New service seeks to pair up sighted pilots/visually-impaired stokers

Every once in a while you hear about an idea so obvious and so brilliant that you can’t believe nobody’s ever thought of it before. Lucie McKenna, a volunteer at Surrey Wheels for All, has had just such an idea and it’s already generating interest. The concept is remarkably simple and easy to realise: create a database of people who are interested in forming sighted pilot/visually-impaired stoker tandem partnerships, making it easy to match people up with others.

“I am so passionate about this and will do my absolute best to get people paired up and out there enjoying cycling together, make hopes and dreams come true whether its somebody wanting to just experience the outdoors and the enjoyment of leisure cycling on the occasion, or whether you wish to train train train to make it to the Paralympics,” Lucie told Neutral Service.

Lucie explained that she’s already had many replies from pilots wanting to be involved but hasn’t had so many from stokers. The likely explanation for this is that most visually-impaired “serious cyclist” stokers will already be in contact with one or more pilots – but there must be plenty of “leisure cyclist” stokers who rely on a friend or family member who might not be able to ride with them as often as they like, as well as many more visually-impaired people who would like to start cycling for fun, fitness or with a view to getting into racing, and the database could prove invaluable to them.

If you’re looking for a pilot, or are interested in becoming one, you can find more details and fill out the contact form on Tandem Pilot Stoker Matching Service.


Women’s race at Ripley Castle

Amira Mellor 002

Amira Mellor took a spectacular victory at Ripley Castle in 2015. Next year, with a standalone women’s race, the event is all set to be bigger and better than ever

After getting off to a rip-roaring start with an amazing 360 riders in 2014, Ripley Castle ‘Cross grew almost 70% larger still in 2015 with 523 competitors gathering to race around an interesting and technical parcours around the castle grounds – and even across the gravel courtyard, just a few metres from the 14th century house itself. It was, according to riders and spectators alike, one of the best ‘cross events of the season.

That the organisers are true supporters of women’s cycling was never in doubt, because right from Day 1 they’ve insisted on equal prizes, so putting the women on the circuit at the same time as the veterans with a staggered start was a compromise they’d rather have not had to make – even though it turned out to be fantastic fun for the fans when Amira Mellor caught the men, rode around them and went on to win, beating strong efforts from Henrietta Colborne, Maria Jackson and all the rest – so this year, they’re proud to be able to announce that for the first time the event will feature a standalone women’s race open to senior, junior and veteran riders.

Twelve seniors have already signed up, including Mellor, Alison McKinloch, Jenn and Natalie Batey, Nicola Hartle and Sarah Cramoysan; with the event taking place on the 1st of January, it’s sure to attract many, many more – and is all set to be even bigger and better in its third year.


Tour de l’Ardeche to tackle Ventoux

TdlAAlright, so the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche isn’t a British race – but it’s become such a popular event with British riders (the Racing Chance Foundation and Corley-Drops both took part this year and Jessie Walker, Sharon Laws and Lucy Coldwell were also on the start line) that the news next year’s edition will include an ascent of cycling’s holiest mountain Mont Ventoux deserves a mention here.

There have been some very talented climbers in women’s cycling – Laws and fellow Brit Emma Pooley being two of the best, but very little opportunity for them to show of that talent: l’Ardeche, the Giro Rosa and the Emakumeen Bira are among the few races that feature big mountains. The addition of Ventoux, which also features in this year’s Tour de France, is therefore very welcome news.*

*Except to the sprinters who plan to enter the race, of course.




Ffion james 008

Ffion James won Round 8 of the Welsh CX League

Welsh League #8 08.11.15
1 Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) 6pts
2 Clare Hoskins (Cardiff JIF) 0pts
3 Megan Backstedt (Maindy Flyers Youth) 3pts
4 Rebecca Cook, 5 Christine James (Abergavenny RC), 6 Tanwen Jones (West Wales Cycle RT),
DNF Danielle Flawn (Tredz Bikes)

National Trophy Series #3 08.11.15
1 Bethany Crumpton (North West CC) 100pts
2 Amira Mellor (Oldfield/Paul Milnes Cycles ERT) 80pts
3 Hannah Payton (Kinesis UK) 70pts
4 Emily Wadsworth (Beeline-Gener8) 60pts
5 Delia Beddis (ViCiOUS VELO) 55pts
6 Annabel Simpson (Hope Factory Racing) 50pts
7 Merce Pacios Pujadó (Zappi’s) 45pts
8 Sophie Thackray (Oldfield/Paul Milnes Cycles ERT) 40pts
9 Abi Van Twisk (Corley Cycles-Drops RT) 35pts
10 Isla Rowntree (Islabikes) 30pts
11 Adela Carter (Hope Factory Racing) 27pts, 12 Ruby Miller (Hargroves Cycles-Ridley RT) 24pts, 13 Rebecca Preece (Red Rose Olympic CC) 22pts, 14 Jo Rycroft ( 20pts, 15 Claire Beaumont (ViCiOUS VELO) 18pts, 16 Hannah Saville ( 16pts, 17 Anna Kay (Nutcracker Racing) 14pts, 18 Megan Kay (Vieri Velo RC) 13pts, 19 Sophia Chastell (M&D Cycles/Fusion RT/WORX) 12pts, 20 Natalie Batey (Tyne&Wear Fire&Rescue CC) 11pts, 21 Jennifer Batey (Manilla Cycling) 10pts, 22 Sinead Burke (PH Mas-VCUK) 9pts, 23 Clover Murray (Corley Cycles-Drops RT) 8pts
Veterans: 1 Maddi Smith (Bolsover & District CC) 40pts, 2 Alison Kinloch (PH Mas-VCUK) 34pts, 3 Bev Martin (Adept Precision RT/NE Healthcare) 30pts, 4 Nicola Davies (Beacon Wheelers) 26pts, 5 Andrea Rodgers (Norton Wheelers) 23pts, 6 Janet Marsden (Warwickshire Police CC) 20pts, 7 Nicola Hartle (PH Mas-VCUK) 18pts, 8 Emma Martin (Pines Cycles-Felt-Enve) 16pts, 9 Pamela Glover (Derwentside CC) 14pts
U16: 1 Poppy Wildman (Nottingham Clarion) 80pts, 2 Fiona Turnbull (Speedflex) 68pts, 3 Elspeth Grace (Welwyn Wheelers) 60pts, 4 Xan Crees ( 52pts, 5 Elena Smith (Fossa Racing) 46pts, 6 Kim Baptista (Nutcracker Racing) 40pts, 7 Nicole Clarke (Birkenhead North End CC) 36pts, 8 Katie Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden) 32pts, 9 Olivia Fawcett (Hetton Hawks CC) 28pts, 10 April Tacey (Leicestershire RC) 24pts, 11 Olivia Bent (Border City Wheelers) 20pts, 12 Lucy Naylor (Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic) 18pts, 13 Lauren Higham (Welwyn Wheelers) 16pts, 14 Ruby Boyes (Huddersfield Star Wheelers) 14pts
U14: 1 Maddie Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles RT) 80pts, 2 Ava Oxley-Szilagyi (PH Mas-VCUK) 68pts, 3 Anna Flynn (Edinburgh RC) 60pts, 4 Anna Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles RT) 52pts, 5 Sarah Briggs (Matlock CC) 46pts, 6 Amelie Wayte ( RT-GSG) 40pts, 7 Harley Pell (CC Ashwell) 36pts, 8 Eluned King (Towy Riders) 32pts, 9 Libby Smith (Fossa Racing) 28pts, 10 Maisy Vasic (Eastlands Velo) 24pts, 11 Kayleigh Wells (York Cycleworks) 20pts, 12 Imogen Chastell (Welwyn Wheelers) 18pts, 13 Lotta Mansfield (Nottingham Clarion) 16pts, 14 Roisin Lally (Derwentside CC) 14pts, 15 Sophie Donaldson (Derwentside CC) 12pts, 16 Olivia Ingham (Pedalsport CC) 10pts


Another victory for Imani Pereira-James, who won the U12 race at Strathclyde Park

EKRC Strathclyde Park CX 08.11
1 Lucy Grant (Peebles CC) 20pts
2 Eileen Roe (Wiggle-Honda) 16pts
3 Madeleine Robinson (VC Moulin) 12pts
4 Anne Ewing (WV Breda) 9pts
5 Ruth Fraser-Moodie (Pedal Power) 7pts
6 Brenda Callander (Stirling BC) 5pts
7 Elizabeth Adams (Glasgow Green CC) 4pts
8 Erika Allen (Thomsons Cycles) 3pts
9 Amanda Tweedie (Deeside Thistle CC) 2pts
10 Louisa Watt (Peebles CC) 1pts
11 Louise Borthwick (Project 51), 12 Janet Erskine (Ayr Roads CC), 13 Jane Barr (Velocity 44 Stirling), 14 Caroline Harvey, 15 Elizabeth Clayton (Lichfield City CC), 16 Eleanor Strathdee (Edinburgh RC), 17 Morven Brown (Dales Cycles Racing Team Scotland), 18 Lindsay Branston (RC Cumbernauld & Kilsyth), 19 Vicky Strange (Stirling BC), 20 Margaret Normand (Hervelo), 21 Corrie Osborne, 22 Lorna Sloan (Walkers CC), 23 Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers), 24 Anne Chisholm (Perth United CC), 25 Ainsley Turbitt, 26 Joanne Baxter (Ayr Burners Cycling), 27 Jen Mason (RC Cumbernauld & Kilsyth), 28 Katia Hiersemenzel (TheBicycleWorks), 29 Diane Clayton-Chisholm (West Lothian Clarion CC), 30 Denise Schofield (Pedal Power), 31 Ailsa Curtis (West Lothian Clarion CC), 32 Elisa Smith (VC Moulin), 33 Emma MacLaren (Johnstone Wheelers), 34 Katie Newlands (VC Moulin), 35 Catherine Logan (Walkers CC), 36 Kate Carmichael (Hervelo), 37 Marion Kennedy, 38 Nicola Johnson (Hervelo), 39 Jane Sargent, 40 Linda Buchanan, 41 Aileen Tan, 42 Gillian Anderson (VC Astar Anderside), 43 Christine Myerscough (Kinross CC), 44 Fiona Walker (Walkers CC)
DNF Emma Lamont (, Marie Meldrum, Isla Short (Novus OMX Pro Team), Sian Tovey
U16: 1 Anna McGorum (Peebles CC) 6pts, 2 Ishbel Strathdee (Edinburgh RC) 4pts, 3 Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz) 3pts, 4 Megan Wilkinson (Peebles CC) 2pts, 5 Estelle Fuller (Edinburgh RC) 1pts, 6 Georgia Speake (East Kilbride RC)
U14: 1 Eva Young (Pedal Power) 20pts, 2 Georgia Ferry (Glasgow Riderz) 16pts, 3 Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) 12pts, 4 Emily Wilkinson (Peebles CC) 9pts, 5 Abbie Mason (West Lothian Clarion CC) 7pts, 6 Katherine Macleod (Edinburgh RC) 5pts, 7 Mia Padmanabhan (Falcons CC Bishopbriggs) 4pts, 8 Kirsty Hay (East Kilbride RC) 3pts, 9 Sophie Paterson (Glasgow Riderz) 2pts, 10 Carrie Banks (Stirling BC) 1pts, 11 Grace McCabe (East Kilbride RC)
U12: 1 Imani Pereira-James (Glasgow Riderz), 2 Eilidh Shaw (Stirling BC), 3 Skye Donnelly (Glasgow Riderz), 4 Morven Yeoman (East Kilbride RC), 5 Emily Carrick-Anderson (Peebles CC), 6 Christina Mcgorum (Peebles CC), 7 Ruby-Soho Smith (Peebles CC), 8 Fiona Hay (East Kilbride RC), 9 Isla Long (Deeside Thistle CC), 10 Una Morrice (Glasgow Riderz), 11 Beatrix Kiehlmann (Falcons CC Bishopbriggs), 12 Stella Robb (Glasgow Riderz), 13 Eva Nobile (East Kilbride RC)
U10: 1 Rudie Shearer (Edinburgh RC), 2 Martha Cooper (Carnegie Cyclones), 3 Daisy Taylor (East Kilbride RC), 4 Freya Gibson (KICC), 5 Sarah Aitken (Falcons CC Bishopbrigg), 6 Anna Mackenzie (Meedies BC), 7 Anna Birrell (Carnegie Cyclones), 8 Erin Boothman, 9 Anna Brown (Ythan CC), 10 Millie-Jo Carroll (Royal Albert CC), 11 Ines Morrice (Glasgow Riderz), 12 Rosie Price (Carnegie Cyclones), 13 Evie Laing
U8: 1 Niamh Waters, 2 Nina Padmanabhan (Falcons CC Bishopbriggs), 3 Daisy Wilkinson, 4 Bethan Kitchin (Edinburgh RC), 5 Grace Polwart, 6 Effie McGhee, 7 Millie Boothman, 8 Becky McManus (Royal Albert CC), 9 Rosie Laing

Lazer North West Cyclo-Cross League – Cartmel Cross 07.11.15
1 Martha Gill (Marin/Stan’s NoTubes) 20pts
2 Alison Rushton (Ribble Valley Juniors) 0pts
3 Ruth Taylor (Manchester Wheelers) 12pts
4 Anne Fisher 9pts
5 Fiona Mashiter 0pts
6 Julie Phelan (Pro Vision) 5pts
7 Sarah Grimshaw (Horwich CC), 8 Kate Porter (Horwich CC), 9 Karen Payton (Cycle Sport Pendle), 10 Ann Hurst (Scottish MTB Leaders Association), 11 Diane Newsham
U16: 1 Kim Baptista (Nutcracker Racing) 3pts, 2 Cara Lakin (Salt Ayre Cog Set) 2
U14: 1 Melissa Boylin (Bolton Hot Wheels) 3pts, 2 Jocasta Minton (Bolton Hot Wheels) 2pts, 3 Kate Taylor (Cycle Sport Pendle) 1pt, 4 Tilly Percy (Salt Ayre Cog Set),
U12 (mixed): 9 Erin Corrigan (Mossley CRT), 13 Eva Newby (Furness Future Flyers), 15 Nancye Roberts (Salt Ayre Cog Set), 20 Lucy Dalgleish (Salt Ayre Cog Set), 23 Isla Newsham (Chester Go-Ride CC), 24 Hannah Dykes (Salt Ayre Cog Set),
U10 (mixed): 5 Lily Brindle (Preston Pirates BMX Club), 9 Esther Wong (Salt Ayre Cog Set), 12 Emma Poulston (Birkenhead North End CC), 13 Megan Lloyd (Harry Middleton CC), 14 Alice Colling (Ribble Valley Juniors), 16 Tara Allan, 17 Isla Glossop (Bolton Hot Wheels), 18 Grace Porter, 21 Esme Ballantyne, 22 Neve Laycock (Bolton Hot Wheels)

Everholm Cyclocross 07.11
U16 (mixed): 3 Rosie Sinden (Stewartry Wheelers)
U14: 1 Emily Hunter (Annan Youth CC)
U12: 1 Sarah Hunter (Annan Youth CC), 2 Millie Voce (Stepping Stanes Youth CC), 3 Poppy Voce (Stepping Stanes Youth CC), 4 Drew Ross (Annan Youth CC)
U8: 1 Poppy Sinden (Stewartry Wheelers), 2 Neve McGoldrick, 3 Connie Black, 4 Ellie Wright, 5 Isla Newton, 6 Abbi Irving, 7 Carly Black,


Teams and Transfers


Nikki Harris

Nikki Harris – who is best-known as a cyclo cross rider (and was National Champion in 2012) but has also held National titles in mountain biking, road racing and on track – is off to Boels-Dolmans to race alongside the current National and World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead, whom she will assist when the Yorkshire woman attempts victory at the Olympic Games next year.

National time trial champion Hayley Simmonds, who has enjoyed an absolutely stellar year in which she’s changed from “quite well-known” to “household name in Britain and beyond,” is (not at all surprisingly) moving up into the professional ranks now that her PhD at Cambridge is nearing an end. She’ll be with US team United Health Care in 2016, and Neutral Service wishes the soon-to-be Dr. Simmonds all the very best. Simmonds was previously with Velosport.


Hayley Simmonds is moving up to the professional ranks with UHC, and Neutral Service can’t wait to see what she’ll achieve over the next couple of years. Chapeau, Hayley!

The Devon-based Bikeshed-Exeter University team is the latest to reveal it’s expanding, thanks to new sponsorship from the Bianchi UK, and will henceforth be known as Bikeshed-Bianchi.

The team’s existing riders Emma Cockcroft, Lucy Gowing, Alex Sheehan and Bethan Stubbs remain onboard and will be joined by Jess Duffy, previously with Feather Cycles.

“I couldn’t wish for a more competitive but level-headed group,” says manager David Walters. “The spirit among the team is fantastic and going racing is both enjoyable and very rewarding. We’ll do everything we can to support this talented group of athletes – exciting times!”

Bikeshed-Bianchi also has support from Kalas Sportswear, Torq and Grupetto Coffee. Follow them on Twitter at @bikeshedbianchi.

Manilla Cycling has announced that in 2016 it will field a women’s team alongside its successful men’s team. The team will compete in races nationwide.

“We are very proud to announce a squad of nine women will represent a Manilla Cycling women’s team for the very first time. Both teams have a fantastic mix of youth, experience, endurance and flair backed up by the team spirit that has seen us attract some amazing new racing talent.” Further information, and a team roster, should appear on their website soon.

Meanwhile, the all-too-often overlooked RP Racing have added another pair of names to their 2016 roster, taking on Cat. A riders Connie Hudson (from Wolverhampton Wheelers) and Gabriella Butler (from Palmer Park Velo RT), Footon-Velosport has signed Jose Gilbert (previously Velosure-Starley Primal) and Evgenia Illinskaya is moving from Bonito Squadra Corse to Vertex-PedalPowerSport.

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