Many of the UoB cycling squad had been looking forward to the BUCS cycling year beginning, but the first event of the hill climb is not one for the faint hearted! A very traditionally British event, hill climbs are a very simple concept- start at the bottom of a hill, and cycle to the top as fast as you can. They are notorious for being brutally hard, with people often acting as “catchers” at the top of the hill, catching people who are so tired that they can’t even take their feet off the pedals, and topple over.
For UoB, this event is always a great start to the academic year, traditionally the club takes a large team to the event, and this year was no exception. Taking 14 riders, made UoB one of the larger teams attending the event. This year the event was hosted by Sheffield University, using the famous climb up Mam Tor. It’s a gruelling 1.3 miles long, topping out at 18% gradient, with an average of 10%. The weather was also far from ideal conditions, with rain, wind and temperatures sitting at about 3 Celsius!
Despite the weather, the squad had some fantastic results, with UoB’s top finisher, Maddie Gammons, taking 13th place! Brum also had 6 racers in the women’s event, with Maddie in 13th, Louise Scupham 21st, Gabriella Homer 30th, Melissa Baker 35th, Poppy Wildman 40th, and Nicola Greenwood in 42nd out of 67 total participants. These impressive results meant that it when they all clubbed together, the women’s team were able to secure bronze for the team prize!
“I’m pleased with my performance at BUCS considering the terrible conditions on a challenging climb with such a variety of gradients. It was really good to have such a strong performance from the whole team and to field such a large number of women to help us to team bronze.” – Maddie Gammons, women’s team bronze medalist and highest UoB finisher
The club were also really pleased with the men’s team results, there were lots of PBs and some first time BUCS racers, who got invaluable experience. Curtis Maltby was the top men’s event finisher in 96th, followed by Harry Dexter 99th, Jonathan Allen 103rd, Hal Ryan Gill 120th, Patrick Machie 128th, Fergus Quinn 140th, Thomas Blackburn 156th, and Nathan Phillips 157th out of 181 total riders.
Next up is the BUCS Track Cycling championships on the 23rd & 24th of November. Stay tuned on the club social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep unto date with the all the news there and throughout the season. The student radio network, BurnFM, will also be covering the championships all weekend, including pre-event coverage, and commentary on the weekend itself.