josh lowe feature

High Performance Bursar Josh Lowe competing at the BUCS downhill mountain bike race.

British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) downhill mountain bike race success

An intense three days of BUCS Downhill Mountain biking in Wales challenged Exeter University Cycling Club who came out of the event with a number of successes. 

The first day was used for the athletes to walk the race track so they could make themselves aware of the conditions, drive to their campsite and set up ready for the competition. The second day consisted of registering riders, marshals and making sure they performed their duties and attended briefings for the day. The riders then began their practise for the competition, this was timed and used towards seeding for qualification on day three. 

The morning of the last day was a chance for the athletes to perform a few more practise runs. Exeter had two females and eight males in the finals from qualification, which was the highest turnout from any university represented at the competition. In the finals Exeter University Cycling Club representative Rebecca Manning finished in 3rd place overall in the female competition. In the men's event Josh Lowe  finished with an astounding 1st place position. There is a very high level of athleticism and commitment required for these top postitions that have been shown by these athletes, within training and competition and a number of competitors in the event compete internationally, so to be able to keep up with and beat these athletes is a true achievement. The Exeter University Cycling Club also achieved the team female win with help from Rebecca Odwyer coming 7th, who is also competing in the University Hockey 1st team and part of teh High Performance Programme. The male team finished 3rd with the help from Nick Dean and Joe Barnwell. The Exeter University Cycling Clubs results are a great achievement and they are continuing to train and recruit more members for BUCS in the coming years. 

High Performance bursar and World ranked Josh Lowe, downhill elite cyclist comments on the race day. 

What did the day entail with regards to the course, race times and results? 

"I actually qualified in 3rd, a few seconds back from the winning time and knew that one of the fastest guys had crashed at qualifying. The track was drying out quite nicely from the rain we had had the day before, and it meant that we could push that little bit harder in the race runs. I managed to have a relatively mistake-free run to come down into first, by 0.4 seconds over Morgan Cullard, taking 4 seconds off of my qualifying time. There were three guys left to come down, including Will Weston, my ex-teammate on Madison Saracen, but no one could knock me off the hot-seat. So I ended up taking the win by half a second".

How did you feel about the BUCS race day?

"BUCS always has a fantastic atmosphere because everyone that doesn't qualify goes to the craziest section and gives the other riders loads of support". 

What else do you have planned over the summer?

"This season I will be racing all of the European World Cups, European Cups and a few National races". 

Written by Exeter University Cycling Club and Hannah Barnes, Exeter College Student.

Date: 23 April 2018

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