The BUCS Track Cycling Championships were held on the 26 and 27 February 2022 at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, with action spread across two days and Nottingham taking a strong contingent of riders.
University of Nottingham’s team of cyclists returned victorious with 6 BUCS medals, including Gold in the final race of the Championships for UoN Sport Scholar Emily Bridges.
The Men’s Sprint race was first up on the Saturday morning with Qualification sprints which saw Mitch Sparrow and Bàlint Csengöi safely through to the Quarter-Finals. After progressing, the two were unfortunately set to meet each other in the Semi-Final with Sparrow narrowly taking the victory. The South African would go head-to-head with Loughborough’s Joe Trueman in a final which captivated riders around the Velodrome. Trueman was victorious over the final rides which landed Sparrow a well-earnt BUCS silver medal.
There was no less drama in the Women’s Sprint races as Charlotte Robinson and Lizzy Broughton comfortably headed into the quarter finals. Broughton would ultimately finish 6th overall whilst Robinson was forced to ride wheel-to-wheel all the way to the Gold/Silver final. It was in the final that Robinson would meet her match, but it was an incredible ride which earned her a Silver medal for the University of Nottingham.
There was to be further success in the Men’s Kilo, with a Bronze Medal for University of Nottingham.
Mitch Sparrow, Bàlint Csengöi and Tom Sharples set a new BUCS Record [46.824] in their final race of the Men’s Team Sprint, only for it to be pipped on the line by +0.336. Their valiant efforts earnt the team a BUCS Silver medal. Sharples in particular was thrilled by his split time on the final leg which brought the team within touching distance of a Gold.
The Women’s Team Sprint squad weren’t hanging around either as Lizzy Broughton, Charlotte Robinson and Jade Hawkins set the 2nd Fastest qualifying time to sail straight into the Gold Medal Final, with a time of 54.117 seconds. Spirited by their form in earlier rides, the team went on to improve their time in the final [53.444] to win a Silver medal in the Women’s Team Sprint Gold Medal race.
In slightly more controversial fashion, Max Krasinski rode to 18th in a chaotic Men’s Elimination Race which saw some riders refuse to drop out in protest at officiating.
In the Men’s Team pursuit, our team consisting of Emily Bridges, Tom Sharples, Max Krasinski and Nicos Anitippa also worked their way into the Bronze final with a time of 4.30.821, narrowly missing out on the Gold/Silver race by 0.5 seconds. The teams managed to set that frustration aside as they went on to smash nearly 10 seconds [4:20.590] off their best time to win a BUCS bronze medal.
The final moment of the Track Championships belonged to UoN Sport Scholar, Emily Bridges.
Having already helped the Men’s Team Pursuit team to a medal, she lined up in the Men’s points race (held over 30km). The gruelling format, in which Sprints take place every 10 laps, is a mixture of strategy and endurance. Rather than sit back, it was Emily who took control of the lead mid-way through the race. After winning consecutive sprints she was able to build a sizeable lead and she needed to! With double points awarded on the final lap, it was imperative that a sizeable gap could be maintained and heading into the final lap Emily knew she had done enough to win BUCS Gold. Cheered on by her teammates, the smile written across her face spoke volumes of the relief and satisfaction to take victory on the final race of the Championship.
The victory marked the end of a memorable event for University of Nottingham Cycling. One which saw its student bring home 8 medals and provide the very first taste of competitive track action to some athletes.
For more information on Performance Track Cycling at University of Nottingham please visit: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Sport/performancecycling
Posted on Friday 4th March 2022