A University of Chester student has reached the podium for the second year in a row at a national universities’ cycling event.
Kieran Wynne-Cattanach, aged 21, from Llanfairfechan in North Wales, achieved a bronze medal at the recent BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Cycling National Hill Climb Championships, which were held near the village of Edale, in the Peak District.
The competition saw university students race to set the fastest time up the steep, challenging gradients of Mam Nick, a hill famous for its picturesque views. Competitors cycled 1.2 miles up hill, with around 670 feet of vertical elevation gain, at an average road gradient of 10%.
Kieran, who is a member of the University’s Cycling Club, clocked an impressive time of 06:33.9, earning him a bronze medal. He said: “I was very nervous beforehand as I’d had a virus all week. My legs felt good in the warm-up and I tried to stay positive. I had my pacing strategy and stuck to it on the slightly easier lower slopes. I got to around halfway when the gradient started to kick up, and I knew this was the time to start pushing on. It was really hard, but there was lots of support from my friends and fellow students to spur me on.”
He added: “I did one final sprint to the line and collapsed on the road side at the summit. I’d ridden the hill faster than I ever had before, and I managed to get a spot on the podium. I did the best I could and I’m really proud to have got another bronze BUCS medal for the University of Chester.”
Kieran started cycling six years ago with his local club, Rhos-on-Sea Cycling Club, and began road cycling as part of his GCSE Physical Education assessments. He began to race three years ago, starting off with the local time trials and circuit races, and slowly progressing to road races across Wales and the North West of England.
Kieran said: “It has probably been my most successful hill climb season. I’ve won three races, and come within 1.5 seconds of beating a course record that has stood since 1981. I also competed in the Welsh Hill Climb Championships in South Wales recently, retaining my Under 23 title, and finishing fourth overall.”
Sarah Latham, Student Activities Manager said 'Chester SU are very proud of Kieran’s achievements. He has gone from strength to strength with some amazing results at BUCS competitions. We hope his success continues for the rest of the year and in 2019'.
Kieran was awarded a Sports Scholarship from the University and is currently studying the MSc in Sports Physiology. He hopes to compete in more competitions in 2019 with the University’s Cycling Club, alongside his degree.