (33) with clear air between him and the others, and is not just ahead but is also going the fastest.** Squeaky whiny sound continues.

Finish plus a fair bit: Squeaky whiny sound turns out to be Mens Captain Jack complaining about his bike not working or some other excuse. A strong flat last place for him, obviously didn’t want to embarrass anyone.

 

 

*There are of course 2 definitions approved by the Council of Town Bike Racing, the first one being if someone offers you £70 for your bike, you must accept it; the other one being a bike you’d happily leave outside the train station locked badly to a sign.

**Edwin Hubble’s redshift theory was first applied to the town bike race in Chicago, but it is actually fallacical to assume the first will be going fastest at the end, it is much more useful to go fastest at the beginning. Luckily he realised he could also apply it much more successfully to nebulae or something and now has a space telescope

Thetford Winter XC Series Round 1

On Sunday, a CUCC MTB team comprised of Robbie, Fin and Izaak made the trip to Thetford for the first round of the Winter XC Series. Robbie and Fin were racing in the 1.5hrs Senior Mens category while Izaak opted to make his XC racing debut in the 1hr version. CUCC came away with some great results. Fin got off to a fantastic start (in what was a very chaotic 200 person mass start) and brilliantly managed to further work his way up the field and secure a very impressive 6th place. Robbie suffered from the chaotic start but nonetheless worked his way through the large field, up to 12th. Izaak deserves huge congratulations for coming 6th in his first ever XC race, especially as he must have been one of the only riders on flat pedals!
All in all, a great day racing for CUCC MTB and this is hopefully a sign of more exciting things to come.

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 Road Race Report

BUCS Road Race was, as usual, seriously tough. We sent a team of four riders to compete on the 29th of April on the hilly Bulmer circuit near York – John Grenfell-Shaw picks up the story:

Things started well. Having met up at race HQ, we looked at the threatening clouds and each of us got our excuses in early, explaining why it was we were likely to get dropped first time up the devilish Bulmer climb, and which pub we were going to sit in while laughing at the hapless masochists still racing. It took the gentle persuasion of few drops of rain to elect to miss the race altogether and aim directly for beer.

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BUCS 25 Race Report

This weekend Oxford hosted the BUCS 25 mile Time Trial, which is also used as the Varsity Match between our two Universities. A strong Cambridge contingent (Over 10% of the startsheet) turned up, with 12 Men and 4 women ready to compete along the course just outside Cumnor. 5 of our riders had never taken part in a 25, and with a fast course on the cards, we were expecting a lot of new PBs, and after dominating both the 10 and TTT, were confident for another good set of results.

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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 10 Race Report

BUCS 10 was a huge success this year with highlights including John Mulvey taking Silver, leading four CUCC men into the top ten including Seb Dickson only two seconds back in fourth and Jess Atkinson placing fourth in the women’s race. The Cambridge women’s A team (Jess Atkinson and Carrie Bedingfield) took home Silver while the men’s A team (John Mulvey, Seb Dickson and Felix Barker) took Gold – second place in the team competition was occupied by none other than the Cambridge B team (Ali Golby, Rob Walker and John Grenfell-Shaw)!

Toby Cowell picks up the story:

“Saturday 7th April proved to be another successful day for Cambridge University Cycling Club, both in terms of the race results and the success of the event (organised by CUCC events sec Ryan Pringle) as a whole.

The weather forecast had looked worrying throughout the week, but as the fifteen riders descended on Cambridge the roads were dry and the wind favourable. Many (the Northerners in particular!) had made epic journeys to make it back to Cambridge to ride in the event which Ryan Pringle, Trinity College, organised with apparent ease. This was despite the nightmarish walls of admin and slow email replying standing in his way (cough cough BUCS cough cough). The course was the E33/10 which starts in Bottisham, to the north-east of Cambridge – this gave everyone the chance to beat their times from cuppers five weeks previous.

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Lea Valley 25 Race Report

The Lea Valley 25 is held on the e1/25b course near Saffron Walden, making it a club favourite for CUCC. Eleven riders signed up, including John Mulvey and Seb Dickson contesting the 2-up category, but unfortunately a bout of flu meant that three riders were forced to DNS including John’s teammate Seb.

Thanks to Mike DF for photos.

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Cuppers 2018

On Saturday 10th March, CUCC took to the notorious E33/10 for the annual, inter-college ‘Cuppers’ time trial. A stiff southerly breeze meant that no super-fast times were likely to be posted, but a strong sense of college rivalries and with selection for BUCS just around the corner, it was clear that many riders had showed up in form and with a point to prove. The stage was set for an epic contest.

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Varsity Mtb Race Report – Double Victory for Cambridge

An incredibly strong Cambridge team headed to Hadleigh Park on the 25th of February 2018 for the annual Varsity Mtb contest. The race was held as part of the Mud, Sweat and Gears XC series and resulted in a dominating victory for Cambridge in both the women’s and men’s races. We’ll hand over to our roving reporter (and Varsity competitor) Tom Wade for a full breakdown of the race (with thanks to Robbie Blythe’s dad for photographs):

“Despite the freezing temperature and strong, blustery winds, the Cambridge Mountain Bike Varsity team arrived in good spirits at the ex-Olympic venue of Hadleigh Park in Essex. These spirits were no doubt aided by the news that Oxford had a very depleted team. There would be twenty-one Light Blue jerseys tackling the track, but Oxford could only muster five entries, making a Light Blue victory a likely prospect.

 

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