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'.

Sign up to the club mailing list here.

BUCS 10 2024

By Matt Davison

The 2024 BUCS 10 mile TT was rescheduled to the 8th of June, after the original event was cancelled last minute due to heavy rain. The CUCC squad took a second trip up to Nottingham, on what promised to be a much nicer day. This involved the standard faff, including pre-race swapping of brake calipers and a pinched latex tube. The wind was less favourable than 2023 resulting in a hard TT to pace: a fast outward leg and a hard uphill headwind for the last few km.

The women were off first, perfectly coinciding with an unexpected rain storm. Despite this, Freya Taylor set a strong time of 24:32, Lucy Havard 23:39, and Maddie Angwin set a very impressive 23:06 for third place. This was enough for Maddie and Lucy to secure second in the team competition.

Then came the men. The early starters still got a bit wet, but the weather cleared up towards the end. The team of Tom Wade (21:26), Joe Adlam-Cook (21:14), and Matt Rizzo-Naudi (20:31), got second in the overall team prize, and Matt Rizzo-Naudi came third overall.

A successful day out for the club, and great to see Matt and Maddie’s dedication to time trailing pay off. (Has Matt had an aero-fit? Will Maddie ever give back her coach’s aero helmet? Who knows). Full results here.

The BUCS 10 squad

BUCS Road Race 2024

by Will Lowden

The 2024 British Universities Road Race Championships took place in South Yorkshire on Sunday the 19th of May, with racing held around the Upper Denby circuit; an 8.3-mile loop with and undulating parcours involving 190m of elevation per lap, 140m of which was undertaken in a single climb. [Insert joke about Cambridge being flat]

With the women’s racing starting early, a strong gang of 9 CUCCers set out the Saturday afternoon before the race, wending their way northward toward Shefield to stay the night in a rather classy Airbnb (Thank you Lucy), located around a 30-minute drive from the race HQ. The evening meal involved the traditional carb loading of pasta, followed soon after by classic bedtime activities, such as; comparing cassette sizes, tasting your friend’s carb drink mix, and musical renditions of Northern classics, including ‘Hendos, ‘Oyl int road’ and ‘No oven no pie’.

The CUCC 2024 BUCS Road Race team, with (left to right): Joe AC, Phoebe Barker, Sannah Zaman, Tom Hale, Will Lowden, Matt Rizzo, Lucy Havard, and Tom Wade.

The day of the race dawned bright and sunny and, with breakfast at 6:30, our female racers (and Will) set off at 7 to the race HQ for the women’s race roll-out at 9. Bravely, the men decided to lie in till later. Navigation appeared to be the first university challenge of the day with which to test the brains of Cambridge, with Sannah and Lucy initially driving to the previous year’s race HQ. Thankfully, the second team of Phoebe and Will passed the test – it turns out that vet placements are also handy for learning how to use google maps!

Phoebe Barker in the zone before the women’s race roll out or, perhaps looking about, trying to find Lucy and Sannah after their little trip to Harrogate? Either way, I love the matching colour scheme.

At 9am, the Women’s 26 rider strong peloton rolled out and, facing 6.5 laps (90km) of the challenging Denby circuit in the heat, the racing started conservatively. Over the next 4 laps, the peloton was slowly thinned out however, all the Cambridge racers remained in the mix. With 2 laps to go, Jessett (Loughborough) and Bond (Shefield) attacked, breaking clear of the main group. A chase ensued, and the resultant hot pace set simmered the bunch down to just 12, with strong riding from Phoebe, Sannah and Lucy ensuring they made the cut. Over the course of the next lap, the breakaway lead climbed to 1.5 minutes and with such a margin, the positions of first and second seemed unassailable; it was now a race for third place. The final kilometre of the circuit involved a cheeky kick to the line, averaging 5% in the final 300m. Phoebe put in an excellent final effort, providing a lead-out for Sannah prior to the final sprint for the line and, after a fast and exhilarating sprint, the CUCC results consisted of 4th place for Sannah, followed by 13th for Phoebe and 14th for Lucy. Great results all round and special a congrats to Phoebe for smashing her first road race! However, the celebrations would have to wait as it was now the turn of the CUCC men to race…

The men’s race took place on the same circuit, this time tackling 9.5 laps (133km) and involving a larger bunch, at 78 riders. Following the roll-out at 2pm, with almost 2000m of climbing on the cards, the racing obviously started conservatively at full gas from the flag, with riders jostling for position before the first 90-degree bend into a 13% kicker. Sensibly, most CUCC riders remained within the relative calm of the fold except for Will, who decided to control the race from the front. Two riders attempted to ride clear, but this was not helpful to ‘l’objectif’ and was quickly closed down. The pace remained high at >45kph for the next 15 kilometres, before a break formed off the front, consisting of five riders including Lowden. The quintet worked well together and by half a lap, had established a gap of 30 seconds, eventually rising to over 3 minutes by lap 5. Meanwhile in the peloton behind, the atmosphere was as tense as a brewing summer storm cloud and, with pacing as mercurial as the air masses which encompass those towering colossus, many riders were inevitably caught out in the emerging splits. With the pace in the peloton remaining high, it was a curious choice of time indeed for Joe ‘tubular’ AC to test his tyres against a pothole. The pothole won.

The sun was out, the pace was high, and the racing was infernal… but that wasn’t the only thing that was hot.

After lap six, four riders launched an attack off the front of the peloton, attempting to bridge to the group of (now four) riders further up the road, reducing the deficit to just 30 seconds by the bell. With 3 km to go, the two groups merged, and an attack was launched up the final climb by Hurdle, with Morgan, Smith, and Lowden quick to join. The finishing 500m came down to a four-way battle, with Smith launching an early sprint, followed by Morgan, who came around to claim the win, leaving Smith second and Lowden third. The racing behind continued, with the peloton now divided into multiple gruppettos strung out along the course; mulppettos, if you will. Both Matt Rizzo and Joe AC put on a solid show, placing 12th and 15th respectively and Tom Wade pulled out all the stops to finish just inside the time cut in 31st. Unfortunately, both Tom Hale and Craig were caught the wrong side of the split, resulting in a ride on the broom waggon.

Matt Rizzo dropping the watts.

All in all, a successful weekend away racing, leaving the woes of exam season behind. Much fun was had by all, despite the hard racing, and the team came away raring to go for the summer of racing ahead!

The full results for the BUCS 2024 road race championships are available here

BUCS Team Time Trial 2024

by Will Lowden

The 2024 British Universities Team Time Trial Championships took place in Wiltshire, on the 10th of March, with racing held over 13.5 laps (40.5km) of the Castle Coombe motor racing circuit; a 3km loop with smooth tarmac and 17m elevation gain per lap.

With racing starting from 13:30, the meeting time at the University sports centre was somewhat civilised and negated the usual bleary-eyed morning start synonymous with most BUCS events. The three-hour drive westward proved uneventful, and even the grey palled drape of a sky, failed to put a dampener on the [ever optimistic] CUCC spirit. But miracles do come true, and the day at Castle Coombe, whilst not sunny, proved to be dry and still, despite the rather wet and windy weather to be found everywhere else.

The CUCC BUCS TTT men’s 1st team, with (left to right): Joe AC, Matt Rizzo, and Will Lowden

Upon arrival, the six-team strong CUCC squad unloaded the van and set up an organised base of operations, with bikes, turbos and wheel bags quickly sprinkled liberally around the area, rather like sheep speckling a distant Exmoor landscape. Having sorted out wheels and other paraphernalia (we all know the best time to test equipment is just before a race), the teams began their warmups before making their way to the start gate for the allotted race time. First up was the CUCC women’s team, consisting of Sannah, Phoebe and Maddie. Having braved rain and wind in previous weeks to practice for the TTT, the women put in an excellent performance of power and teamwork, alongside a show of cosmopolitan sporting skill by Sannah, throwing her helmet mid-race. With aero-a-plenty, thanks to Maddie’s rapid Boardman and Phoebe’s fancy helmet, the women averaged an impressive 40.7 kph, completing the course in 59:19.4 for 5th place. Perhaps next year, we can persuade the organisers to include athletic field events mid-race?

The CUCC women’s TT team in action, with (left to right); Maddie Angwin, Sannah Zaman, and Phoebe Barker.

Following the Women’s race, the CUCC men’s teams were off in quick succession with team 2 (Tom Hale, Tom Wade and Francis) stopping the clock at 51:42.6 for 9th, team 3 (Mantas, Harry and Ben) at 55:03.1 for 17th, followed closely in by team 4 (Lucas, Josh and Janik) at 55:44.4 for 18th, and team 5 (Mattis, Ilya and Matt) at 59:04.9 for 24th.

Finally, it was the turn of the Cambridge men’s 1st team. The pacing started conservatively, the aim being to ride a negative split, with the speed increasing steadily throughout the race. Minute turns were taken on the front with consistently smooth pulls and changes from all, and as the lap counter climbed, so did the pace. With two laps to go, the throttle was wide open, and the afterburners ignited, with Lowden driving it on the front for the final few laps. Averaging 50.1 kph, the clock stopped at 48:11.8 which placed second overall, at just 10 seconds off Loughborough’s winning time.

The solid performance of the women meant that CUCC also placed 2nd in the combined competition and the great performances by everyone a testament to the hard work put in training, in the weeks preceding the event. Overall, a successful day out all-round!

Full results for the BUCS 2024 team time trial championships are available here

‘Great Success!’