My name is Finn Mansfield, I'm 19 and I race bikes at an Elite level. Currently, I'm studying Medical Microbiology (basically bacteria and viruses) at the University of Bristol. I've been racing bikes for about 10 years, starting with racing cyclocross then racing road and MTB.
Cyclocross is like cross country running on bikes. Essentially, you ride a modified road bike with knobbly tyres around a wet field/woods. You get super muddy, wet, and potentially cold. It's brutal and will be one of the hardest hours of your life. It sounds horrific but is quite great. This was my first introduction to racing bikes as an 8 year old and I've been doing it ever since. I absolutely adore CX, there is so much that goes into a race. Line choice around a corner (I'll spare you the boring details), Tyre pressure (alike in F1 where tyre pressure makes a huge difference), weather conditions (there are many different types of mud, I can tell you what tyre and pressure you can ride in each one and how to handle the bike in each condition - CX NERD ALERT). We've managed to take riding a bike around a muddy field from something simple to degree level physics (in tyre pressure and line choice).
Last year I took a gap year to race cyclocross full time in Belgium. I spent 3 months racing the pro cylcoross circuit in Belgium and the Netherlands whilst training and racing as a pro. In between my trips abroad I worked at my local pub to earn money to allow me to go out to Belgium.
Now that I've left home, I've discovered how expensive cycling is! Bike maintenance really stretches the student budget but the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust ( JHMT) have helped me to balance my budget. The money will go to helping me maintain my bikes so that I can train and race at the highest level.
Next cyclocross season I will be racing at National competitions and am planning on travelling over to Belgium over the Christmas holidays to race some more of the biggest races in the world (I'm not quite done with Belgium yet!). I will keep you updated with how my training is going over the summer and how my race season goes!
First CX race of the season!
Posted: 19th Oct, 2021
My first race of the season after some time off. I managed to get second! Read More »
Jumping back into the swing of things!
Posted: 8th Sep, 2021
This summer, I've had a series of health issues (Covid, Coeliacs disease) which lead me to being really fatigued and requiring some serious time off from the bike! Now its the end of the summer, and I'm... Read More »
BUCS 25TT - 3rd Team!
Posted: 29th Apr, 2021
As lockdown is starting to lift, racing is starting to come back again! Thankfully this happened just in time for there to be one BUCS event to happen. This race went pretty well pretty well for me. As a team Bristol Uni were able to achieve 3rd in the team prize which is a huge result from us! Read More »