Help WERL out of a tight spot

WERLIf you follow women’s cycling in the UK, you’ll probably have already heard of the Women’s Eastern Racing League – an organisation started by Tanya Griffiths which supports riders in a number of ways including race training days, season-long competitions, offering advice and more.

Following the closure of a sponsor’s company, WERL found itself in a tight spot -it no longer had a time trial bike to award to the winner of its Time Trial League. Fortunately Starley Bikes stepped in and very generously donated a bike, but the League had promised  wheels to go with it. Now, time trial wheels aren’t cheap, but they’re not necessarily unaffordable either: Tanya’s able to get a pair for £1600. WERL’s budget can’t stretch to that, but it wouldn’t take very many people to do it via crowdfunding… and you can help them reach that target by donating as little as £1 here.

Neutral Service spoke with Tanya about WERL recently – read the interview here


Podium Ambition go pro!

Podium Ambition, better known as the Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International team run by Sarah and Barney Storey, is turning professional for 2016 – confirming rumours that have been circulating (despite Barney’s best attempts to stop them!) since early September.

Katie Archibald and Jo Rowsell-Shand are remaining with the team, with more riders to be announced soon. The roster, says Barney, will be “almost 100% British.”

Sarah Storey on going pro

Latest Transfer News


Suffolk £1.1m richer thanks to Women’s Tour

A report published by Suffolk County Council states that 70,000 people watched Stage 1 of this year’s Aviva Women’s Tour, with 42% coming from overseas – and between them, they injected £1.1 million into the local economy. The stage ran between Bury St Edmunds in the west of the country and Aldeburgh on the east coast, with 15,000 spectators at the start and another 20,000 at the finish (hate to think what the queues at Aldeburgh’s two remarkably excellent fish and chip shops were like that afternoon).

In addition to the financial boost, a survey of people who attended the event revealed that 88% considered it “very enjoyable” and 69% went home with the intention to cycle more frequently.

Back in February 2014, Welwyn Garden City councillor Martyn Levitt, who has since stepped down, claimed that the £50,000 the city put towards the inaugural Women’s Tour was a waste of money: “I have wanted to get litter bins and I can’t get litter bins, I’m told we don’t have money. But we have money to fritter away on this. The Tour of Britain had Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, household names. It got very little television coverage, what hope is there [that the Women’s Tour] will raise £50,000?” he asked the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Women’s Tour and Ride London to feature in Women’s World Tour


Interesting Links

Armitstead – World Champion! (BBC Sport)

National Track Championships brings gold for Trott and Marchant (British Cycling)

Thornhill, Turnham and Cox win gold (BBC Sport)

Anti-doping falls behind as women’s cycling grows (Velonews)

From Burton to Armitstead: Britain’s road race world champions (Cycling Weekly)



Recommended reading from racers, riders and really interesting folk this week…

Isla Rush: The self-promotion of women’s cycling

Isla“Over the past few years, women’s cycling has both grown in the number of riders and in popularity. It is now watched by millions all over the world, and has an exciting race calendar all year round. However, it still isn’t on-par with men’s racing. This is down to numerous reasons; less participants than in the men’s sport, still ran by mainly men and the reluctance to commit to an idea. What am I trying to get at? Women’s cycling needs to (and does) promote itself…” Read more

Keira McVitty: Being 19-year-old Keira

Keirathumb“Tomorrow is my 20th Birthday and as it is coming towards the end of the season, I have taken some time to reflect on the past year. Its been a good one, honest! I have had some brilliant experiences and lots of fun with my current team this year (Giordana Triton) which was topped off with my first ever Ras na Mban. Who knew that all those lovely people I met at the London Bike Show at our team launch would go on to be one of the best teams in the UK?!” Read more

Lucy Lunges: How I’m coping with injury

LucyLungesThumb“It’s been just over 5 weeks since I picked up an injury to my hip whilst running. I won’t lie, it’s been a slow and painful recovery, but I’m beginning to notice improvements. I’m now able to walk without any pain, but I’m still hesitant to attempt to cycle or run. My physio diagnosed it as an ‘Anterior Hip Impingement’ which means my hip socket is ‘pinching’ a piece of tissue every time I move my leg. Sounds horrible, right?! Injuries bring with them a range of emotions, I’ve felt frustrated, depressed, anxious and suffered with FOMO. However, I’ve also been trying to stay positive and use the following strategies to cope with injury…” Read more

Laura Morgan: It’s over again!

LMorgan“The season has FINALLY ended! I haven’t posted because I’ve been so busy, life has not stopped at all. So I’ll squeeze in a quick post of my results. There’s loads to talk about, loads of ups and downs and loads of extra things I’ve been involved with over the course of the season – the biggest news I have is the launch of – which I’ve launched off the back of a group I created earlier in the year on Facebook.. This warrants a whole extra blog post in itself really so I won’t go into detail on that yet! I had a great season this year. I went, quite quickly, to a confident position within myself – where I found I was happy to put in and chase attacks, moving up where I wanted, sticking with the wheels of national elites and enjoying another step in my endurance capabilities…” Read more

Alice Staniford: Hill climbs and ‘cross

AMillerthumb“It’s the end of the road season but racing hasn’t stopped. On Saturday I competed in the Exeter Wheelers hill climb and on Sunday I kicked off my cross season with a win at round two of the South West league. On Saturday I raced the Exeter Wheelers’ hill climb. With a massive prize fund up for grabs even the reigning national hill climb champ Maryka Sennema travelled down for the event so comeptition was set to be fierce. Of the regional riders entered I was watching out for Heidi Viles (ever the mountain goat) Emma Cockcroft and Crystal Spearman…” Read more

Beth Bryn Hodge: What Cyclocross Gives Me (apart from bruises)

BethBrynHodgethumb“What does cyclocross give me apart from bruises and sore legs…and why I can’t wait for the next race. Yesterday was my first cross race of the season. It was brutal. I was expecting it to be brutal, and clearly it didn’t disappoint. So why do I love this discipline/torture so much? And why on earth would you want to try it? I’ll let you into a secret- cross is one of the most rewarding style of racing you can do on a bike (my entirely biased view, obvs). There will not be one single rider in a cross race that does not feel this way…Read more

Tanya Griffiths: Ten months later

TanyaGriffithsthumbIt’s been nearly a year since my last confession. I had even got to the point of 99% completion of part 2 for my last blog, but never did that final 1%. Why not? I simply didn’t have the time to finish it the way I wanted. You see, I have this in-built drive to ensure I’m doing everything I can to do the best job I can at everything I do*. If I can’t do a good job, it doesn’t happen. And that’s how my lack of time meant that I couldn’t finish that last 1% of my blog post…Read more


Photo of the Week


Cyclist, photographer and cool person Mel Evans’ selfie – I love this shot! (© Mel Evans)


…and a very big chapeau to Rebecca Nixon – now Rebecca Durrell – who got married on Saturday 26th September!