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.

 

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.

John Mulvey achieves Full Blue!

Our final Full Blue of 2018 is awarded to John Mulvey. John earned a road Half Blue with Felix Barker and Jack Brown at Varsity this year and John has met the remaining criteria to fulfil the Full Blue. These were:

Sub 54-minute 25 mile TT 1 – Varsity 2018 – 49:30

Sub 54-minute 25 mile TT 2 – Cambridge CC – 51:23

National TT top 50 – National Closed-Circuit TT Champs – 4th

Congratulations John!

Jack Brown achieves Full Blue

Huge congratulations to Men’s Captain of 2018-19 Jack Brown for coming 12th in the National 50 mile TT championships.
Already a Half Blue from the Varsity match earlier in 2018, this is the final result required for him to meet the higher Full Blue status (subject to his own approval, which we assume is given).

Felix Barker awarded Cycling Full Blue

Our first Full Blue of 2018 goes to Felix Barker. Felix earned a road Half Blue with John Mulvey and Jack Brown at Varsity this year and Felix has met the remaining criteria to fulfil the Full Blue. These were:

Sub 54 minute 25 mile TT 1 – Varsity 2018 – 49:56

Sub 54 minute 25 mile TT 2 – Hitchens Nomads – 52:28

National TT top 50 – National Open Circuit TT Champs – 10th

Congratulations Felix!

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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