Varsity 2021 Race Report

It had been a long time coming, but more than two years after the last event, on the 11th July the Cycling Varsity match finally returned. Oxf*rd had been unable to make BUCS 25 earlier in the year, so instead of the standard Bottisham circuit, this year’s time trial was instead hosted on the E1/25d course starting just outside of Ugley near Saffron Walden.

 

Unfortunately, some temporary traffic lights on the Friday evening put the event at risk! But thanks to the incredible generosity and effort of the Essex Roads CC organisers, when the lights disappeared at the last minute, we were still able to run a full 25 mile event – albeit with only Oxf*rd and Cambridge riders competing.

 

We were blessed with some good sunny, still conditions on the rolling out and back course which promised some fast times. With only varsity riders involved, once competitors were out on course, there was an even more spirited atmosphere than usual, with plenty of chances to shout encouragement to teammates being passed on the course!

 

All in all, CUCC had 15 riders taking part, looking to win the Women’s event for the first time in 6 years, and defend our long-held Men’s trophy. Having not competed against O*ford in a number of years, it was all to play for, with no real knowledge of what to expect from the opposition!

Elspeth Grace, Rebekah Nash and Zoe Burrell

The women’s event was a close run affair, with Elspeth Grace (2nd, 1:01:26), Zoe Burrell (4th, 1:02:12) and Rebekah Nash (5th, 1:04:06) narrowly missing out by 1 minute and 13 seconds from the Oxford women’s side, led home by Anna Murgatroyd, who won the overall in 1:00:04.

Jack Kellam

Euan Tebbutt

Jack Brown

With some strong rides from Jack Brown (2nd, 53:03), Jack Kellam (3rd, 53:29) and Euan Tebbutt (who recovered from a minor “sit down” to finish 4th in 54:49) the men’s squad was able to hold onto the trophy with a combined time of 2:41:31, enough to beat Oxf*rd’s effort of 2:43:50, despite a fast ride from Matthew Coulson, who won overall with a 52:26.

 

As a result of their performances, half-blues have therefore been awarded to the top three riders from the men’s and women’s events! Congratulations also go to Jack Brown, who earns another Full Blue, having already completed the remaining criteria earlier this season.

Women's Results:

PositionCompetitorTime
2Elspeth Grace01:01:26
4Zoe Burrell01:02:12
5Rebekah Nash01:04:06

Men's Results:

PositionCompetitorTime
2Jack Brown00:53:03
3Jack Kellam00:53:29
4Euan Tebbutt
00:54:59
5Timothy Welsh
00:55:32
8Fabio Albertani
00:56:18
8Joris Witstok
00:56:18
11Joseph Adlam-Cook
00:56:52
12Tom Hale
00:56:54
13Sam Massey
00:57:17
15Joe Lunn
01:00:48
16Tom Wade
01:02:14
17Matt Bryan
01:07:25

National 24 Hour TT Report

This past weekend Tim Welsh was representing Cambridge University Cycling Club in the National 24 hour TT championships put on by the Mersey Roads cycling club. It was set to be an absolute scorcher, with the Met Office warning that it could be the hottest weekend of the year so far with no clouds and high humidity. Undeterred, Tim took to the start line along with 63 other competitors (11 out of the original 75 started chose not to even start the day). The course for the 24hrs was quite complicated, to ensure that riders were on different routes that were safer for different parts of the day and to make things more simple for the timekeepers at the finish. The majority of the course centred around the Prees Heath roundabout which was part of the main day circuit and the night circuit. After his start time at 13:26, Tim started the leg of the race to get to the main circuits (which of course required climbing directly uphill for the first 10 miles).

Tim gives a double thumbs up before heading to the start line

He's started! only 23 hours 59 minutes and 30 seconds to go

Within 15 minutes of the start, tragedy struck. Tim hit a pothole and the clamp on his right aero bar (clip-ons on his road bike) entirely snapped. With the aerobar now dangling from his handlebars it took a few moments to gather his thoughts. Luckily he had packed some gaffa tape, so he phoned his support crew who gave him hand ups of strips of gaffa tape which he used the wrap the bars together. Somehow, he managed to get the setup reasonably stable and carried on with gaffa taped bars for the first 7 hours until he took his first stop and had the bars and mount cable-tied more solidly.

 

Despite the bumpy start, Tim was getting on very well. The heat was getting to everyone, with loads of people (including multiple previous champions) deciding to pull out within the first day section. Tim however, was doing great. His support crew – Julia, Alex, and Steve – did everything they could to keep him fed and cool, handing up bottles full of electrolytes and sugar every 18 miles and ice packs to put down his skinsuit. His heart rate was skyrocketing the first 6 hours in the heat, but he felt good and carried on – managing to cover the first 112.45 miles in 5th place with a speed of 22.49mph.

Constant hand ups of bottles, gels, rice cakes, energy bars, and even gaffa tape and lights meant that stoppage could be minimised and Tim could keep rolling

Even though the day was scorching, the night temperatures got down to 13°C and Tim had to put on an extra layer to keep warm

After the first 112.45 miles on relatively busy A roads, the race moved onto the more relaxed Quina Brook circuit, which featured a bit more rolling terrain and even some nice little lanes through some local farms. Tim fared well on this section of the course, fuelling often with rice cakes and energy bars, and even managed to creep up into 3rd place overall before moving onto the night section.

Running a race through the night is a difficult task, and it requires a course that is reasonably smooth but also had little traffic. The night section for this race was a slightly mixed bag for Tim. He of course had no problem in the dark, probably due to his countless audax rides he has done through the night in much worse conditions on much smaller roads, but there were certainly more lorries than would have been desirable. That being said, Tim was still rolling well – covering the first dark 50 night miles in 2:15 (22.2mph). Things slowed a little bit from there, but never significantly. Around 2 am, Tim’s stomach started to tense up a bit – maybe due to the rapid ingestion of caffeine pills chased with an energy drink and antacids, or maybe due to not having enough solid food in the early hours of the morning – but this caused him to take a 35 minute stop to involuntarily empty the contents of his stomach and try to collect himself and recover. Being a stubborn person, Tim carried on for the remaining 3 hours on the night circuit, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

Giving it the beans during the final hour on the finishing circuit

A few minutes lying in a chair were required before any additional motion was possible

Around 7 am, Tim was one of the last riders to be moved back onto the Quina Brook circuit, where the first lap he still was moving relatively slow (by his self-imposed standards). After one lap around Quina, he took another short break to get some more solid food in, cover his legs in deep heat, and swap the clear visor for the sun visor on his aero helmet. After that break, things started to perk up. Tim started picking up the pace again and was looking a lot better than he was at 3 am. After completing 5 more laps of Quina, Tim was one of the first riders to move towards to finish circuit near Wrexham.

This was Tim’s first time ever riding in Wales, something he hoped to have done already in the 3 years he’s been in the UK, but nevertheless, at least this was a notable first ride to do in Wales. The race crossed into Wales on the A525, and of course, as soon as the “Croeso i Gymru” sign appeared the roads turned into a vertical wall (or so it felt). The rest of the commute over to the finish circuit was equally hilly and draining, or maybe it was just the previous 21hrs and 420+ miles in the legs. After the transit over, Tim made it onto the finishing circuit in 6th place with ~430 miles covered in the first 21:20.

The finishing circuit was an 8.18 mile lap around the lovely Wrexham Industrial Estate, with 4 timekeepers spaced out around the circuit to mark riders once they finish their 24 hours. Something obviously ticked for Tim in the final 2.5 hours, because all the tiredness and soreness seemed to drop away and he went full gas and even managed to consistently get negative splits across the 7 finishing laps he completed! Because of the shorter circuit, it also meant there were more supporters dotted out around the lap, and they were clearly excited by the speed Tim was moving as it seemed like pretty much every group of people screamed at him as he passed. In the last 3 hours, Tim didn’t manage to eat any solid food, but the carb drinks, countless gels, and most importantly the yells of support pushed him on.

It was truly a team effort and would not have been the same without great supporters (left to right: Steve, Alex, Tim, Julia)

Going into the last hour, Tim was determined to squeeze out every last bit of energy he could and was out of the saddle sprinting up every climb, and tucking into his most aero position to hit up to 30mph on the straight and flat sections. The final lap was his fastest one of all, averaging over 23.5mph – not bad for the end of a 24-hour ride!

In the end, Tim eked out 487.70 miles, securing him 4th place in the nation (3rd male). His original goal was to beat the Cambridge University record of 442.66 miles, and he absolutely smashed it. For his first TT over 100 miles, Tim and all of us at CUCC are pretty pleased with the result – especially on such a hot day where only 37 of the original 64 finished. Also a massive thank you has to go out to Julia, Alex, and Steve who were an absolutely stellar support team, they did everything they could to keep the pedals turning for Tim and it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Tim is recovering and as always is already scheming for his next massive ride (although maybe it’ll be at a more relaxed pace). Onwards!

BUCS 25 Report

After another long hiatus from racing, on Sunday 18th April, we were finally back in action as hosts for this year's BUCS 25. Sadly, with Oxford unable to compete this year, it wasn't to be the Varsity match – but with a full start sheet of 120 riders, including plenty of 'hitters' desperate to get some early season racing under their belt, there was still plenty up for grabs.

The club had a strong squad out with over 20 members pinning on numbers, and plenty racing in their first ‘open’. After a long winter of training that had seen many new members flogging themselves in the weekly team time trials on Zwift, it was exciting to see how many would go – especially having lost a number of racing stalwarts in the last couple of years.

With sunny conditions on the local E33/25 course, fast times were expected, and so it proved: the days when a 52 or a sub-hour ride could win the men’s and women’s competitions respectively are now long gone!

Women's Captain Anne-Marie Bowring speeding around Botty triangle (1:09:29)

Clare Jackson on her way to 23rd place (1:06:29)

With Jack Kellam’s Citroën parked up on a grassy verge for a socially-distanced basecamp, our early riders made their way over to the race course, ready to swap out wheels, pin on numbers and warm up for their efforts. Ottoline Martin (1:16:16, 36th) was first rider off, followed by Anne-Marie Bowring (1:09:29, 29th), Clare Jackson and Zoe Burrell also in the women’s field. With the latter two having only been on their new TT bikes for under a week, their eventual finishing times of 1:06:29 (Clare, 23rd) and 1:04:41 (Zoe, 19th) were super impressive, and a sign of their really exciting potential.

Anna Harrison (1:02:46, 15th) and Rebekah Nash (1:03:11, 16th) followed shortly after, putting in super rides to help support one of our strongest all-round performances in the women’s field for a few seasons. This was capped by Elspeth Grace, whose transformation from cyclo-crosser to top-tier tester now appears all but complete. With a time of 1:00:54 that would have readily netted a podium in years recently past, Elspeth finished 8th in a very strong field – keep an eye out at national events later this year. 

The final podium saw Francesca Hall (Loughborough) take the win with a flying 56:35, followed by Lucy Gadd (Southampton) in 58:44, and Tamsin Miller (Exeter) in 59:44.

Zoe Burrell posting a time of 1:04:41 to land in the top 20

General Secretary Elspeth Grace on her way to a top-10 classification in a strong field (1:00:54)

In the men’s event, first Cambridge rider off was Joris Witstok on his lovely Cervélo/Spinergy road bike TT set-up, who showed that #JorisWatts on Zwift translated effectively into reality, flying round to finish 40th in a 57:19. Tom Hale followed, starting early so he could hand over his TT bike to his UCL-based brother. In his first proper 25, Tom smashed a 55:30 that would place him 26th and as 3rd Cambridge rider overall.

George Spooner then headed out on his road bike, gurning round Botty to a very fast 55:52. One of the rides of the day, though, goes to Joe Adlam-Cook who – undeterred by a last minute snapped rear cable – rode a bodged, 1x single speed set-up for 25 miles, still finishing with a 1:01:47.

Tom Hale is third fastest among CUCC riders in his first proper 25 (55:30)

Men’s Ride Captain George Spooner putting up a fast 55:52 on his road bike

The two Sams – Massey and Gerrard – were also riding their first opens, and finished next to each other in the final standings, the latter (57:52, 49th) narrowly squeezing out the former (58:05, 50th). The triathletes followed, with Fabio Albertani finding a space on the start sheet to ride a creditable 58:17, before Luke McCarron put in a solid ride of 57:51. Our audax and ultra-distance specialist Tim Welsh was up next, and turned up the intensity for a very strong 57:24 (42nd) on a road bike and tri-bars set-up.

We were then into the squeaky end of the startsheet. Despite a healthy dose of last minute stress – it wouldn’t be CUCC at BUCS without it – a rapid wheel and cassette swap saw Jack Brown make his start time. Clearly unfatigued from racing a 25 on the same course the day before, and claiming not to have done an interval session in 18 months, Jack stormed to a 52:19 that placed him 8th (and a time that would have at least secured a podium in years past).

Jack Kellam and Toby Antippas followed with a 55:40 and 1:03:17 respectively, but it was Euan Tebbutt on his new P5 super bike that put in the star performance with 54:11 that saw him finish 19th.

Euan Tebbutt and his new P5 fly into the top 20 (54:11)

President Jack Brown reaching the top 10 on his second consecutive day of E33/25 TTs (52:19)

Having stacked the podium in 2019, the men’s squad couldn’t quite repeat the feat two years later. The win was taken by George Peden (Leeds) with a 50:34, with Frederik Scheske (Exeter) and Sebastian Garry (Nottingham) coming 2nd and 3rd with 50:56 and 51:09 respectively. The top 7 all finished with times that would have comfortably won the event in previous years, showing quite how high the standard has risen in UK time trialling over the last few years.

Although the club weren’t quite able to match the results that we’ve become accustomed to in BUCS events over recent years, it was hard to come away with anything other than massive encouragement from the strength and breadth of new talent in the club, many of whom (including plenty who were unlucky to not get starts) are certainly going to be up in the sharp end of results sheets in the months and years to come.

A final, but incredibly important thanks go to Events Secretary James Quigley for putting on the event in really difficult circumstances, as well as everyone who helped out in marshalling and timekeeping: James’ dad, and Elspeth’s parents in particular! It was clear how grateful other universities were that we’d provided the opportunity for racing to return, and at quite how smoothly the day went by.

With Varsity still to come at a later date this year, and the season only just getting underway, keep your eyes peeled for CUCC skinsuits at time trials around the country!

(Image credit: Kane Smith and CUCC's very own Nordin Ćatić)

CUCC Hill Climb Report

Last weekend saw CUCC return to our local and beloved Hill Climb course with a healthy turnout of over 30 determined riders eager to test themselves up the deceptive climb. Consisting of a gentle slope followed up shortly by a sharply increasing gradient before a final sprint to the finish over the top, the hill can be tricky to pace despite Cambridge’s flat reputation and is still a tough one on the legs.

Some taking it easier than others

Tim Welsh giving it the beans (1:51)

Luckily the conditions on the day were excellent, with plenty of sunshine and even a slight tailwind! A notable improvement from the conditions at our previous event, the Freshers’ TT, as those who were there I’m sure would attest.

In the women’s field, the competition was so close we had a draw for 1st place! Elspeth Grace and Mathilde Pauls both smashing out an impressive 2 minutes and 1 second. Hot on their heels was Zoe Burrel, showing off some great multi-disciplinary talent by following up on her 2nd place at the Freshers’ Time Trial and securing the next podium spot only 3 seconds behind. And the final podium spot went to Anne-Marie Bowring with a time of 2 minutes and 17 seconds; excellent efforts all around!

Mathilde Pauls (2:01)

Elspeth Grace (2:01)

Anne-Marie Bowring (2:17)

Likewise, in the men’s field the competition was well and truly on with only 2 and 1 seconds separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Euan Tebbut charged to victory this year with a time of 1:40, just ahead of Ollie Moseley with a 1:42 and Joe Adlam-Cook, once again taking the title of fastest fresher, with a time of 1:43. Off the podium there was no lack of rapid times either with time differences between places often being just a single second showing every watt/kilogram counted. Unfortunately, our hill climb specialists George and Craig, who both put in stellar performances at the National HC recently, couldn’t be there this time as they tired themselves out on their – admittedly quite long (70 miles) and scenic – ride over to the course.

Ollie Moseley (1:42)

Joe Adlam-Cook (1:43)

Euan Tebbut (1:40)

James Quigley, our events secretary, concludes: "Special thanks to Elspeth and Euan who not only competed (and did rather well!) but also helped do timekeeping for portions of the event. And thank you to everyone who came to compete for making the event as fun and successful as it was, I hope everyone had a great time, or at least as much as possible when doing a hill climb!"

Naturally, credits are also in order for James himself, who has managed to organise two great club races this term, despite limitations and a premature end to club rides and other activities, as the club moves to alternatives like riding in pairs and on virtual platforms.

Autumn Racing Round-up

With the darkness now drawing in ever earlier, the racing season for 2021 has come to a close for CUCC’s time triallists – with only this weekend’s club hill climb up Gog Magog left to finish. It’s been a strange, abridged season, but club riders have nevertheless managed to achieve some fantastic results in the two months since the last update.

In September, the club sent a good contingent to the National 25 Championships on a quick course in the Midlands. Standout ride was Dave Bell, who finished first of our riders in 40th with a 51:13. Close behind were Ali Goby (48th), Jack Brown (49th), and Euan Tebbutt (64th), showing the strength in depth we’re beginning to develop.

Up in the North East, on the 4th October, Jack Brown and alumnus Rob Walker both took part in the National 50 Championships. On a greasy course, with a number of tumbles for competitors at roundabouts, both stayed upright to record superb results. Rob managed 9th with a 1:43:34 while Jack was 11th with a 1:44:40.

The string of high placings at Nationals continued on our home course, the E33/25 at Bottisham, where the 2020 Circuit Championships were held at the end of the month. Elspeth Grace took home a brilliant 10th in the women’s category, while Rob Walker stormed to another top-10 position in 9th. Men’s race captain Jack Kellam took home a solid 29th, accompanied by a number of strong performances from riders in the separate road bike event that day – topped by Emma Andrews winning in the women’s field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, George Spooner and Craig Rogers managed to sufficiently avoid getting trapped in self-isolation to head to the National Hill Climb Championships on Streatley Hill – a short, sharp brute of a climb for this year’s course. In a frankly massive field of riders, both put it storming runs to take 14th (Craig) and 15th (George) respectively, separated by only tenths of a second! Both will be heading to the club event on Sunday with a score to settle…

Summer Racing Round-Up

Since the return of racing to British roads in late July, CUCC members have started to put all of their lockdown training to good use, with a string of great results already on the books – including club records, PBs and national championships – and plenty of competitive action still to come in a busy late season schedule.

Elspeth flying to a new PB on the F2a/25

More time-trialling success

Recent alumnus Rob Walker kept hold of his CUCC skinsuit to record a blistering 19:14 on the F2a/10 just west of Cambridge in one of the first events back at the end of July, powering through conditions so horrific that the race was cancelled shortly after his ride!

Jack on his way to a short 53 at the Bedfordshire CC 25

The following weekend, there was a strong club performance at the Bedfordshire RCC 25, where Dave Bell smashed his PB to record a 51:58, and Jack Kellam put together a decent ride for a 53:03. Not to be outdone though, Lucy Havard rode over 25 miles from Cambridge to the race start at 6:30am, did an impressive 1:05:24 in her first TT, and then cycled all the way home – simply ridiculous.

Lucy at the Bedfordshire CC 25

Meanwhile, Elspeth Grace has been honing her transition from national-level ‘crosser to aero time-trialling machine at her local club events in Welwyn, recording a number of increasingly speedy times, a 23:31 being her PB for the summer over 10 miles.

In the midlands, Euan ‘The Duck’ Tebbutt and Ali Golby have put in a number of strong regional performances, including taking 11th (21:38) and 4th (20:47) respectively in the overall round Mallory Park over 10 miles this August. A 20:58 on the K11/10T a week later also spelled a PB for Euan in an impressive summer’s racing.

Jack Kellam has continued to pick up top ten places at sporting courses around the South East of the country, while Rob Walker recovered from disappointment at this year’s National 100 Championships (where an onset of cramp derailed a promising run) to take 2nd at the V.C.Baracchi 50 mile event in Suffolk.

 

National Championships & Club Records

With CTT National Championships events pushed back to later in the year, after the cancellation of BUCS and Varsity, club riders have been able to focus their attention on new goals.

At one of the strongest fields ever for a National 10 Championships, alumni Rob Walker and Ali Golby donned minty green as our club representation at the H10/3R in Newbury. After a solid 20:58 for Ali, a rapid 19:30 by Rob catapulted him into 21st place which, in an absolutely stacked field of nearly 150 riders, was an incredibly impressive result.

Rob breathing deep to finish 21st at the Nat 10

Vying for ride of the summer so far, however, was Club President Jack Brown’s new CUCC record for a 100-mile TT at the start of September. Coming off the back of a seemingly endless summer of touring, Jack was somehow capable of jumping onto his TT bike and riding at nearly 44km/h for an imperial century to record 3:39:39 and smash a decades-old club record – almost more impressive when his race report reads that he “blew his doors off” with 10 miles to go, and had a full bladder (so to speak) for over three hours!

 

Jack Brown in a world of pain setting the club record for 100 miles

Hill climb season – and the start of term – approaches

With the start of term around the corner, club riders have been returning to Cambridge and its famed training triangle. On the 13th September, the club had a number of starters at Cambridge CC’s event on the F2a/25 course west of the city. On a fast, if blustery day, Elspeth Grace smashed her way to a new PB, recording a 57:20 and finishing high in the women’s category behind winner – and CUCC alumna – Hayley Simmons. Dave Bell ticked off his ‘sub-50’ goal for the season, sneaking under the mark with a 49:57, while Jack Brown did a rapid 48:53 to finish 14th.

Dave firing himself to a sub-50 25m TT

Meanwhile, with the seasons changing, hill climb season has got back underway and CUCC’s resident watts-per-kilogram machines, Craig Rogers and George Spooner, have been back in action. Craig took 6th up Holly Lane at the Ilkeston CC event on 6th September, while George placed 3rd at CC Basingstoke the following weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for their performances at this year’s nationals on a favourable short, steep climb at Streatley near O*ford.

George at what looks like VO2max at the start of his hill climb season

The delayed start to the season means there’s plenty of racing still to come, and with the National Circuit Championships being held on our ‘home ground’ – the E33/25, or ‘Botty Triangle’ course – the club will be looking to impress!

CUCC Summer Racing Round-Up

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.

Craig Rogers (Fitz) winning the Ian Mountain Memorial RR. Cred. Kieran Metcalfe Photography

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.

Jack Brown (Caius) on his way to a new CUCC 25 record

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 and Seb get their full blues!

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!

Seb and Rob at the Circuit Champs

 

Varsity & BUCS 25 Race Report

 

The Cambridge 1-2-3

What a day! Once again, our annual Varsity match rolled around, this year taking place on home ground, taking two laps to complete the E33/25 course just outside Six Mile Bottom. After taking 8 successive victories, our Men’s side were confident yet eager to make it 9. Our Women’s team were the underdogs going into the day, but as ever with bike racing, who knows what could happen on the day!

John Mulvey

Easter Saturday dawned, and our intrepid bunch of 19 woke to a beautiful April morning, with very little wind but high temperatures meaning a load of fast times were expected.

As is the honour in putting on an event, fresher Craig Rogers (fitz) was first off, and with his brother along to support (or maybe just laugh) he set the fastest provisional time

Seb Dickson

(unsurprisingly) in a 55:51, which was to last for a whole 10 minutes. Shortly behind him was one of our trio of women, Olivia Jamrog (Lucy Cav), who came home with a 1:11:36, over 3 minutes quicker than her target! Next up was Flora (Eddie’s), who rode a 1:06:39, narrowly missing out on a top 10.

 

Toby Cowell

Next up was club pres Rob Walker (Pembroke), looking to improve on 10th place from 2 years ago on the same course. Sporting a very nice new skinsuit, Rob ultimately rode a 52:07, which by the end of the day was never surpassed. His first individual BUCS medal being Gold, this was an astounding ride and a testament to all the hard work and training he’s been putting in! Chapeau!

Euan Tebbutt

In what was supposedly his last ever TT (I highly doubt it, and really hope not too), Toby Cowell (Catz) was our next rider to come in, riding a 54:11, which was just 10s short of a top 10. Next back was fresher Lucas He (Caius), who broke the hour by 5s. Baf (Queens’), on his bespoke ‘planet BAF’ bike, gave the camp a hearty wave as he completed lap 1 and went on to ride a 1:02:46, just missing out on a top 50 on the day.

Lucas He

Another one of our many Fitz fresher’s came next, being Andrew Salkeld on his new Dolan. He recorded a 1:06:23 in his first outing on a TT bike. Jonny Bodey (and his pocket full of Jelly Babies) (Magdalene) was next, riding a 1:02:09 on the fantastically Chinese club TT bike. Hans Verschueren (Kings) rode a 1:05:09 to be our next rider home. Euan ‘not gonna be events sec’ Tebbutt (Jesus) was CUCC’s 11th rider home in a 1:01:06.

Hans Verschueren

Our 3rd lady from 3, Marilou Boddé (Queens’), rode a 1:23:31 to complete our time for the Women’s Varsity, eventually a 3:41:46. Next was our finest Welshman Jack Kellam (Eddie’s), who came home in a 57:20, enough for 31st on the day. James Quigley (another Fitz Fresher rode a 1:07:43.

Johnny Bodey

Next came Men’s Race Captain Jack in his new ActiveEdge skinsuit (very Quicksteppy), but was disappointed with his ride, despite doing enough for 8th in a 53:46. Jali Packer (Kings) was unfortunate to not slip under the hour, with a 1:00:39, but still enough for a top 50. Dan O’Riordan (Robinson) rode a 1:07:07, a cracking time with very little aero kit!

Jack Kellam

Our final two riders were the evergreen pairing of John Mulvey (Eddie’s) and Seb Dickson (Corpus), both of which have previously won the individual Varsity (John for the previous two years). Despite moaning about his poor ride (some things will never change), Seb rode a 52:14, taking 3rd place on the day, whilst John did a 52:11 to take 2nd, only losing out to teammate Rob.

Andrew Salkeld

Any one Uni taking a 1-2-3 in a BUCS event hasn’t happened in recent memory, nor back through the 20 years-worth of records we have, and this really underlines CUCC’s quality. Of course, this brought the Men’s Team Gold and Varsity Victory (by almost quarter of an hour!), and also earnt Rob, John and Seb their half-blues.

Jali Packer

Enough for 3rd overall team was the trio of Jack, Toby and Craig, but as ever this doesn’t count in the eyes of BUCS, but this would’ve also easily won the Varsity A team if not for Rob, John and Seb, thereby taking home the Men’s B Team Varsity Trophy.

Unfortunately, with a depleted Women’s Squad due to illness, injury and hen do’s, Oxford won the Women’s Varsity for yet another year, but Flora and Olivia earnt Half Blues as both rides came under 1:15:00, their combined time also enough for 7th in BUCS. Rest assured we’ll be back again next year!

Ben Ferris

So that’s it for the BUCS TTs once again, with the only remaining event being the Road Race, which sees a strong squad of Ffion, Elspeth, John, Craig and Jack head up to York.

Dan O’Riordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Results

11Flora Harpley GreenCambridge1:06:3914
23Olivia JamrogCambridge1:11:364
27Marilou BoddeCambridge1:23:3174

Men’s Results

1Rob WalkerCambridge0:52:0720
2John MulveyCambridge0:52:11120
3Sebastian DicksonCambridge0:52:14105
8Jack BrownCambridge0:53:46100
11Toby CowellCambridge0:54:1130
22Craig RogersCambridge0:55:511
31Jack KellamCambridge0:57:2080
43Lucas HeCambridge0:59:5535
45Jali PackerCambridge1:00:39112
47Euan TebbuttCambridge1:01:0673
49Jonny BodeyCambridge1:02:0962
51Ben FerrisCambridge1:02:4638
52Hans VerschuerenCambridge1:05:0968
54Andrew SalkeldCambridge1:06:2358
56Dan O'RiordanCambridge1:07:07122
58James QuigleyCambridge1:07:4398

Lea Valley 25Mile TT

The second of the early season events after the Great Ely Hardriders saw an absolutely massive 18 CUCC members entered for the solo event.

However, an equally significant forecast for 40mph gusts caused a similarly large 5 people to think better of it and report a DNS and heavy use of synonyms for ‘big’.

As in previous years it also looked to serve as an initial shakedown for Varsity, with  5 OUCC  on the startsheet and some strong pre race chat.

Solo Event

The conditions did in fact turn out to be miserable, with early riders out complaining and worrying the later starters. In the end, only 2 from OUCC turned up, so we can ignore them, as we would have done anyway.

Jack Kellam pulled out a stunning ride to take 4 and a half minutes of his PB in 56:26 and a provisional 3rd place with it – in his 2nd ever open TT! One to watch.
4s back was Toby on his P5, with Toby on his P5 a further 16s back – provisionally taking the team prize and with it the ‘Dick Murphy Memorial Trophy’ for the fastest team from a London East Club.

Flora did 1:17:55, which looks good for a provisional 2nd in the Womens Event.

Andy Salkeld pulled out a 1:06:54 – a very strong ride from the only bloke on a road bike!

A few events stand out: Lucas He recorded an 8 minute late start (not included in the times below), which was impressive.
However, Andy Salkeld, yawning and stretching his arms, got out of bed to take up the challenge. Not realising that, unlike the club run, Greater Anglia will not wait for you if you have a relationship with your alarm clock that is purely advisory, Andy recorded what must be a club record 41 minute late start. (The Comp record for actually riding 25 miles currently stands at 42:58, for comparison). Chapeau! Now get your life in order.

Tom Adams went so fast he managed to catch someone who started 10 minutes after him (or maybe they turned early?!).  Finally,  Toby Antippas queued up behind people all signing the sign on sheet at Sign On, reached over the Signing on Sheet at the Sign On, took the number at Sign On, but did not in fact Sign On to the Signing On sheet at Sign On. Easy mistake to make I guess?

Recent alumnus Seb Baucutt did a 1:14:42.

Team Event

The 2Up Event saw 16 pairs entered, but 3 of them DNS’d with the forecast 40mph winds due to come in just in time for the start of this event.

CUCC was represented by an executive pairing of the President and General Secretary (Rob Walker and Seb Dickson), and would also see the first clash between CUCC and its progeny and reigning National Team Time Trial Champions John Mulvey and Felix Barker for ActiveEdgeRT.

Whilst the winds did pick up, it was nowhere near as bad as forecast (Felix ‘Mystic’ Barker’s prediction ‘oh it’ll be fine’ coming good- how does he do it?). As the forecast was for it to be terrible, it was still fairly grim.

Rob’s Calves and Seb recorded a 52:48, shaving 5s off the club record set by Seb and John Mulvey in the same event two years prior.
Seb’s skinsuit gave up after all of 300m leading to a nasty case of nether numbness. This is best left to the imagination (preferably not even there lets be honest), a privilege alas denied to anyone unfortunate enough to see them around the course. This was actually his spare skinsuit, having neglected to have washed his main (and structurally integral) skinsuit since BUCS Track in December.

In a bit of an upset, this was also good enough to hold off ActiveEdge for nearly a minute with 53:43. No other pair made it under the hour, making it a dominant display by CUCC and its alumni!

#whoarethechampions?

NameTime
Jack Kellam 56:24
Toby Antippas 56:30 (after a bit of grovelling to the event organiser that is)
Toby Cowell 56:46
Lucas He 58:08
Euan Tebutt 01:03:19
Tom Adams 01:03:34
Ben Ferris 01:05:21
Max Vesty 01:07:27
Andrew Salkeld 01:06:54
James Quigley 01:11:29
Carrie Bedingfield 01:17:55 (deffo not Flora)