Cambridge University Cycling Club
We cater for all University members, providing access to all cycling disciplines from beginners to elite athletes.
As well as competing in BUCS races, we regularly organise social and touring rides which allow beginners to improve their fitness and to discover the countryside around Cambridge and beyond.
News about training, races, and results will be posted here. Check out our calendar of upcoming events on 'Training & Events'.
Sign up to the club mailing list here.
BUCS Hill Climb report
Starting off this year’s BUCS racing with a bang at this year’s BUCS Hillclimb, CUCC secured the Men’s Team Trophy, 2nd place in the Women’s Team competition and a Men’s individual 2nd place!!! Fantastic racing from everyone that rode today and let’s keep it up!
1st place Men’s Team 🏆
🥇George Spooner 2:15
🥇Craig Rogers 2:20
🥇Theo Weinberger 2:27
2nd place Women’s Team 🏆
🥈Charlotte Dalton 3:00
🥈Zoe Burrell 3:12
2nd place individual Men’s
🥈George Spooner 2:15
For their performances in this event, George Spooner was awarded an extraordinary Full Blue and Craig Rogers and Charlotte Dalton were awarded extraordinary Half-Blues!
CUCC Club Hill Climb report
The Annual club hill climb took to the unrelenting slopes of Gog Magog once again.
Following some exceptional conditions and stellar performances this weekend we had not 1 but 9 riders absolutely smashing the previous course records and some extremely closely fought positions. Well done to everyone who rode, we hope it was an enjoyable day and a pleasant break in the midst of Cambridge term time!
Men’s Podium 🏆
🥇Oliver Moseley 1:31
🥈Tim Welsh 1:32 & Andrea Ferlini 1:32
4th Rob Peacock 1:33
Women’s Podium 🏆
🥇Mathilde Pauls 1:48
🥈Marion Denby 2:29
Thank you to James Quigley for arranging an excellent event!
Red Bull Timelapse report
A huge congratulations to CUCC’s Tim Welsh, Tom Hale, Craig Rogers & Rob Walker who were the 1st placed outdoor and under 25 team for this year’s Red Bull Timelaps, which challenges teams of 4 riders to record the greatest distance on Strava in the 25hrs across Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st. The quartet managed an awe-inspiring 649.6 miles, which is a huge achievement even without the terrible weather! The following is a race report by Tim Welsh:
On October 30th, most people were going to sleep knowing that the clocks would mysteriously jump backwards an hour in the middle of the night – giving them a hard-earned extra hours of snooze. Four CUCC cyclists however, decided not to take the extra rest but instead pulled out their fastest bikes, clothing, and legs, to battle the elements in a 25 hours relay time trial as part of the Red Bull Timelapse event. The event is simple, ride from 1pm Saturday to 1pm Sunday, with the twist that at 3am the clocks go back to 2am, so an extra “power hour” would have to be ridden. In total there were >400 riders, some of which took the safe way out by riding the 25 hours in the comfortable controlled environment of an indoor trainer, but the real competition was settled on the roads of the UK where riders could ride anywhere they wanted and the live results were tracked by uploading GPS tracks of their rides to Strava. The CUCC cyclists, Craig Rodgers, Tom Hale, Tim Welsh, and alum Rob Walker, decided to base their ride in the Fens – the fastest roads that Cambridge has to offer and hopefully with little traffic.
It had been a fairly rainy few days leading up to the 30th, even the morning was a fairly soggy one, but miraculously the sun came out in time for a 1pm start. Tom led CUCC off with a rapid >40kph two-hour ride around roads near Ely on his TT bike and was followed by an equal performance from Tim on the next stint. It was already getting dark by the time Rob started his two-hour shift, and the powerful headlights began to come out. Craig, the only one not on aero bars, but on an incredibly aero road bike nonetheless, had the honour of the first full night shift – which was apparently his first real night ride ever (and it turns out his second shift at 4:30am might have been his last night ride ever too). The riders were absolutely ticking the miles away. After 4 hours of riding, CUCC was sitting 2nd in the outdoor category at 100.99 miles, and already leading the under 25 category by over 10 miles. Pushing through the night would be the time to make a gap on the other competitors. Riding at night is always a different sensation, the world seems to go by slower and the rider always feels faster than they are since their vision is pigeonholed into only a small area lit up by an LED in front of them. However, our riders were focused and kept the pace absolutely relentless and consistent over the whole competition, averaging just over 40 kph or 25 mph. That’s 25 consecutive sub-one-hour 25 mile TTs. The competition wasn’t just about raw speed though, it was also about efficiency of hand offs. Since it was a relay, only one rider could be riding at a time. This meant the hand offs were predetermined for set times. At the set time, no matter where the first rider was, they would stop their ride then slowly pedal home, while the next rider started. This meant that for each of the handoffs there was only about 15 seconds of dead time. Only one hand off went wrong, but overall there was less than 8 minutes in the whole 25 period where one of our riders wasn’t riding.
By 9pm, CUCC had jumped into the lead by 5 miles with a total distance of 205.35miles. The blistering pace was starting to hit the riders a bit and the lack of rest was also going to be tested over the next 12 hours. There are different strategies to split up the order of rides, but CUCC decided to do a rolling 4 person shift of ~1.5 hours. This meant that each person would have only 4.5 hours to recover from one ride to a next, meaning little sleep was had that night. Kudos have to be given also to the one-woman support crew (Julia, Tim’s girlfriend) who was happy for her house to be taken over by 4 cyclists for the night and cooked two massive pasta bakes and other goodies to keep the riders putting out the watts.
In the middle of the night was the “power hour” where the clocks went back. To mark this occasion, the event organisers said any distance tracked during the hour would be doubled towards the overall total. CUCC decided to put Rob to the test who did not disappoint, he covered 26 miles on pitch black roads even though he only managed to record 57 minutes of riding due to a GPS failure! The strong night section, partially assisted by the incredibly mild weather conditions, helped CUCC move comfortably into the lead at 534miles, 11 more than even the fastest indoor team whose only battle to overcome was boredom from staring at a screen for 25 hours. The weather conditions were set to change however, which would prove a final test for the riders in the remaing 6 hours of the race. Met Office was promising heavy rain and >40mph winds, so the riders made the decision to each ride due north to Kings Lynn to fully take advantage of the wind (upon arrival they would shamelessly take the train back to Cambridge). Rob started the northerly journey first, blistering up the A10 with only a bit of rain but still lots of heavy cross wind. Tom followed suit, dressed in nothing other than a Lycra skinsuit and TT helmet, he barrelled across the Fens, being blown all over the road with his disc wheel like a sail and gliding across puddles of water like a hydroplane. The conditions finally got the best of him when he got sprayed in the face by pools of splash back for the 50th time while a lorry was overtaking him on the A10 and he cracked on the side of the road. He ended his ride a bit short of Kings Lynn and hobbled the rest of the way in, after having put in a massive effort and leaving it all out on the road. Tim then sprang into action and practiced his best lean in 40mph cross winds, getting up to Kings Lynn in about 1 hour 45 minutes. CUCC was well in the lead going into the last hour of the race, but this didn’t stop Craig giving it the absolute beans for the final leg, solidifying victory for Cambridge.
In the end, the team of four racked up 649.6 miles in the darkness, wet, and wind – beating the next team by over 50 miles and confidently bringing home the Red Bull Timelapse title, for which they were awarded with a ungodly amount of Red Bull and other goodies. I’m not sure any ih the riders are in a rush to do the event again, but we’re confident they’d defend their title if they do.
Also, you can read Red Bull’s report of the event here:
CUCC General Secretary 2021-22 Matt Bryan reports back from the club’s annual trip to the sunny roads of Spain…
After two long years, CUCC was once again able to return to Calpe for its annual training camp at the start of January. Situated on Spain’s stunningly beautiful Costa Blanca, the area is one of the most popular cycling destinations globally, and as a result attracts a huge number of riders, from professionals to Cambridgeshire-based choppers. Whilst the area is known for beachside resorts like Benidorm (and its unique culture), CUCC’s finest were there with strict goals in mind: get faster, eat a lot, have fun whilst doing it. We can confirm that at least two of the three were achieved.
The trip started very early in a dark and miserable England (or Amsterdam if you are CUCC’s resident European), but just a few hours later we reconvened in the bright and sunny baggage claim of Alicante airport. After sitting around for a good 20 minutes waiting for Zoe’s bike box to materialise despite it having already come off the conveyor belt long before we arrived, we made our way to the first cafe of the trip (even on holiday, CUCC has its priorities straight). Having re-energised and devoured the first bocadillo jamon of many, we were met by our very smiley transfer driver, who helped load our bikes and bags into the Green Machine. The Green Machine felt a very apt name for the retina-damaging lime-green Mercedes sprinter with a huge trailer that whisked us an hour down the coast to the villas.
Having settled into the two huge conjoined villas that would be our base for the week, and acquainted ourselves with the hire bikes, we headed out to the local supermercado whilst Joe, Tom, Hugo & Zoe continued to bodge their bikes together. For me, the foreign supermarket is the most enthralling part of any holiday; so familiar yet so alien. What is this vegetable? Can you buy sliced bread? How cheap is the alcohol? We promptly answered all these questions, but this is also probably why this trip to the shops took a good 90 minutes. With daylight fading at a welcome 6pm, we snuck out for a quick 45km with more climbing than the average rower does in their lifetime. The roads were smooth, drivers friendly, views immense – we had truly arrived in a cyclist’s paradise.
On our return, naturally, we did what any Brit would do in the depths of January; have a big old fashioned barbeque. Luckily we realised that Sam was vegetarian beforehand, so prepared him a delightfully solid veggie burger that more resembled a NHL-grade hockey puck than food. It was at this point that a fantastic idea (which I will take full credit for) was born – CUCC does Come Dine with Me on tour. 6 nights, 6 hastily organised couples prepare a two-course meal and entertainment and compete for the most points – what could go wrong? After a couple of isotonic IPAs and fermented apple juices, we retired for the night. The next day brought the first proper day of riding, which we all unanimously agreed was Day 2. At first 82km seemed like a bit of a joke – ‘that’s less than 3 hours surely?’. Oh how wrong we were. The major issue was the ascent of the Puerto de Tudons, all 17.5km of it, taking us nearly 900m upwards. Unsurprisingly, this took a while, but less time for Joe Adlam-Cook who pulled an absolute classic Joe move and attacked almost instantly. Well, it was more of a case of cruising to the front of the train, asking how long it was to the top, and just going anyway. Rather unsurprisingly, this took everyone with him and it was every man and woman for themselves from there on in. The Tudons climb was featured on Stage 20 of the 2016 Vuelta, and I can tell you for one that I did not resemble Nairo Quintana on the way up, but it was thoroughly enjoyable, especially the descent into the mountain town that would be our lunch stop that followed.
In Guadalest, CUCC did what it did best – eat a lot of food, including lasagne and cheesecake, perfect training fuel – before cruising down the valley. In this section we were pursued by a couple of friendly DSM riders who particularly enjoyed it when Zoe sprinted past them on the descent. This took us down to the beach where Sam almost had a head-on with an irate QuickStep rider (which might have made the Classic season a bit more interesting). Here we enjoyed a refreshing drink and the end of an Arsenal game, how wonderfully British. Back home, Joe & Joris prepared a hearty serving of traditional paella and a roscon de reyes for dessert, a Spanish Christmas cake thing with lucky beans inside. Turns out these beans aren’t edible, and neither is the weird little porcelain Jesus figurine. Just a heads up for you all.Continue reading
Freshers’ TT – Saturday 9th October 2021
Starting off CUCC’s riding and racing for this academic year was our Annual Freshers’ Time Trial with 44 racers of all levels of experience willing to test their mettle against our 9.5km TT loop from Newton. Our events secs had clearly put the work into setting it all up, booking some beautiful weather and multiple flyovers from a Lancaster Bomber (we think – we’re cyclists, not plane spotters) for what turned out to be an excellent day of racing.
We had some excellent pain faces today seen in the photos from our favourite photographer Nordin (@nordincatic), however questions were raised about how seriously some riders took the no TT equipment rule with rumours from the marshals about there maybe even being an 80mm deep wheel present at the event! Due to some traffic lights on the course this year, we had to run a marginally shorter route but the results were as impressive as ever with some rapid times in both the men’s and women’s categories.
We had some blistering times in the women’s category with our podium all within a minute of the fastest time. Rosie Wallace recorded an speedy 15:57 to win first place with Clara Dunbavin not far behind at 16:17 and Charlotte Wilde seconds after that at 16:32. The rest of the women’s field of 8 all also put out amazing times in what has been a very competitive start of CUCC’s racing calendar.
In the hotly contested men’s category there were some amazing times with the top 5 riders all recording sub 14-minute times and none more than 10 seconds apart. Sam Lewin put out the fastest time of the day with an eye-watering 13:21 with Jack Shuttleworth close behind at 13:28 followed shortly by Luke Andrews at 13:35. The remainder of the 36 riders out today weren’t far behind with some positions decided by literally a second and very good times all around.
Thanks all for coming to the TT as its always great to see so much interest in trying cycling/racing and we hope to see all these new faces out on the road (and in the pub)!