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)

Cuppers 2019

 

Men’s Winner Jack Brown (Photo thanks to Davey Jones)

On Saturday, CUCC was out in force for our annual intercollegiate Cuppers TT – over 50 riders from 21 colleges vying for glory on the 10 mile Bottisham course.

The brisk wind on the day meant we all set off for the first 5 miles feeling like Bradley Wiggins before being brought back down to Earth by a soul-crushing return 5 miles into the wind.

 

Despite this everyone seemed in high spirits back at the race HQ, but that may have been more down to the excellent food on offer from head chef Alex Petter (we hope no-one left with food poisoning).

 

Women’s Winner Ffion James

After crunching the numbers the rankings are as follows:

Men’s podium: Jack Brown from Gonville and Caius (20:23), Rob Walker from Pembroke (20:37) and Toby Cowell from St Catherine’s (21:22).
Women’s podium: Ffion James from Girton (27:19), Elspeth Grace from Girton (27:57) and Melody Swiers from Fitzwilliam (28:13).

Special mention goes to the winner of the MTB/Town bike category – Robbie Blythe from Sidney Sussex putting in a time of 27:48.

The victorious Girton team

 

College competition:
1st – 23 points – Girton College (thanks to their flying ladies placing 1st and 2nd)

2nd – 20 points – Gonville and Caius College

3rd – 17 points – Fitzwilliam College

All the brave/foolish competitors

 

The team from Girton went home with the brand new CUCC Cuppers trophy – kindly donated by Jenny and Mark Grenfell-Shaw in memory of John, their son, who was a keen time-triallist and well-loved member of the club. The trophy will be engraved and handed on each year to the triumphant college. We’ll have to see if Girton can hold on to it next year!

Photos from the event, Courtesy of Davey Jones (the good ones at least) here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=15LMdVWNavlbjhnnmYn6pHSczsCR9_DGY

Robbie Blythe storming to victory in the town bike category (Photo thanks to Davey Jones)

College scores   Men   Women 
Girton231Jack Brown20:231Ffion James27:19
Gonville and Caius202Rob Walker20:372Elspeth Grace27:57
Fitzwilliam173Toby Cowell21:223Melody Swiers28:13
Jesus144Seb Dickson21:384Olivia Jamrog29:03
St Catherine's135Lucas He21:555Anne-Marie Bowring30:22
Pembroke126Toby Antippas22:016Marilou Boddé31:15
St Edmond's107Craig Rogers22:157Celia Kessler31:41
Corpus Christi98Jack Kellam22:368Hannah Walker32:20
Lucy Cavendish89James Lello23:24
Queens710Jonny Bodey23:32
Hughs Hall611George Spooner23:53
Trinity412Dan O'Riordan24:00
Sidney sussex313Fabio Albertani24:05
Homerton214Jali Packer24:21
King's215Tom Adams24:31
Magdalene216Matt Bond24:33
Robinson217Nick Grogan24:42
Churchill118Kelvin Gomez24:44
Clare119Will Weatherill24:45
Darwin120Max Vesty25:00
Selwyn121Andrew Salkeld25:11
22Euan Tebbutt25:25
23Ben Ferris25:33
24Hans Verschueren25:34
25Alex Pantelides25:48
26Jordan Thornton26:00
27James Quigley26:03
28Alex Petter26:05
29Eliott Lindsay26:32
30Alex Irvine26:35
31James Burdett26:43
32Matt Davison27:39
33Neil Ibata27:46
34Robbie Blythe27:48
35Timothy Wesh27:50
36Daniel Hayes28:00
37Silas Bonestroo28:05
38Daniel Eatough28:29
39Sean Irving28:49
40Joe Bishop28:57
41Johannes Theron29:02
42Lawrence Hollom29:15
43?33:05
Overall
1Jack Brown20:2331James Burdett26:43
2Rob Walker20:3732Ffion James27:19
3Toby Cowell21:2233Matt Davison27:39
4Seb Dickson21:3834Neil Ibata27:46
5Lucas He21:5535Robbie Blythe27:48
6Toby Antippas22:0136Timothy Wesh27:50
7Craig Rogers22:1537Elspeth Grace27:57
8Jack Kellam22:3638Daniel Hayes28:00
9James Lello23:2439Silas Bonestroo28:05
10Jonny Bodey23:3240Melody Swiers28:13
11George Spooner23:5341Daniel Eatough28:29
12Dan O'Riordan24:0042Sean Irving28:49
13Fabio Albertani24:0543Joe Bishop28:57
14Jali Packer24:2144Johannes Theron29:02
15Tom Adams24:3145Olivia Jamrog29:03
16Matt Bond24:3346Lawrence Hollom29:15
17Nick Grogan24:4247Anne-Marie Bowring30:22
18Kelvin Gomez24:4448Marilou Boddé31:15
19Will Weatherill24:4549Celia Kessler31:41
20Max Vesty25:0050Hannah Walker32:20
21Andrew Salkeld25:1151?33:05
22Euan Tebbutt25:25
23Ben Ferris25:33
24Hans Verschueren25:34
25Alex Pantelides25:48
26Jordan Thornton26:00
27James Quigley26:03
28Alex Petter26:05
29Eliott Lindsay26:32
30Alex Irvine26:35

MTB Varsity

The all Cambridge podium

Last Sunday saw the Cambridge Mountain Bike team put on one of the most dominant Varsity displays in recent years. Down at the Olympic course at Hadleigh Park the Cambridge team took a landslide victory claiming all top 5 spots and winning the Varsity for the third year in a row. The combination of amazing weather and standout performances led to a perfect day out.

The race was effectively won before the end of the first lap when our riders led the race out, swiftly dropping the entire Oxford team and ending up competing against each other for the podium spots. Fitz fresher Craig Rogers led the line and never looked back, he stormed to a fantastic debut win. I am sure he will continue to be dominant over the next few years. Very strong rides from second year Will Weatherill and third year PhD student Fin Allen saw Cambridge complete the podium by taking second and third place respectively. Thanks to Max Vesty and Robbie Blythe, Cambridge also claimed fourth and fifth, with the first Oxford rider coming in in sixth place.

Special congratulations must also go to Izaak Cobb and Alex Pantelides who, competing in their first MTB Varsity, added to a very strong team performance.  

Other big shout outs must go to CUCC president Rob Walker for getting the team down there, Euan Tebbutt for not letting us down when given the van’s aux cord and to Elliot Scott and CUCC alumnus Seb Baucutt for providing great support* on the day.

All in all it was a fantastic day out for CUCC and the best race I’m proud to say I’ve been a part of with the MTB team. A MASSIVE congratulations to everyone involved. A big thanks to Oxford for organising this year’s event and we’ll see them next year to make it four from four.

Robbie Blythe

CUCC MTB Captain

*Making sure everyone sent it down the A-line

Ely Hardriders 2019

Ely Hardriders isn’t just the first TT of the season that CUCC turn out to in force, but in fact only the second open TT of the season across the country! Being held in February, it is infamous for attracting terrible weather to what is possibly the sketchiest TT course going (even in good conditions!), and to top it all off, it’s in the Fens (I know there’s a few club members who in hushed tones would admit to enjoying the Fens, but I can assure you they’re misguided!).

Although a few riders were struck down with illness, CUCC nevertheless turned out in large numbers on the day, with 8 riders from a field of 43 starters and a keen eye on securing the team prize for another year in a row.

As expected, the heavy rain overnight continued for much of the morning, turning pothole-ridden roads into puddle filled roads with the potholes lurking just beneath the surface (lovely)! Warm-ups were mostly minimal, riders preferring the dry HQ to what lay ahead outside, but one-by-one we set out into the cold and onto the course.

Thankfully, all CUCC riders made it round without major incident, and on returning to the HQ, there were some fast times being posted across the board. The competition was very close at the sharp end, with Toby missing out on the win to CUCC alumnus and housemate Felix Barker by only 3 seconds, and Rob just a further 11s adrift in 3rd! We claimed 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th,17th and 26th place, as well as doing enough to win the team prize thanks to rides from Toby Cowell, Rob Walker and Lucas He.

A well-earned congratulations to all those that rode today, especially those taking part in their first 25-mile TT – they’re not all this nasty! A special mention goes to Lucas He, who was the fastest fresher on the day, completing the course in 58:41.

Photos by local stalwart Davey Jones.

 

 

Toby Cowell 2nd 56:28
Rob Walker 3rd 56:39
Jack Brown (AERT) 5th 58:10
Lucas He 7th 58:41
Jack Kellam 9th 1:00:54
Jali Packer 13th 1:05:28
Thomas Adams 17th 1:08:42
Andrew Salkeld 26th 1:13:18
John Mulvey (AERT) DNSA
Seb Dickson DNSA

Full results can be found here in due course.

 

The next major event on the race calendar is Varsity Cross-Country on 24th February (see below for sign-up), where we head to Hadleigh park in an attempt to retain the crown of Varsity XC champions!

 

CUCC at CTT’s Champions Night

On Saturday the 19th of January was ‘Champions Night’, held at Heythrop Hall near Oxford.
This is the annual awards dinner for time trialling in the UK, and is so called because it celebrates the winners of the various championships , and it happens at night time. This is clever, as otherwise it would be called ‘not champions mid-afternoon’ or something (aka just after lunch every day in Oxford, amirite?).

Riders from Cambridge University Cycling Club had one of the club’s best seasons in the national scene for nearly 20 years, and so the club had several people representing them. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Michael Hutchinson (CUCC Blue 1997, as well as  over 60 national titles) whose efforts lead to one of CUCC’s last national successes when they won the team prize in the National 25 way back around the turn of the last millennium.

Rob Walker received the prize for winning the Espoirs category in the Classic Series, taking home a nice pair of Knight Composite wheels.

Rob Walker – Winner, Espoirs, Classic Series

 

John Mulvey and Seb Dickson were along to collect their trophy for their National title in the team time trial. Those familiar with this will remember it as a slight debacle, involving rather more of the rule book than anyone wanted to see. A highlight included Seb being reported for not being a member of CUCC (bafflingly), the head of CTT legal then investigating this, and then Seb politely referring him on to the CUCC membership secretary to confirm this. In a plot twist, this turned out also to be Seb. Perhaps understandably, this was not taken as sufficient corroboration!
However,  the end result was these  shiny hats, and who can say no to that? (Seb spilt beer on his within 5 minutes, so his keepsake is now permanently spoilt).

 

Keen bean/ robot that John is, he actually cycled the 90 miles there, only turning up 40 minutes late in the process, (competitive by CUCC standards). CTT loving a late start/sign on as they do (they don’t) this was slightly stressful and he had to get changed in a loo with Seb shouting the countdown theme at him through the door. Felix Barker, the remaining member of that team (also the one that did the vast majority of the work round the course),  was unable to attend because he didn’t get his response in on time (also a CUCC trademark). Amazing how they even fought their way out of the womb those two.

Seb Dickson and John Mulvey with Alf ‘the King’ Engers- National Team TT Champions!

Guest of honour was renowned 1960s and 70s cyclist Alf ‘the King’ Engers, who was the first person to break 50 minutes for 25 miles, although is equally remembered for the number of times the RTTC changed the rules to try and thwart him.

At the dinner after the awards ceremony, several alumni came forwards to have a chat, leading to some interesting conversations about times gone by, and the potential for some events going forwards!

The next morning, much was made of the free breakfast, including jamming pockets with pastries for ride food.
Seb vomited into a bush, John cycled home and Seb and Jack went to Oxford to crash the OUCC club run.

 

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.

Another Record Falls! 2:27:24 Men’s 25TT Team

On Saturday 12th May a CUCC team made up of Jack Brown, Toby Cowell and Ali Golby set some blistering times on the VC Norwich Open 25 on the B25/8 course to take the club 25 record for three riders racing individually in one event from John Mulvey, Felix Barker and Jack Brown who rode a combined 2:30:31 at Varsity this year. Jack recorded 48:57, Toby 49:03 and Ali 49:24 to set a new combined time of 2:27:24.

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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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