Cambridge University Cycling Club
We cater for all University members, providing access to all cycling disciplines from beginners to elite athletes.
As well as competing in BUCS races, we regularly organise social and touring rides which allow beginners to improve their fitness and to discover the countryside around Cambridge and beyond.
News about training, races, and results will be posted here. Check out our calendar of upcoming events on 'Training & Events'.
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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?!
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!
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 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…
Our riders might have been scattered around the country for the long vacation, but that hasn’t stopped CUCC bringing home a host of fantastic results over the summer months.
Back in late July, one half of the coming year’s social sec team – Ffion James – put in a strong performance on her mountain bike, finishing a fantastic 2nd place in the Women’s U23 race at the National XC Championships at Cannock Chase.
Craig ‘Mystery’ Rogers has been battling away at a load of Northern 2/3/4s, winning the Ian Mountain Memorial RR, finishing 2nd at the Cold Dark North RR and then also competing at the Harlech ‘Hell’ Climb, finishing 6th in a quality field up an especially grim climb (recently recategorised as the steepest in the world!) to show good form as hill climb season comes into view.
Lucas ‘The Bullet’ He has continued a season of great TT results, a particular highlight being the VC Baracchi 50 near Norwich, where he clocked a rapid 1:51:17 to bag a quality 2nd place. He then followed this up with another podium on the 25 mile variant of the same course a week later, finishing in 56:04.
When not trying to finish writing up his PhD thesis, John Mulvey has been casually winning the odd TT here and there, including the Victoria CC and Chronos RT 10s on the same day?!. The latter was won with a rapid 18:51 on the F2A/10 course just west of Cambridge.
Moving into August, aside from seeing his form slide away through a month of 30-minute crits in Crystal Palace Park, Website Secretary Jack Kellam took the club’s Zipp wheels all the way back home to South Wales for an average day out at the CTT Welsh 10-mile Championship near Abergavenny, finishing 15th for a 20:24. Faring far better, however was Women’s Captain Elspeth Grace who traded her standard ‘cross tyres for slicks, coming 5th in the Women’s field in the Victoria CC 10.2 on the Bank Holiday weekend.
General Secretary Jack Brown headed over to a dual carriageway near Derby for the rescheduled RTTC National 25 Championships after a summer comprised mainly of lugging touring kit up mountains and trolling the numerous (8!) Loughborough students he keeps beating in road races.
TT-position muscle memory proved strong, however, as Jack churned out the watts to break the club 25 record for the second time this year, posting a 48:09(!) on the A25/11, good enough for a top 10 finish (9th) on the day. Rumour has it he might get his skis out and head down to the R25/3h in South Wales in search of a 47′ next year.
All in all, its been another superb summer of racing across the board for the club with numerous great results and performances not covered here. With another intake of talented freshers just round the corner, things are looking good for BUCS 2019/20, with the season-opener hill climb up Mam Tor fast approaching at the end of October.
Rob Walker and Seb Dickson travelled down to near Bristol for the National Circuit Championships, with the aim of collecting a top 50 to accomplish their full blues.
With Rob having his end of term project just finished and Seb finally getting round to doing the whole finish a degree thing (‘both the most and least anticipated event of the year’) with finals, masters dissertation write up etc neither had the sharpest legs.
The course was the same used for the BUCS TTT – a technical and somewhat lumpy if scenic romp around the roads near Tomarton. There was varying familiarity with the course – Seb from his 5 previous appearances in that event and Rob from a previous 2 (even if on the second appearance he got confused by a slight corner perniciously pretending to be a straight road and cycled off the side of it. See: BUCS TTT 2019). However, unlike the BUCS TTT this turned out to be two laps (40miles), a rather different proposition for the inherently lazy who like their bike races to be over quickly so they can get back to eating cake.
In the end, the very strong field on paper was hollowed out slightly by misfortune, with world tour pro Harry Tanfield having exceptionally poor luck to puncture cycling to the start, and even worse luck to do that next to Seb, whose cheery offer of an out of true 10 speed mavic aksium with a seized freehub was summarily disregarded by the Katusha Alpecin rider.
Rob set a time of 1:30:54 round the course, managing not to get foxed by mischievous ‘roads with slight changes of direction’ and this was good enough for 13th on the day, beating many impressive names, and easily clearing the barrier to converting his half blue from winning the varsity match for his maiden full blue.
Seb could only find one sock and no overshoes or skinsuit having been too hungover packing the day before. He further thought he’d prove that testing your race nutrition strategy before hand is a good idea by not doing so; chugging his first gel in about 4 years then throwing it back up 10 miles later along with his breakfast, all over the skinsuit he had borrowed that morning. As such, there is not much photographic evidence of the assymetric vommity twit. Despite this, he did 1:27:24 and clung on for 7th, getting his final full blue to add to the previous 2 and a half.
It now just remains for John Mulvey to attempt his and they will get the full set!