The University of Sheffield’s cycling team pedalled their way to victory last weekend at the BUCS Hill Climb, scooping first place in both team races and individual efforts.
The event saw cyclists compete through the scenic Peak District, beginning at the spectacular Barber Booth before climaxing at the testing slopes of Mam Tor.
A test of strength, stamina and power, the race put both teams through their paces as the Black and Golds targeted BUCS success.
Showing the fine margins in the sport to optimal degree, the men’s team won by 0.2 seconds. Every second counts and the team captain, Eugene Cross, who finished second in his individual event, was ecstatic with the club’s performances.
“I was extremely proud. We have dominated every year I’ve been at Sheffield so obviously the pressure was on for us to perform,” he said.
“We lost a lot of good riders from the men’s side last year so it was far from guaranteed we would win with that side.”
While the uni teams are well versed in the Hill Climb, it didn’t make the challenge any easier to overcome, and the men’s team showed how every single move counts.
They won by a 0.2 second winning margin, and Eugene said the supporters gave the side that cutting edge.
“I took my brother’s advice, that the crowds in the final two minutes would be insane, so I only needed to focus for the first five minutes,” he added.
“The supporters were incredible. After I finished and started to ride back down, I got told I’d come second and I could hardly believe my time of 6:26. I was elated.
“I assumed that had won us the team prize, but I didn’t realise quite how close it was. We got away with it.
“With the standard being so high at Sheffield it’s hard to get into the top three men’s. Both Nic Clayton and Josh Curtis missed out by less than two seconds.”
The Women’s stormed to success in the Peaks, finishing above Loughborough by over a minute with a time of 8:23:113.
Sheffield’s Hannah Larbalestier finished quickest by 15 seconds to scoop gold in the individual event.
“Both Hannah Larbalestier and Holly MacMahon are class acts, and I was never in doubt that they could win it,” said Eugene.
A fine result for the Black and Golds, and there’s plenty more where it came from.