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!’


By Matt Davison

Botty 10, 1pm, a Saturday in early March, what else could it be but cuppers? The weather had looked miserable all week, with rain and strong winds forecast, and the unlucky riders in the first half of the race had to endure a hailstorm. This, however, had mostly cleared by the second half of the race leaving only a bit of a crosswind.

With the keen racers safely away in Newport for BUCS track, so once everyone made it to the start line (In classic CUCC fashion about 1/3 of riders missed their starts…) cuppers was anyone’s race for the taking. This lead to some very strong performances across the board (full results here here). Lucas Beghein took the men’s TT bike category, sneaking under 23 minutes with a 22:58. Maddie Angwin carried on her winning streak from Ely Hardriders, winning the women’s race despite a missed start in 26:28. The road bike categories were won by Francis Schofield (also on a post-Ely winning spree) in 23:39, and Freya Taylor, on her TT debut, in 31:33.

Lucas Beghein on his way to victory, photo thanks to Nordin Catic

Inspired by the new CTT road bike category, the scoring system was adjusted for this year. The fastest rider in each category, road and TT bike, for open and female, was awarded 8 points, then 7 points were awarded for the next rider, decreasing by 1 until a minimum of 1 point was won by every rider that competed.

The overall win was taken by St John’s, with a team of Maddie Angwin, Naomi Jennings and Josh Kershaw. Trinity came in a close second and Kings third.

The Winning John’s Team, and a frankly embarrassing amount of rowing stash.

The day concluded with hot dogs and snacks in the Bottisham village hall, and a slow spin back into town. Thanks to Louis for organising a great event, and on to the rest of the race season! Photos from the day can be found here, with thanks to Nordin Catic.

All competitors and marshals

MTB Varsity 2024

By Sam Fitzgerald

On the 18th of February it was the mountain bikers of CUCC who found themselves in the unfamiliar position of waking up to race. This peculiar breed of cyclist appears out of the woodwork once a year for the legendary Mountain Bike Varsity. Whilst Cambridge Mountain biking has been a bastion of success in recent years, having won the last 5 men’s and women’s titles, all good things must come to an end. It was Oxford who appeared out of the mist to claim victory.

On this particular morning the heavens were unsteady, tormented as the rain flowed out of the sky, perhaps foreshadowing things to come. The MTBers set off for Frimley, Surrey. Some extra last-minute practice was provided for the drivers on the way down as they were forced to navigate unruly puddles and accidents alike. Upon arrival the focus quickly shifted to reconning the course. Every muddy patch, slick root and sharp corner memorised, the riders headed for the start line.

Oxford and Cambridge fight for position on the start line

Sprint. The riders were off. A 50-meter dash, before the course split into three before a sharp right hander before a drop. The technical course took its toll very quickly with Sam Fitzgerald (Cambridge) slamming on the brakes to take the hard right. Yet, Matthew Coulson, unable to react in time, was forced to grab a handful of front brake, launching himself through the air. This maneuver proved successful for Sam, however, parachuting him up the order into second place. Though it was Oxford’s Max Bolton who started with flying colours opening an early lead over the first climb of the day. As the race progressed Cambridge’s hopes of winning looked ever more strained. Yani Angelo Djelil, of Oxford powered past the podium, taking the lead going into the second lap. Meanwhile, fueled by adrenaline Matthew Coulson fought through the field into second place. Cambridge valiantly fought on, assembling all their ducks into a row from 4th to 8th into the last lap. Will Lowden led the Cambridge train to the line, closely followed by Sam Fitzgerald and Ilya Kaysin, but it was not enough to prevent an Oxford 1,2,3.  In the Women’s it was Oxford’s Elizabeth Hayman who sent it from start to finish. A fitting Victory after consecutive podiums. Behind, Oxford’s Freya Butler started strong, however, a silver lining for Cambridge, Charlotte Lampe left everything out on the course and had a late surge to take silver. Abigail Cox rounded out the Cambridge women’s team in 4th.

Charlotte Lampe storming up a late climb.

Overall, whilst the result may have disappointed all involved should be proud of their performance and spirit, in a race with some of the toughest conditions seen in years. Now sights are set on 2025, where you can be certain of more thrills, more spills, and much more great racing. Come on you Light Blues!

All smiles from both Oxford and Cambridge at the finish.

2023 Hill Climb Season

by Matt Rizzo-Naudi

With another hill climb season under the collective CUCC belt, it is time to reflect and remind ourselves that we do in fact enjoy riding our bikes despite the long cold days spent climbing hills for mid-pack finishes. With the nearby summits including Chapel Hill and Gog Magog, CUCC, unsurprisingly, had another brilliant season, mopping up many medals along the way.

First up was OUCC Hill Climb on 21st October with an early start at the Sports Centre. CUCC cleaned up the medal table, taking the men’s and women’s overall wins with Will Lowden and Phoebe Barker, as well as the men’s and women’s varsities with Will, Joe A-C and Ben Proctor, and Phoebe, Sannah Zaman and Maddie Angwin – we could not have asked for a better start to the season. We would like to say a big thanks to Oxford for hosting us and organising the entire event! The highlight for me was the post-hill climb social ride with multiple riders, committee members no less, being told off for launching attacks. All I can say is that I was just following the wheels. 

CUCC at OUCC Hill Climb, Saturday 21st October 2023
CUCC’s Gen Sec Ben Proctor, going full send up Chalet Hill. OUCC Hill Climb 2023

Next up was our very own hill climb up the savage Gog Magog – there’s a reason they built a hospital right next to it. Go too hard at the start and you’ve probably finished before the lactate sets in. Just as we ordered, the heavy rain began right as we started sign-on. In the back of Alex’s Land Rover, we quickly found out the packing fraction of CUCCers – it was indeed not large enough with many people left outside, feeling very cold. Or so they looked from inside. Despite the ridiculously cramped conditions, sign-on was completed, and attention turned to the great pain faces on show, as riders battled their way up the hill. Maddie Angwin deployed her presidential watts to win the women’s competition, with Joe A-C putting on another classic performance, winning the men’s. Special mention must go to Louis for doing an amazing job organising the whole event! We really appreciate it.

The weather didn’t stop CUCC! CUCC Hill Climb, 29th October 2023

A few CUCC members decided to trade Gog Magog for the dizzy heights of the Lake District and The Struggle on 29th October for the National Hill Climb Championships. The likes of Andrew Feather and Ed Laverack were quaking in their Sidis at the thought of being pitted against CUCC’s finest hill climbers and their machines. The CUCC team, comprised of Will Lowden, Francis Schofield and Jacob Lewis, had an incredible performance – all well within the top 50 % of riders. Special mention must go to Will, only 20 seconds off a top-10 result with a severely over-geared set up. Needless to say it left him with a cadence which made my knees hurt just watching. Cameron Walker, a CUCC member racing under the Elevate Race Team, had a superb performance only a few seconds behind Francis who managed to sneak into the top 50. If anyone has seen the photos or videos from the event, it is easy to see why hill climbs are so popular here – I had goosebumps just watching! 

Tim B cheering on Jacob Lewis. National Hill Climb Champs, 29th October 2023

BUCS Hill Climb, the finale of the hill climb season, started with another early morning and a trek to somewhere off the A1. There was indeed a hill, and we rode up it. For early November, the weather was, fortunately, abysmal. Phoebe continued her clean sweep of hill climb victories this year, taking the overall women’s win. Although she was again closely followed by Sannah in 2nd place, allowing CUCC to comfortably win the women’s overall competition. In an outstanding repeat of the OUCC Hill Climb, Will, Ben and Joe all put in top-15 performances to win bronze in the men’s team competition. Their backs need a well-earned rest from all the carrying they have been doing so far this season. Special mention must go to CUCC alumnus, Craig Rogers, now racing for Newcastle, who led the event for most of the day, only to be pipped for the win by Oxford’s ‘Andrew Feather’, Matthew Coulson. After multiple attempts to manoeuvre the van and remember how to use a clutch, the CUCC Van® was back off to Cambridge with another huge medal haul. A fantastic day full of laughs, cold hands and rain, I would nearly choose to do it again.

BUCS Hill Climb, 4th November 2023

It would seem the club-subsidised university events were not enough for some, with members spending hard-earned student loans on more open hill climb events around the country. Streatley Hill near Reading was graced with the Fenland Watts on 17th September (yes, this isn’t in chronological order 🤡) – multiple members came out of summer hibernation to perform some max efforts: Matt Davison, Tom Hale, Maddie and recent alumnus Zoe Burrell ensured CUCC gave ample warning to the other universities to get their act together before the season proper. Another mention to Cam Walker for bagging a top-10 for his team! Numerous other events were entered strengthening the CUCC hill climb name, with strong showings by CUCC members and alumni including: Tim B and Jacob at The Urban Hill Climb in mid-September and Cam Walker who took multiple top-10s in the Chilterns. 

And with that, the club’s racing for the calendar year is at an end. A huge thanks must go to all those who helped organise transport, entries and the events themselves: Louis Stuart, Tom Wade and Phoebe Barker – the smooth running of these events was all thanks to them. Lastly, thanks and well done to all those who rode any of the hill climbs – I certainly had a great time and I hope you all did too. Being able to take such large teams to these events really makes me realise how much the club can come together to support each other – the fact that we are competing on such a high-level nationally is a testament to this. I hope everyone has a restful holiday and is as excited as I am for the year to come!

For a summary of results, see the ‘Results Archive’ on our website under the ‘Racing’ tab.

If you’d like to get involved with any of the racing in the club, or simply have any questions, please email one (or all!) of your race captains: Matt (mlar2), Tom (tjh93), Jo (jgm42) and Phoebe (prab2)


By Maddie Angwin

BUCS TTT. 5 teams. 1 sketchy course.

Maddie Angwin, Zoe Burrell, Miranda Clements on the start line

I’ll spare the typical details of the inevitably early drive over to Castle Combe and the rubbish weather as they seem to be a staple of CUCC’s racing experience. The course, however, is worthy of some explanation. Tales of its sketchiness proceeded it. We had already heard of Rob Walkers encounter with a bush a few years back and Jack Kellam’s team getting lost twice in the same race, therefore hopes of all our teams surviving to the finish line were low.

Off first for CUCC were the road bike team of Matt Davison, Tim Bodey and Lucas Beighein, wearing an eclectic mix of skinsuits which really showed that style is CUCC’s … forte. Whist Tim Bodey’s pride in his white ‘skinner’ is unparalleled, the team’s time of 56:28 was extremely impressive given their one training session and putting them comfortably near the top of the road bike category.

Up next the ‘low riders’ team of Luke Andrews, Jacob Lewis and Matt Rizzo-Naudi sped round the course in 53:37 and without disassembling Luke’s headset, fixing Jacob’s bike or stopping at the café mid-ride, an impressive feat indeed.

The ‘tall bois’ team of Joe Adlam-Cook, Tom Wade and Harry Weedon put down the watts to get round the course in 50:29. However, Joe decided to take his time on a short magical mystery tour at one of the junctions just to ensure that they got the most from their TTT experience. A great race from the team but unfortunately, they narrowly missed out on the podium, coming 4th by one second.

On the women’s side the runner (Phoebe Barker) and the rowers (Jo Matthews and Imogen Grant) united to make a team of big hitters. Playing to their strengths they decided to have Phoebe on the front for all the hills, Jo for the downhills and Imogen for the flat sections. Whilst not typical for a TTT this method worked extremely well for them (except for Jo’s brief encounter with the verge) as they came away with a 56:48 and 1st on the podium!

Setting off three minutes after Oxford’s first team, Miranda “went on a rampage” Clements, Zoe “please Miranda slow” Burrell and Maddie “Ease Miranda, EASE” Angwin put in a strong effort to claim 2nd with a time of 58:01, making the podium (majority) Cambridge Blue (with an unfortunate but unavoidable tint of Loughborough purple).


The strong performance by Phoebe, Jo and Imogen paired with Joe, Tom and Harry’s wattage gave Cambridge a combined time of 1h47, resulting in Cambridge winning the fastest overall team medal.

It was a great day out. Zero crashes. Three podiums. Twelve medals. Back for Matt and Joes birthday bash.


By Maddie Angwin

BUCS 25, which happens to also be our Varsity match, saw CUCC put out 26 riders. On a variety of begged and borrowed (no stolen) equipment our riders were ready to face the infamous botty triangle. In typical Cambridge style, the morning of the race was wet and windy which led to a few of our rowers getting confused into thinking that botty was a river and therefore turning up in wellies. 

After Miranda Clements had realized that she was in fact racing a bike not a boat, she rolled over to the start line as the first woman off. I feel bad for her minute man as she put in a staggering time of 01:00:40. Up next for Cambridge women was Imogen Grant. After storming round the course in 01:01:41 she dashed off to commentate the Boat Race, leaving all of us wondering whether rowing at the Olympics or smashing it around botty for an hour is more enjoyable. Maddie Angwin was up next, putting in a strong performance for 01:04:54, knocking 5 minutes off her time from last year’s race. President Zoe Burrell, sped round in style for 01:04:08, with Women’s Captain Phoebe Barker following on with a 01:02:37, taking 2 minutes off her time from last year. Last but not least, Jo Matthews smashed round the course in 01:00:37 to claim 3rd overall. An incredibly strong performance from the women’s side led to Miranda Clements and Jo Matthews coming 2nd in BUCS 25. Imogen Grant’s impressive performance meant that the women’s side (Jo, Miranda and Imogen) won the women’s Varsity match for the first time in 9 years. Maybe rowers do make good cyclists after all. 

Jo Matthews on the Botty Triangle

The men’s side saw equal success, but unsurprisingly more CUCCups as well. Tom Hale was the first rider off for Cambridge putting in an impressive time of 56:31. In fact 56 appeared to be a popular number for CUCC with Tim Welsh (56:16), Tom Wade (56:20) and Matt Rizzo-Naudi (56:36) creating a CUCC cluster high in the results table. Joe Adlam-Cook decided he didn’t want to be part of the 56 gang, digging deep to achieve a 54:07, taking nearly 2 minutes out of his time from last year, and gaining the coveted award of fastest CUCC. 

The road (bike) men put in a strong showing – so aero Dan Bigham would eat his heart out – with Colin Krawchuk putting in a 01:01:27 to become the fastest CUCC roadman.  Special mention must go to our speedy freshers Harry Weedon (59:49), Louis Stuart (01:06:14) and Lucas Beghein (01:08:14) for their first whack round the triangle. The biggest CUCCup must go to Lucas for arriving 45 minutes late to the start after a delayed train and a puncture, but what’s a CUCC race without a bit of stress? 

Luke Andrews getting areo

Congratulations to the men’s team of Joe Adlam-(over)Cook(ed it), Dr Quadzilla (Tim Welsh) and Thomas (the Tank Engine) Wade for their third-place team medal. It was a great day to be part of CUCC.  The full results can be found here.

Taking home silverware (Tom Wade, Tim Welsh, Miranda Clements, Jo Matthews, Joe Adlam-Cook)

MTB Varsity Race Report 2023

By MTB Captain Sam Fitzgerald

On Sunday the 19th of February, 10 of Cambridgeshire’s finest MTBers (Not an Oxymoron) made the trek down to darkest Surrey to take on Oxford in MTB Varsity 2023, CUCCs biggest, and possibly only, mountain bike race of the year. Oxford put up some stiff competition, but ultimately it was Cambridge who overcame every obstacle, jump, berm, and not least our very own Matt Bryan getting locked in the back of a transit van, to take home their sixth consecutive men’s and 5th consecutive women’s titles. 

Cambridge and Oxford MTB teams at Varsity 2023

As the 10 CUCC riders (8 Men, 2 Women) and the 15 OUCC riders (12 Men, 3 Women) arrived at the course they were greeted with warming sunshine and a gentle breeze, perfect for racing. Spirits of both camps were high and the excitement was palpable.  

To let off some steam and hone their trail skills the riders scouted the course, whilst also looking for potential threats and opportunities on the track. The course overall consisted of a narrow twisty trail that seemed to tempt riders into becoming a little too intimate with the surrounding trees. Some technical features, a fresh jump and a gnarly bombhole, also provided the resident photographers with some prime material.  

Maddie Angwin overtaking O*ford at MTB Varsity 2023

As the riders finished their practice lap, tension began to build at the start line. The Oxford and Cambridge riders now stood face to face, or at least bike to bike, as the racers shot off. The start proved to be an all-out sprint as the riders jostled for position going into the first single track section, With Matt Bryan of Cambridge and Max Bolton of Oxford leading the pack. The initial peloton fractured with each feature and the whirr of cassettes was quickly replaced with the sound of panting breaths as the riders settled down to business.   

By the end of the first lap, in the Men’s, Max Bolton and Matt Bryan remained neck and neck at the front as they flew past the finish line; whilst light blue Ilya Kaysin and dark blue Thomas Long battled it out just behind. Reigning champion Tom Wade and Cambridge captain Sam Fitzgerald powered round soon after holding off Oxford’s third placed rider Luke Tamblin.  

In the women’s Cambridge’s infamous Maddie Angwin established an early lead of almost two minutes. Oxford’s Elizabeth Hayman and Freya Butler along with Cambridge’s Lucy Coleman remained within arm’s reach behind leaving all to play for. 

Things looked like they were slowly unwinding for Cambridge as Wade suffered a severed break cable, limiting him to just 3 gears and forcing him to so much as run up the steeper sections of the course. The winding undulating course also began to take its toll on some of the Cambridge riders as Bryan and Kaysin began to slowly lose touch with their Oxford counterparts. However not all was lost as Angwin powered on in the women’s holding her lead strong.  Fitzgerald too, used his position in no man’s land to carve every corner and gain Cambridge precious seconds in the men’s.  

Left to Right: Elizabeth Hayman (Oxf), Maddie Angwin and Lucy Coleman

The first rider triumphant over the line was Maddie Angwin, who managed to hold off a late surge from Elizabeth Hayman to win her second consecutive Varsity title. With Lucy Colman succeeding in her first ever race and ‘the hardest thing she’s ever done’ to podium and nab Cambridge the women’s team trophy. Coleman also won the, unofficial, award of being the only CUCC rider not to stack it! 

In the Men’s, it was an unstoppable performance from Max Bolton who stormed to victory in the individual classification. A mechanical for Matt Bryan in the last lap put second placed Thomas Long just out of reach but even so, a very impressive performance from Matt placed him third and Cambridge’s best placed rider. However it was Cambridge’s quality in depth that really propelled them to victory with Sam Fitzgerald and Ilya Kaysin also boasting rapid times, rounding out the top five and sending Cambridge to a close fought victory. Light Blues Tom Wade (6th) and Jacob Lewis (8th) also performed impressively to break into the top ten. It was a great race for all involved. The full results can be see here.

Left to Right: Max Bolton (Oxf), Thomas Long (Oxf), Matt Bryan (Cam)

The day ended with all sides left with something to celebrate and some great fun to be had in the process, and it was with, a celebration in true MTB style, down the pub. 

MTB Champs (left to right): Tom Wade, Ilya Kaysin, Lucas Beghein, Matt Bryan, Jacob Lewis, Sam Fitzgerald, Lucy Coleman, Maddie Angwin and Charlie Anderton

BUCS Hill Climb 2022

Race report by Maddie Angwin

Baring a pan, a spoon and some bikes CUCC headed for Leicestershire for the first BUCS event of the season – the hill climb. Hoping to follow on from last year’s success, the team dinner the night before had been planned to perfection – an essential weight-saving diet of burgers and brownies. Conversation over dinner of course fell into the realms of Mario Kart courses and hill climb tactics. Race strategies sorted and the team was ready to go. 

The hill was 1.1 km long averaging 6.4% with a total of 79m elevation, practically a mountain compared with what Cambridge has to offer. The first rider off for CUCC was Matt Davison, followed by Ben Proctor, Jacob Lewis, and Tim Bodey. Whilst the performances by our riders were strong, nothing was more impressive than former President George Spooner’s commitment to running up alongside every rider and cheering them on. 

Joe A-C at BUCS Hill Climb. Photo Credit: Cam Walker

Fresh off his podium at Varsity Hill Climb and win at the annual CUCC hill climb, eyes were on Joe Adlam-Cook to see what (watt) he could produce. A strong, well-paced effort saw Joe place 8th with a time of 00:02:33.33. However, what may be more impressive than the result itself is the fact that Joe, for once, did not end up sitting in a bush half-dead afterward – miracles do happen. Joe’s performance, paired with rapid races from Theo Weinberger (00:02:42.80) and Tom Hale (00:02:43.68) saw CUCC claim third place overall. A huge achievement once again for the club. 

Theo Weinberger racing, cheered on by Tim Bodey, Ben Proctor, Luke Andres, Jacob Lewis and Alban Wales. Photo Credit: Cam Walker

It was great to see so many excellent performances from CUCC with every rider finishing within the top half of the results table. The men’s results were as follows: Joe Adlam-Cook (00:02:33.33), Theo Weinberger (00:02:42.80), Tom Hale (00:02:43.68), Rob Peacock (00:02:44.05), Sam Lewin (00:02:45.02), Tim Bodey (00:02:46.32), Ben Proctor (00:02:46.75), Jacob Lewis (00:02:47.02), Matt Bryan (00:02:48.18), Matt Rizzo-Naudi (00:02:48.37), Joris Witstock (00:02:48.79), Jake Stuchbury-Wass (00:02:55.89), Matt Davison (00:02:56.36), Alban Wales (00:02:59.09), Tom Wade (00:03:00.45), Luke Andrews (00:03:01.72), Harry Weedon (00:03:04.95).

After the conclusion of the men’s race, the women’s racing began and saw an exceptional performance from CUCC. First off on the women’s side was President Zoe Burrell putting in a strong performance of 00:03:22.35. Up next was Sannah Zaman who, despite a slight altercation with a car, stormed up the hill with a time of 00:03:13.37, putting her into 3rd place. Coming off the back of her CUCC hill climb win, Phoebe Barker put down an incredible time of 00:03:09.75, securing 2nd place overall. The final two riders for CUCC were Miranda Clements (00:03:18.17) and Maddie Angwin (00:03:40.27). The incredible rides by Phoebe and Sannah meant that CUCC won the women’s team event as well as having two riders on the podium and all within the top half of the results table.

Whose working harder Phoebe or George?

It was an excellent day all round for CUCC. We look forward to racing again next year (and proving that it seems you don’t need hills to win hill climbs). The full list of results can be found here and the photos can be found here.