CUCC Dominate at Three Peaks

There might not be many mountains to practice carrying your bike up in Cambridge, but Ffion James (Girton), Elspeth Grace (Girton) and William Weatherill (Homerton) all secured stunning results in this year’s edition of the iconic race. No wonder there’s no BUCS Cyclocross – we’d only sweep the board there too! Social Sec 2019/20 Ffion offers up the full story of last weekend…

On Sunday 15th September, three brave delegates from CUCC headed up to Yorkshire to take on the infamous Three Peaks, arguably the hardest cyclocross race in the world. It comprises 60km up and down 3 mountains in the Yorkshire Dales on a ‘cross bike: drop handlebars, survival bag and emergency whistle all compulsory… Who wouldn’t want to give it a go?!

Ffion on her way to smashing the U23 record time

Nothing can prepare a 3 peaks first-timer for the ascent of Simon Fell, the first summit of the route. The hill creeps up in front of you, getting steeper and more intimidating the closer you get to it. Crawling up a mountain side with 600 other crazy people really makes you question yourself. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The descents are no less insane. Racing blind down a steep, rocky mountain with no suspension, drop handlebars and 50+ psi in your tyres is not to be recommended!

Smile or grimace?

Ffion James and Elspeth Grace nevertheless managed to make it around with both themselves and their bikes in one piece, placing 1st and 3rd respectively in the U23 Women’s category, with Ffion breaking the U23 record by an impressive 35 minutes. Relief was the predominant feeling for both riders as they crossed the finishing line, mixed with a bit of frustration for Ffion who only finished a minute behind the winner in a 3 hour 45 minute race. While she’s sure she’ll be back next year to wrap up some unfinished business, Elspeth is not quite so convinced, having said she only ‘thinks’ she enjoyed it!

Will mid hair-raising descent

Will Weatherill, with a little more experienced than Elspeth and Ffion, was competing in his third Three Peaks and aiming high. He was having an incredible ride, constantly moving up through the field, reaching 12th place by the top of Pen-y-Ghent, the final climb. The extremely fast but on-the-limit descending which had helped Will get into that position sadly came at a price, as he suffered a frustrating two punctures on the final descent. He still managed to hold on to a very impressive 17th place and 1st U23 rider, in an extremely strong field containing the likes of 12-time champion Rob Jebb and EF Education First World Tour pro Lachlan Morton.

What a day for CUCC, with three different riders on the podium at a prestigious event, that isn’t a time trial and includes hills! Bringing home this set of results is really quite special and shows how well-rounded and multi-talented the club is. Congratulations to all three of them!

Let’s see if we can convince a few more testers to take up the challenge in 2020…

Ffion and Elspeth taking 1st and 3rd U23 Women

Will stood on the top step of the Men’s U23 podium

 

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 Success for CUCC!

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!

WOMEN’S CAPTIAN JESS TAKES THE START

WOMEN’S CAPTIAN JESS TAKES THE START

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

CUCC Women Michaelmas 2016!

For the past two years, I was aware of (at most) five other women that cycled in Cambridge. Coming into my third year, I reluctantly agreed to take on the role of women’s captain for fear of the role becoming redundant otherwise. Now, after eight weeks of term, I am extremely pleased to say that our women’s mailing list is 54 strong (and still growing), and I have led weekly rides of up to 14 women (yes, we beat the men). So, here’s how it all happened in under 8 weeks…Continue reading