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
Despite the promised wet weather, several members enjoyed warm and dry conditions on the E1/25b on Sunday, promoted by Lea Valley CC. A quick glance through the start sheet showed a large Oxford contingent entered, and since public urination is frowned upon a strong showing was needed to mark our territory.
The gently rolling 25 mile course along single carriageway unfortunately starts at the south end, but a short train ride brought us to the HQ at Lea Valley CC’s cycling hut: a taste of the cycling club scene of the ‘50s. Continue reading
Atkinson and Dickson triumph, Jesus best college.
1st Woman-Jess Atkinson (Churchill)
1st Man- Seb Dickson (Corpus)
1st Town Bike- Dan Eatough (Corpus)
College Winners- Jesus
On the 4th March, 57 cyclists and 1 unicyclist lined up to see just which is the best college at Cycling.(perhaps surprisingly, it isn’t Girton) With some very fast times laid down already in the season so far by people new and old, it was going to be an interesting race!Continue reading
by Tom Simpson
The 2017 edition of Varsity XC took off with another early morning. We gathered in Catz car park in the dark to pile eleven bikes into the back of our hired transporter and arrange ourselves between the three additional cars. To everyone’s surprise, Official Supporter Jali Packer put in a heroic effort to make it to Catz for 6:15 am after his Women’s Varsity Netball Dinner the night before, pillow still in hand. Once at Crowthorne Woods in Berkshire, the venue once again, we met with Rob Walker and Tom Wade – making the Cambridge team up to a huge fourteen men and three women!Continue reading
Report by Race Captain, John Mulvey
Ed Lee-Six, Hal Bradbury, Seb Dickson and myself showed our lack of knobbly-tyred inclinations and on the same date as the Varsity MTB race headed down to north London to ride the early season classic that is the North Road Hardriders.
Whilst the weather was kind this year, road works meant the hilly course was shortened to 22 miles. Seb placed 6th in 53.15, 2 mins down on winner Lloyd Chapman, with Hal 8th, myself 10th and Ed in 42nd. CUCC missed out on the team prize only because someone (cough Seb cough) is not racing in light blue colours, so an encouraging result considering so many of us were away racing against Oxford.
Full race report available here: https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-report/14538
6th – Seb Dickson – 53:15
8th – Harold Bradbury – 54:04
10th – John Mulvey – 54:39
42nd – Ed Lee-Six – 1:02:59
Nine CUCC riders braved the cold, wet and even slightly snowy conditions to compete in the traditional, season opening Ely Hardriders Time Trial.
The cold weather, strong breeze and wet conditions meant that no super quick times would be posted, and many decided that the aero gains of a skinsuit and carbon wheels would be better traded for some warmer clothes and effective braking! Continue reading
For the last two weekends running Toby and I have been heading down to Hog Hill to work on our crit racing skillz in the Cat 4 only Saturday race series. The ‘chopperfest’ description is unwarranted, although both our crashes at training camp have landed us firmly in the chopper camp (I’m speaking on your behalf here, Toby). Anyway, to simplify our report we decided to split it into a nice and simple ‘what went well’ and ‘what we can do better’. So here goes: Continue reading