On Saturday 11th October the Oxford Uni- versity Cycling Club began its 2014/2015 season at the Bristol University Hill climb held on Belmont hill just outside the city.

The twisting 1.2 kilometre time trial had an average gradient of 8%, and a final kick of 17.5%, which proved to be a challenging course for the squad. The 5am start seemed to take its toll on the men’s team, who all finished mid- table. Daniel Alanine, James Lambton and Alasdair Morrison all came in within 0.7s of each other around the 3:42 mark. The fastest university cyclist of all was Mark Bleakley of Bath who finished in 3:14.3.

On the woman’s side, Tamara Davenne finished in 3rd place with a time of 4:35.5, 8 sec- onds behind Kate Baker, again of Bath University.

The event was part of a busy Michaelmas cal- endar for the team, who are to take part in the Oxford Hill Climb on Saturday 18th.

This event is open for anybody to take part, and will include the Oxford team, who will be hoping to build on their opening performance over the new cycling season. The event will take place at Watlington Hill, around 14 miles from Oxford. The hill is just under a mile long, with an average gradient of 7% and a steepest gradient of 17.5%. Riders set off at 1 minute in- tervals, and whoever clocks the quickest time will be crowned champion.

Last year’s winner was Henri William in a time of 4 mins 11 seconds, just shy of the club record (4mins 0 seconds) set by David McGaw in 2007. The woman’s title was won by Tamara Davenne.

Road Captain Alasdair Morrison said about this year’s race, “The excitement is likely to be between Tom Bolton (racing well), Henri Williams (just returned from a month of touring in the alps), James Lambton (smashing rubber down on the flat over the summer) and Daniel Alanine (‘cause he is almost French). Could any newcomers throw a spanner in the plans of many?”

Competitors meet just before 10:00 am on the Saturday on Broad Street outside Trinity college and you can cycle down with the squad. The event is free for OUCC members or £2 for non-members.