Cambridge University Cycling Club
We cater for all University members, providing access to all cycling disciplines from beginners to elite athletes.
As well as competing in BUCS races, we regularly organise social and touring rides which allow beginners to improve their fitness and to discover the countryside around Cambridge and beyond.
News about training, races, and results will be posted here. Check out our calendar of upcoming events on 'Training & Events'.
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By Race Captain Luke Andrews
Last weekend (4/5th March) held the first BUCS event of 2023 (although notably the second most prestigious event of the weekend sharing the date with CUCC’s own cuppers, which I’m told is soon to join the World Tour). The University Track Cycling Championships were held at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.
Mere days after first stepping foot in a velodrome, 7 starry-eyed roadies-turned-trackies made the arduous journey across the country to take part in the event (with some minor detours to acquire some last minute free-speed along the way in the form of shiny track wheels). Late Friday night the crew arrived in Cardiff, just in time to boil a month’s supply of pasta, watch some GCN to remind the squad what a ‘velodrome‘ and ‘lock-ring’ were, and double check none of the wheels had punctured after Tim’s adventurous van driving.
Saturday saw a blizzard early of races with the Men’s Kilo TT and Team Pursuit, and the Womens Individual Pursuit all before lunchtime. The scene could have easily been confused for the University Sprocket and Wheel Changing Championships with the speed at which CUCC’s seemingly only 14 tooth cog was shuffled around the squad. Tom Wade started the day by putting in a blistering Kilo time, so fast in-fact, that he overtook his opponent without even noticing, and the commissaires could only manage to give him an estimated time due to the time-dilation they experienced. Tim Welsh and Joe Adlam-Cook followed this effort up with equally impressive four lappers, coming in 23rd and 13th respectively.
Next inline was Jo Matthews in the Women’s Individual Pursuit. Taking to the track with absolute focus, she smashed out an astounding 4:08 with more left in the tank, putting a comfortable 7 seconds into her Oxfordshire opponent. This netted a 7th place finish out of 15 competitors, an impressive result and even more so with just 2 previous sessions on a velodrome. Finally, the Men’s Team Pursuit, a complex, technical and strategic race where teamwork and free speed are key. With a collection of begged and borrowed wheels and helmets to maximise both speed and style points, Joe Adlam-Cook, Matt Rizzo-Naudi, Tom Wade and Tim Welsh took to the track for qualifying. Smooth changes and big numbers followed, bringing the team home with a time of 4:37.5, just 2 seconds outside the bronze-medal match. No doubt these roadies-turned-trackies will be back with a vengeance and a hunger for the taste of BUCS silverware.
After a spicy morning of riding, the bikes were packed and the team headed back to refuel and reset before Sunday’s racing, winding down and disconnecting from cycling by watching the extended highlights of both the Men’s and Women’s Strada Bianca in full, and binging cycle-speedway videos from the 1990’s.
Sunday saw a delayed arrival after navigating through the Newport Half-Marathon, mostly spent looking on at the attendees and wondering why they weren’t using bikes instead. Racing kicked off with the Women’s 500 TT, which saw Miranda Clements lay down the watts with a stylish 40.5, netting 18th place in the event.
Men’s Individual Pursuit followed soon after, the final test for Matt Rizzo-Naudi and Luke Andrews after hundreds of seconds of aero and position testing. This came to a tee with equally impressive times and pain faces, with Luke coming in 14th and Matt blowing the track to pieces with a 4:41, good enough for an outrageous 7th place. Soon after came the Women’s Team Sprint, where Miranda and Jo teamed up for a flying 500, blitzing round in time of 40.8, less than a second off of the bronze medal race. The final even of CUCC’s weekend was the Men’s points race, with Joe Adlam-Cook taking the bullet and racing 100 laps at maximum effort. He stayed with the bunch and collected sprint points to come home a cool 8th position in a hotly contested race, and most impressively stayed upright throughout!
Unfortunately, BUCS were unable to take any photos of this day’s racing, as they were too distracted by the sight of Tim Welsh on a Sunday rollers session and a blurry CUCCet Hat.
A special thanks goes to alumus Jack Kellam for providing shelter for the weekend and speedy lids, Rob Walker and Gabe Fowden for generously lending the club their wheels, and Southampton University for kindly lending their wheels as well.
By Matt Davison
Saturday (04/03) saw one of the first major races of the season. With a harsh, technical course, favouring a solo effort, some of cycling’s biggest names lined up to test themselves for the coming season. The race was, of course, the cuppers 10 mile TT.
The conditions were, as usual, miserable. Despite the cold (both inside and outside the race HQ), 25 budding time trialists lined up to compete. Some 24 of these riders would go on to finish the race—a testament to the complexity of an out and back course. Continuing the tradition of a ‘Sam’ getting lost on the course, Sam Fitzgerald followed in the footsteps of Sam Lewin and went on a magical mystery tour towards Six Mile Bottom, setting a 10 mile TT record of 14 miles. Thankfully the mysterious Craig Rogers appeared to show the way back to the HQ.
The overall event was won by Emmanuel College, reflecting the talent (and sheer number) of their cyclists. With a special mention to Tim Bodey for being the highest ranking Emma member with a time of 24:34, and of course to Alban Wales for his 840 watts per kilo*.
The race also saw some seriously impressive individual times. The men’s race was won with a solid 22:58 from our very own boy wonder Harry Weedon, representing Peterhouse. The women’s race was won for the second year in a row by Zoe Burrel (Murray Edwards) with an equally impressive 25:37.
Abi Cox, from Emmanuel, and Renzo Casale, racing for ‘Bath University College Cambridge’, took the road bike competition in times of 23:47 and 31:19 respectively, proving that you don’t need a TT bike to be rapid.
The town/mountain bike competition was once again won by Ilya Kaysin (Sidney Sussex), in a time of 28:35.
The event concluded with food, the prize giving, and a frankly alarming number of people using gloves on their feet to keep warm.
Many thanks should be given to Ben Proctor, for organising and running the event (and taking it upon himself to kick off the event two days early with his own, untimed, effort on the course—what a way to spend a Thursday afternoon). The full results can be found here.
*Research pending on how he managed to achieve this rare phenomenon
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.