After a fairly solid start to the season, with a host of open victories under our belt, we were itching to get started with our 2019 BUCS Time Trial campaign. Hoping to repeat the success from last year (including topping the BUCS cycling table and a national TTT title), we were somewhat confident in continuing our domination. However, the best-laid plans….
Saturday 23rd March – BUCS TTT
With a host of new talent coming into the club, we had 3 men’s teams and 1 women’s entered to race round the quite rolling 22 mile course in the Cotswold hills. A north-easterly wind meant for some fast conditions, with our course record from 2018 looking under threat, but hopefully only from our A team!
The first bit of bad news came when an unfortunate last-minute virus caused us to have to pull our Women’s team from the event, but we were still hopeful of bringing home a raft of BUCS points regardless.
Our first team off on the day consisted of a squad of freshers (Jack Kellam 1st year PhD, Lucas He and Toby Antippas both 1st year Natscis). A late arrival meant that they couldn’t recce the course before-hand, meaning the team took two wrong turns, and as a result lost about 90 seconds. Coming home in a still respectable 50:54 in 17th place, still beating lots of other A teams. Who knows what could’ve been!
The next team off the line was our Men’s B team, consisting of a trio of northerners; ever impressive fresher Craig Rogers (on his lovely Cervelo P3), Men’s Race Captain Jack Brown, and the ever rapid Toby Cowell. Things seemed to be going to plan, but then Toby’s nose decided to spontaneously start bleeding, leading to a very red skinsuit and a load of breathing struggles. They came home in a very creditable 5th place (only 4 seconds off 4th) in a time of 47:43, beating all but 4 uni A teams. With a few more years yet to come, it’s looking positive for the future!
After a short briefing to the A team, consisting of veterans Seb Dickson, John Mulvey and joined by President Rob Walker. Our guys were on for a storming time when an unfortunate racing incident from Rob meant we only finished with two riders. Unfortunately, it’s an example of how unpredictable bike racing can be, but we’ll be back again with a vengeance next year!
|Uni of Cam B||47:43|
|Uni of Cam C||50:54|
|Uni of Cam A||(49:52)|
Saturday 6th April – BUCS 10
Putting a disappointing day behind us from the TTT, we collected ourselves and targeted the next event; BUCS 10. With a load of success at previous editions of this race, we were hoping we could once again go well and get back on top. We had a squad of 12 set out to sunny Oxford, on the 10-mile version of the course than had brought us much success at Varsity last year.
We had a few riders off early doors, with Tom Adams our first rider home in a new PB of 23:29. The ever-keen Anne-Marie Bowring set off just two minutes behind Tom, and also set a new PB of 28:28 (on a road bike with clip-ons!).
Next off came Rob Walker, hoping to set a strong early marker. A 20:44 was recorded, a good time despite a turbulent week of training leading up to the event. After a rapid rise to the very top of the CUCC racing squad, Toby Cowell then set the quickest early time for us, recording a 20:21, showing us that conditions were quite difficult out on the course.
Our very own Welshman Jack Kellam was next off, improving on his previous 10m PB set at Cuppers by over a minute, recording a 21:07. The theme of tropical students then continued, with Flora (hailing from slighty-less-sunny-than-Wales Australia) recording a 25:04. This was narrowly short of coming top-20 overall, but a great ride none the less!
A slight bit of number trouble ensued for Freshers’ TT victor Toby Antippas (pinning number 66 upside down, and only realising 2 minutes before his start), but regardless he came home with a 20:46, also a PB in only his second 10-mile TT! Then came Men’s Race Captain Jack, who after a strong run of form in open events up in Yorkshire, recorded a 19:56, to sit provisional joint 2nd on the day.
After impressing at the TTT, fresher Craig Rogers did a new PB of a 21:36, coming to the realisation that he much prefers riding uphill and not along dual carriageways. Women’s captain and cyclocross star Ffion James then set a 23:29, which ended up being the 7th fastest time of the day, not bad considering it was the first ride on the TT bike she borrowed days before!
Only two more CUCC riders were yet to ride, in the ever-ancient pairing of Seb Dickson and John Mulvey. An ill-timed car puncture added even more pressure than normal to Seb, but despite this he brought home the fastest CUCC time of the day with a 19:36, narrowly missing out on the Bronze medal by 4 seconds. John followed behind to record a 19:49, good enough to get 7th on the day.
At the end of the day, we had Seb, John and Jack bringing home the Team Silver with a combined time of 59:21, agonizingly close to the 59:15 that a strong Nottingham team recorded to win Gold. Flora and Ffion’s combined time got them 5th Women’s team on the day, gaining CUCC some of those precious BUCS points. 7 of our 12-strong squad also recorded PB’s. Well done all!
|7||Ffion James||23:29 (pb)|
|23||Flora Harpley-Green||25:04 (pb)|
|43||Anne-Marie Bowring||28:28 (pb)|
|28||Toby Antippas||20:46 (pb)|
|34||Jack Kellam||21:07 (pb)|
|45||Craig Rogers||21:36 (pb)|
|69||Tom Adams||23:29 (pb)|