Giant Sheffield sponsors second Tickhill GP — St. Helens CRC Pimbo report — Wiggle-Honda wins at Omloop van het Hageland as Matrix Pro Cycling break into top 20 — Tour de Yorkshire adds women’s race – but only a one-day event — Donation put to good use as WERL adds Masters category — More women’s racing at the Lee Valley Track League — Race training at Redbridge and Forge Valley — White-knuckle video ride with eliteVelo-Kalas! — Last Week’s Results — Blogs: Jess May, Sandra Mackay, Alice Miller, Emma Borthwick, Keira McVitty, Emma Coldwell, Beth Hodge, Adele Mitchell — Interesting Links — Photos of the Week
Giant Sheffield sponsors second Tickhill Women’s GP
If you were at the Tickhill GP last year, you’ll know that the pathways all along the circuit were packed with spectators despite it being only the second time the Tickhill Velo Club had put on the event – and the first time they’d included a women’s race. To achieve that success, they took a risk: instead of saying “we need someone to put up a few prizes and stuff, but don’t worry it’ll only cost you a few quid,” they decided to make the race as good as the riders deserve and said “we need someone to put up some prizes and it’ll cost you a bob or ten, but we think it’ll pay dividends.”
This turned out to be rather clever. Giant Sheffield heard what the Tickhill chaps were saying, agreed that the women deserved prizes equal to those the men were riding for and thought that maybe if that could be arranged the race would probably see female riders signing up in their droves, competing far harder than they do when all they have to look forward to is few goes round the track for a chance to win twenty quid before the men – whom the organisers blatantly consider to be the main act – get themselves ready, and it’d be brilliant. So they put up a Giant Envie Advanced, which is a very nice and very expensive bike.
Then, loads and loads of riders signed up, thousands of fans decided they couldn’t possibly miss seeing it, Tanya Griffiths won it in sensational style, and Giant Sheffield received publicity worth far more than a Giant Envie Advanced. Which just goes to show: if you put enough effort into organising a women’s race, it’ll be a huge success, the riders and fans will love you for it, and your “big name” sponsors will stick around for future events.
“When running an event such as ours, one of the most important things is loyalty and continuity, it is brilliant that Giant Sheffield, who were the prime mover in getting our Women’s Races of the ground last year, have put not just their funds behind this Race, but also their support and passion, and that to us means everything. It is a pleasure to work with a sponsor who sees the bigger picture and put in more than they take out,” says chief organiser Rich Stoodley.
St. Helens CRC Pimbo
#partyontheroad #roostertails – or, the one where we all got soaked
Report by Dan MonaghanAn 80+ strong field took to the fully-booked 2015 St Helens CC women’s road race at Pimbo Industrial estate on Sunday. The race sat in the middle of the men’s E,1,2,3 race and 3,4 races. Whilst the weather gods had decided to reduce the mornings heavy down pour to a local ‘little drizzle’ there was still enough of the wet stuff to warrant a few more layers than usual.
The field stayed close together in the early stages of the 18 laps of the 2.1 mile circuit, giving some 1st time racers a good taste of bunch riding. Gradually, the primes started to take their effect on a large portion of the field and the peloton was reduced down, with teams such as Army Cycling Union, Carnac-Planet X, Team 22 and Watt Cycle beginning to drive the pack hard. A few riders looked to make the jump off the front, Team Aprire and VCUK and Team Jadan all looking active. Eventually, with a peloton of around 25 riders coming round the final bend and onto the finishing straight it was Angela Hibbs (Team WattCycle) and Chanel Mason (Army Cycling Union) who made the decisive breakaway and final sprint to the finish line with Hibbs taking the line.
The testing and cold conditions and a full field of enthusiastic riders made this an exciting race to watch… congrats to the winners for a hard fought race, but chapeau to all the riders who despite falling behind still ground out excellent rides, rides they can be proud of and put in the ‘cycling bank. for those hazy summer races that are just around the bend!
See more of Dan’s Pimbo photographs in Photos of the Week, below (and more of his work on his website)
Wiggle-Honda wins at Omloop van het Hageland as Matrix Pro Cycling break into top 20
British women’s cycling enjoyed some great exposure at Belgium’s UCI 1.2 Omloop van het Hageland with Danish star Christina Siggaard (Matrix Pro Cycling) taking 17th place just ahead of the fastest Brit, Fife-born Eileen Roe of British-based team Wiggle-Honda. Roe’s team mate Jolien D’hoore won the nine-rider final sprint for first place over Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) and Sara Mustonen (Liv-Plantur).
Sixth of the large second group that crossed the line 1’07” after Blaak, Siggaard’s result was made even more impressive by the fact that the Omloop was only her team’s third professional race – Matrix is racing at UCI Pro level for the first time this year after having been inspired to move up when, as a domestic team, they received an invitation to race at 2014’s Women’s Tour. The next best rider over the line in the Matrix kit was Molly Weaver, who joined the team from Epic-Scott (now Ikon-Mazda), in 34th place also at +1’07”; Lucy Martin was 85th at +4’06”. Harriet Owen, Penny Rowson and Mel Lowther did not finish.
Australian Chloe Hosking was the second-best Wiggle-Honda rider, finishing last in the lead group for 9th place – proof, since Hosking is widely considered to be one of the best sprinters in the world, that competition was extremely high and the cobbles and bergs had taken a heavy toll. Her team mates Anna Christian and Emilia Fahlin did not finish.
Claire Thomas (riding for Belgian team Isorex) also made it into the second group and was 37th, while the New Zealand-born Scot Genevieve Whitson (ASPTT Dijon) was 54th. Dani Christmas (Isorex) finished in 75th place at +2’06”, staying three seconds ahead of popular Dutch rider Marijn De Vries.
“In general we took a huge step forward today. The performance of the riders was very good, and although for a couple of them the results might not show that, we saw a huge jump in performance. Molly showed her consistency and Christina really stepped up from finisher, to contender, and I hope that will build her confidence for the coming races,” said Matrix manager Stef Wyman. “Lucy showed she’s continuing to rediscover her racing legs after a difficult couple of seasons. She was a fraction away from a much bigger result, and we know that if she can continue to move forward like this, it’s going to be a great season.”
Tour de Yorkshire adds women’s race – but only a one-day event
The Tour of Yorkshire was always going to be good event, but it’s just begun to look like it’ll be an excellent one with the addition of a women’s race to be held in York before the UCI 2.1 men’s race arrives in the city.
The race will consist of four laps of a 20km circuit on the 2nd of May and will be open to riders holding British Cycling E/1/2/3 licences.
It seems a pity, however, that with the men’s race taking place over three days and stages and with the organisers keen to take advantage of “the spectators, race infrastructure and media spotlight already on York that day” in order to “show women’s racing off to the world,” the event couldn’t have been held over all three days – perhaps using part of the parcours of the men’s stages so as to abide with the increasingly unpopular UCI rules governing the maximum length of women’s races. The Women’s Tour proved once and for all last year that the British public – both cyclists and generic sports fans, going by the size of the crowds it attracted to each of its five stages – does have an appetite for multi-stage women’s cycling races, and a similar event on the more hilly terrain of Yorkshire would have made for a real showcase for the sport.
Donation put to good use as WERL adds Masters category
Following a very generous anonymous donation, the Women’s Eastern Racing League has been able to add a Masters category to its season-long competition. The category is open to riders aged 40+ as of the 1st of January this year.
“Top 6 results will be combined from both the road and the time trial league,” explained League founder Tanya Griffiths, who rides for the British Velosure-Starley-Primal domestic team. “We will introduce further age group splits for every 3 riders entering the league for each 10 years over 40. e.g. we currently have 40+, but this could be split into 40-49 and 50+ if we get 3 over 50s.”
More women’s racing at the Lee Valley Track League
Riders wanting to get in a few more miles on the boards before the track world quietens down for the summer might be interested to know the Lee Valley Track League has added two Mixed C/Women sessions this month. Points gained at both events will be counted towards overall League standings.
The two sessions will take place on the 16th and 23rd of March and places are limited. More information and registration at the Full Gas website.
Race Training Dates
The Women’s Eastern Racing League have organised a four-hour women’s race training session to take place at the Redbridge Circuit on Sunday the 15th of March, with Level 3 British Cycling coach (and women’s cycling expert) Huw Williams giving instruction – which, considering those in attendance will receive four hours of training (and, knowing the WERL, have a whole lot of fun) for £20 (+ £1.85 admin fee), promises to be excellent value. Only one place remains for the event and can be booked through Eventbrite.
The Racing Chance Foundation is holding a training event at the Forge Valley Circuit in Sheffield on the 12th of April. Like the WERL session, places cost £20 + £1.85 admin fee – as a non-profit organisation devoted to the development and promotion of women’s cycling, this also promises to be an excellent and highly educational session.
HowgoodcouldIbe.com’s “Women don’t race, do they?” masterclass session, at Redbridge on 18th of April, is rather more expensive at £65 but offers a full six hours of training, including coaching from former British no. 1 Leda Cox and Katie Colclough, who raced for the world-class Specialized-Lululemon team and was part of their victorious team time trial squad at the 2013 World Championships. The event offers coaching specifically tailored to the Hog Hill, Hillingdon, Cyclopark and Velopark circuits and as such is especially useful to riders planning several races at these venues this year, but will be useful to any rider. More info from activetrainingworld.com.
eliteVelo-Kalas action video!
Last Week’s Results
St Helens CRC Pimbo Cats. 2/3/4 08.03.15 See report above (and photos below!) Provisional 1 Angela Hibbs(Team WattCycle) 2 Chanel Mason (Army Cycling Union) 3 Elizabeth-Jane Harris (Army Cycling Union) 4 Lou Collins (Carnac-Planet X) 5 Ellen McDermott (Team WattCycle) 6 Sarah Rose (Team 22) 7 Lucy Lee (Marsh Tracks RT) 8 Flora Gillies (Project 51) 9 Sarah Graham 10 Katie Abbott (St. Helens CRC) Full (provisional) result
Donna Bici March Sprinter E/1/2/3/4 08.03.15 1 Amy Hill (Cat. 1) 10 2 Megan Chard (M & D Cycles-Fusion-Worx; Cat. 2) 8pts 3 Sophie Williams (Cardiff JIF; Cat. A) 7pts 4 Holly James (Onit Cycles WRT; Cat. 2) 6pts 5 Megan Backstedt (Maindy Flyers Youth CC; Cat. 2) 5pts 6 Sophie-Jo Wylie-Morris (M & D Cycles-Fusion-Worx; Cat. A) 4pts 7 Janet Rees (Cardiff JIF; Cat. 2) 3pts 8 Gaynor Hughes (County Cycles RT; Cat. 3) 2pts 9 Jodie Lloyd (Cwmcarn Paragon CC; Cat. 3) 1pt 10 Janet Horton (Cat. 4) 1pt
San Fairy Ann CC Spring Criteriums #2 E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 1 Suzetta Guerrini (London Dynamo; Cat. 2) 10pts 2 Ruth Summerford (PMR@Toachim House; Cat. 3) 8pts 3 Joanna Smith (Adalta CC; Cat. 3) 7pts 4 Louise Laker (PMR@Toachim House; Cat. 2) 6pts 5 Laura Cameron (London Phoenix; Cat. 2) 5pts 6 Charlotte Heywood (Cat. 3) 4pts 7 Aoife Doherty (London Phoenix; Cat. 3) 3pts 8 Amy Smith (Project 51; Cat. 3) 2pts 9 Victoria Strila (PMR@Toachim House; Cat. 2) 1pt 10 Sophie Edmondson (Kinoko Cycles; Cat. 2) 1pt 11 Anna Carter (Lee Valley Youth; Cat. A)
Yorkshire Day at the Races York Sport #1 E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 1 Seonaid Thompson (Albarosa CC; Cat. 2) 10pts 2 Angela Hibbs (Team WattCycle; Cat. 3) 8pts 3 Nicola Moore (Squadra RT; Cat. 3) 7pts 4 Louise Scupham (Scarborough Paragon CC; Cat. 3) 6pts 5 Alisa Healy (Racing Chance Foundation; Cat. 3) 5pts 6 Hannah Riechert 0pts 7 Jennifer Batey (Team WattCycle; Cat. 4) 3pts 8 Vicky Clark (Albarosa CC) 0pts 9 Hannah Righini-Brand (Cat. 3) 1pt 10 Christine Marshall (Team WattCycle; Cat. 3) 1pt U16: 1 Alana Prior (Stockton Wheelers) 3pts. U14: 1 Ava Oxley-Szilagyi (VCUK-PH Mas) 3pts, 2 Elena Smith (Fossa) 2pts, 3 Rachel Earnshaw (Clifton CC) 1pt. U12: 1 Libby Smith (Fossa) 3pts, 2 Adele Taylor (Clifton CC) 2pts, 3 Charlotte Fox (Clifton CC) 1pt. U10: 1 Megan Rees (Holmfirth CC) 3pts, 2 Imogen Peatfield (Bolton Hot Wheels) 2pts, 3 Sophie Hardcastle (Kirkless Cycling Academy) 1pt. U8: Sophia Engley 0pts
Highfield Kitchens/Godleys Bikes Spring Shield #1 E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 1 Amy Souter (Albarosa CC; Cat. 2) 15pts 2 Althea Carr (Tyneside Vagabonds; Cat. 4) 12pts 3 Nikki Metcalfe (Team WattCycle; Cat. 4) 10pts 4 Julia Macchi (Team WattCycle; Cat. 4) 8pts 5 Hazel Wright (Team WattCycle; Cat. 4) 6pts 6 Nicola Parker-Bell (Team WattCycle) 0pts 7 Chloe Kelly (Team WattCycle) 0pts 8 Jessica Fox (Team WattCycle; Cat. 4) 3pts
Redbridge Spring Warm-Up #2 E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 1 Anna Marie Hughes (Bonito Squadra Corse; Cat. 2) 3pts 2 Michelle Sellars (London Phoenix; Cat. 2) 2pts 3 Harriet Mellor (Hillingdon Slipstreamers; Cat. A) 1pt 4 Gabriella Nordin (GB Cycles.co.uk; Cat. 2) 5 Helen McKay (Les Filles; Cat. 2) 6 Tanya Griffiths (Velosure-Starley-Primal; Cat. 1) 7 Michelle Forster (GB Cycles.co.uk; Cat. 2)
Milton Keynes Bowl Spring Circuit Series #1 E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 U16: 1 Sophie Williams (Cardiff JIF) 3pts, 2 Lauren Murphy (Welwyn Wheelers) 2pts, 3 Isabel Darville (VC Lincoln) 1pt. U14: 1 Josie Griffin (Welwyn Wheelers) 3pts, 2 Lauren Higham (Welwyn Wheelers) 2pts, 3 Maddie Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles) 1pt. U12: 1 Anna Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles) 3pts, 2 Jenna Miles (Welwyn Wheelers) 2pts, 3 Abigail Old (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) 1pt. U10: 1 Millie Coleman (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) 3pts, 2 Bobbie O'Brien (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) 2pts, 3 Faye Garner (Welland Valley CC) 1pt. U8: 1 Elana Rose Fereday (Team MK) 3pts, 2 Mya Little (Barking&Dagenham CC) 2pts, 3 Ailsa Walton (Team MK) 1pt.
Winter Warrior Race Series #2 LUCC+ Total Cycle Coach E/1/2/3/4 07.03.15 1 Frances White (Jadan; Cat. 3) 10 2 Flora Gillies (Project 51; Cat. 2) 8 3 Pia De Quint 0 4 Sarah Rose (Team 22; Cat. 2) 6 5 Joanne Blakeley (Team 22; Cat. 2) 5 6 Gemma Sargent (Racing Chance Foundation; Cat. 2) 4 7 Melanie Potter (Bromsgrove Olympique CC; Cat. 3) 3 8 Emma Borthwick (Edinburgh RC; Cat. 3) 2 9 Deborah John (Lune RCC; Cat. 3) 1 10 Catherine Waters (Cat. 3) 1 11 Janine Connah (Chorley CC; Cat. 4), 12 Clare Bond (Racing Chance Foundation), 12 Gabrielle Duckworth (Lune RCC; Cat. 2)
“You know what is awesome? Cycling leagues taking proactive steps to encourage women’s cycling. You know who is awesome? The Surrey League. 2015 is going to be a massive season for novice women’s racing in the League, proven in the recently distributed calendar of events for the upcoming months (all of which, plus training events, will be added to my events calendar)…” Read more
“Its been about 4 years since I have done a 25m TT and I haven’t a clue on how to pace it, except ride as hard as you can for 25 miles. We warmed up into the wind, and all the little usual niggles go through your mind, like, oops this is feeling hard, ouch I feel weak. Then you start to warm up and think well ok, that’s alreet, we turned back round, and yippeeeeeeee , we had a tail wind, so I knew the last part of the course was going to be a blinder, and that we were going to finish fabulously…” Read more
“eliteVELO Kalas CRT is primarily a women’s development race team with six members; Hester Stembridge, Frankie Morgans-Slader, Jenny Powell, Julia Hesselberg, Sophie Black and myself. We’re a new team for 2015 and will be focusing on the National Team Series races. Our managers and coaches are Roy and Karen Wyle Smith from eliteVELO coaching company. A few of us had met prior to the launch but this would be the first time we were all together …” Read more
“Last weekend was the beginning of a new part of my racing life. After a disappointing final year racing in youth I was lacking in motivation going into the cold, dark winter months and in all honesty only put in some sporadic and highly unstructured training. I did some cross over the winter mainly cause I love it and find it incredibly fun but also for some training benefit. After going out on some rides with the Junior race squad of ERC I got a bit of a spark back, even if I was always last up the hill…” Read more
“The sun shines down as I blast out Otis by Jay Z & Kanye West – probably much to the annoyance of the elderly Germans, who are the main inhabitants of this particular hotel. The hotel is situated in Playa de Palma, just south of the capital Palma and about a ten minute drive from the airport. I have found now that I have gotten into a rhythm. Bike, eat, sleep and repeat. My nail polish has chipped off and my eyebrows are somewhat untamed however we have conquered many miles…” Read more
“The 22nd February was a busy day. The first event of the year… a time trial on a freezing cold February morning on a rather lumpy course (v910). It wasn’t exactly my idea of fun – but perhaps a good way to blow away the cobwebs! It certainly did that… the wind was so strong it nearly blew me off my bike too. It seems like so long since I was last on the bars (the aero variety of course!!!) it took a while to get used to the twitchy handling under those conditions…” Read more
“I must have been about 15 when I discovered the blissful state that can be achieved after an hour on the yoga mat. 14 years later, the mat still lies on my floor, like a faithful dog. That rectangular piece of thin foam encourages me, to be me. Switch off it says, stretch your body, stretch your mind. Let me do the talking for once, it says. And so I obey. It lies next to my bed, and before succumbing to the sea of white duvet, every night, I take to the mat. I bow to the mat…” Read more
“”WHAT COULD THE MTB COMMUNITY & INDUSTRY DO TO HELP ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SPORT?” Pinkbike posed this question in a feature posted on International Women’s Day (read it here). These are my thoughts, based on my own experience during ten years of mountain biking (because they didn’t ask me to participate: something of an oversight, obv!)…” Read more
Photos of the Week