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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fifteen CUCC riders signed up to ride 2018’s Ely Hardriders event despite its reputation for foul, cold weather. Perhaps the draw of the cakes was too much to resist? The weather on Sunday morning was clear without a frost, but unfortunately very breezy with gusts exceeding 30 mph. Disastrously CUCC’s resident megawatts machine, Ali Golby, choppered himself on the ride out to the course when some road detritus jammed in his front wheel. Jali Packer and Rob Walker were there to pick up the pieces and even a trip to A+E could only keep Ali from intervals on Bottisham for a matter of hours.
The first CUCC Hill Climb in club memory was held on a wet day in early November, but the damp weather didn’t stop 34 entrants lining up to take on the mighty Gog Magog. A strenuous 900m at 4.2% reaching the heady heights of 67m, it’s about the best Cambridge has to offer. Of course, that was no reason to take it easy! However, the committee were disappointed by the lack of vomiting at the top – clearly the racers weren’t trying quite hard enough. Ffion James took the win (and the QOM! (from Laura Massey!)) for the women in 1:53.1 with President Jess close behind in 1:53.8. Alice Bittleston completed the women’s podium. John Hale stormed the win in the men’s competition in 1:32.6, with Espresso Library’s John William Gull 3 seconds down at 1:35.4 – was he weighed down by the Zipp disc? We will never know. Tom Simpson was first club member in 1:37.6.
Honourable mentions go to Felix Barker (6th) and Luke Fisher (18th) for riding fixed, Felix on his pursuit setup for BUCS track and Luke on his Simpson-built machine (shameless plug), and to Tom Wade for riding town-bike.
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.
On Saturday the 9th April it was the BUCS 10 Mile Time Trial Championships, held just outside Oxford. The format of the racing, a time trial, sees each competitor try and lay down the fastest time they can around the 10 mile course. On top of this, the Team medals would be awarded on the combined times of the fastest 3 from each University.
In the Men’s Competition 48 Universities were represented and 7 Cambridge riders qualified – fewer than the year before. The Women had 4 qualify for their event, but bad luck (and shoulder dislocations!) lead to just 2 taking the start. With only one rider seeded, both men and women were regarded as outsiders for the titles- one person from a Scottish University even forecasting that Cambridge ‘would go off a bit of a cliff’ this year and stood no chance- laying down a bit of a challenge!
With one rider put off every minute it would be 3 hours before all the times were in, making for an anxious wait to see how riders compared. Soon, however, it began to show that the Cambridge Men were doing pretty well! The fastest time crawled slowly downwards throughout the course of the afternoon, until it came to a halt with Cambridge’s Oliver Mytton setting a new fastest time of 20:23 with 110 people still to go. This ended up standing unchallenged for over half an hour- despite some seeded people coming and going, the person coming closest was Fresher Ali Golby, 9 seconds back in his first showing for Cambridge.Continue reading