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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With the sun shining relentlessly outside and the roads beautifully dry and clear, CUCC should be celebrating another rampant BUCS campaign and the start of the fair weather race season. Instead, the boredom of being stuck at home has forced some people to insane measures including Everesting attempts, alpine passes on a TT bike – and worst of all – attempting to change a pressfit bottom bracket yourself. So in an attempt to distract from this madness, here’s a long-awaited roundup of CUCC’s racing activity from Lent term before it passes from living memory and into folklore.
First up was the notorious Ely Hardriders TT, incorporating 25 miles of some of the “most beautiful” countryside the Fens have to offer. Those daft enough to insist on racing this early in the season, however, were spared by the weather gods, as Storm Ciara forced the event to be called off. Quite incredibly the weather still didn’t look as grim as it has done in recent years when its been run!
Next up was the North Road Hardriders just north of London, with an exciting course featuring several U-turns in the road just to keep it interesting. A great showing for CUCC saw Elspeth run away with the women’s event, whilst Rob, Jack B, John, and Jack K came home 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th in the mens’ classification. The three racing first-claim for CUCC – Rob, Jack K and Elspeth – also did well enough to see CUCC take home the team prize.
Then it was down to second-hand car dealer country for the Hainault Hilly 50km in Essex. Another great weekend for the light blues with Jack B in 2nd, Ali in 3rd (despite somehow puncturing in the car on the drive down) and Jack K 4th (including a meaty late start penalty for forgetting his rear light). Dave made his long-awaited bike racing debut, taking a 62-tooth 1x setup to an event with the word “Hilly” in the name, and Andy Salkeld got round with a power PB!
The last weekend of racing before the world went mad featured the West Suffolk Wheelers sporting 21 miler (which Jack won), and also our local 25 on the Lee Valley E1 course. CUCC fielded a strong 7-rider lineup including Euan, Dave, Dan, James Q, along with Ollie Moseley and Tom Bishop. Euan got a cheeky top 10 (5th) and CUCC took the team prize! Dave in particular was thrilled with his ride.
The road racing season got going nice and early with some incredibly grim and choppy crits at Hog Hill through Jan and Feb. These saw some CUCC members making their racing debuts, including Anne-Marie, Robbie, Ollie Fox, Alex Bartram and Sam Massey and who all put in some very strong rides! Further mentions go to Ffion and Craig who each won a 2/3/4, and a Will Weatherill-Ollie Fox 1-2 in a 4th cat race.
Next was the start of the actual road races, with the Crest CC road race just outside Cambridge. Very strong rides from Craig and Jack B (ably assisted by a cheeky first lap move from alumnus Toby Parnell) put them in the early break, and Craig stuck it out to take the win! Craig doubled this up a week later with a win at the BRRT Spring Classic, and also netted a phenomenal 2nd at the prestigious Betty Pharoah Nat B.
Finally before the curtains dropped was the Ike Saul memorial, with Jack B getting up the road with (not actually very) recent (any more) alumnus Felix Barker. Felix stuck it out to the finish where he was unfortunate to finish 4th in a 3-up sprint for the line (not a typo).
And that’s pretty much a wrap! Hopefully some more updates to come soon once we can start making the most of the increase in training volume that the current situation has allowed…
A few weeks before the Coronavirus lockdown, CUCC held its annual Cuppers’ Time Trial on the 29th February, in what would turn out to be the last taste of racing for many in a long while.
33 hardy souls braved the classically awful February weather, with some gale force winds making the outward leg to Newmarket great fun, but in turn making the return leg rather painful. As is standard on the slightly tricky turnaround (a roundabout with 5 exits), one rider somewhat inevitably took the wrong turning towards Six Mile Bottom, thankfully realising the mistake before getting to the A11.
Jesus College were the victors on the day, with a narrow margin of 2 points to second placed Emmanuel. Current Women’s Captain Elspeth (Girton) won the Women’s TT bike category in a time of 25:13, with Jess Godden (Emma) winning the road bike category with a 28:22.
In the Men’s event, Jack Brown (Caius) successfully defended his 2019 title in a time of 20:35, with Rob Walker (Pembroke) coming a close 2nd in a 20:46 and Patrick Elwood (Magdalene) rounding out the podium with a 21:23. Craig Rogers (Fitz) continued his refusal to ride a TT bike but won the road bike category in a rapid 22:34. Fresher Henry Yates (Churchill) won the Town Bike category on his full suspension 29er, riding a 31:47.
At this term’s Men’s Blues Committee meeting it was unanimously agreed to confer an extraordinary award of a Half Blue to John Grenfell-Shaw.
Those of you who were members of CUCC between the years of 2015 and 2018 will have known ‘Gren’, either as a remarkably keen and industrious novice in his first year; or maybe looked up to him as a capable and rapid older hand, ever willing to pass on his hard-earned expertise to those just starting out.
The Blues committee recognised his performances at many levels: at BUCS where he recorded several top 20s as well as a top 10; at Varsity where Oxford’s top finisher was a full two minutes behind him; and finally at National level time trial events.
John’s obvious drive to do well and improve was matched with an unassuming modesty about what he achieved in the process, so hopefully this award will stand as a testament to his achievements, even if he wouldn’t trumpet them himself. Sadly, as many of you will know, it must also stand as a memorial to John, who died whilst out in the Lake District in 2018, and so was never able to receive it himself.
He is memorialised by the Club’s annual ‘John Grenfell-Shaw Award’ for ‘Most Improved Cyclist’, which has been kindly donated by his family, but as much by his spirit of faultless help and advice to those who needed it, and who have since passed it on in turn to newer generations.