WNT Team Launch… and new website!
WNT returned for a second year to the Barnoldswick HQ of bike component manufacturer Hope Tech for their annual team launch, giving us our first look at the 2016 roster, kit and bikes all together for the first time.
Neutral Service caught up with manager Marcus Nainby and managed to grab a brief chat as he organised the squad’s team-building trip to Austria next week. “It’s another steep learning curve this year: we’re starting the season in Belgium, then onto the Energiewacht Tour – gotta keep progressing!” he said. “I think the riders are great this year, no pressure on results from the team, I’m sure they’ll do fine.”
“I know where I’d like us to end up but I think it’s best to make steady progression, keep learning along the way. We’ve got a European sponsor that wants us racing on the continent which is a big bonus!”
On the 10th of February, Team WNT also launched their new website which, in addition to the Elite women’s team, covers the Austrian amateur team and Sam Burman’s motorcycle racing team, both also sponsored by WNT. Find it here!
Karla Boddy raises funds for Guillain-Barre
Karla Boddy (winner of the 2013 Cheshire Classic, directeur sportif of the Drops team and, famously, owner of Gary the Pug), is raising funds to support reasearch into Guillain-Barre syndrome – a debilitating, extremely painful and, in some cases, fatal illness caused when the body’s immune system attacks peripheral nerves, from which her sister Anne suffers.
Karla’s going to be competing in the legendary Transalp this year, an event which is widely considered to be the toughest amateur mountain bike race in the world: this year, the 1,200 entrants face 520km over seven days and 17,750m of climbing. To support her cause, visit her Just Giving page.
Drops, which recently registered as a UCI team and will compete against the world’s top professional squads this season, will be holding their team launch at the London Bike Show – follow the team on Facebook for the latest news.
VCUK-PH Mas Team Launch
With women’s cycling growing in popularity and strength all the time, VCUK-PH Mas manager Neil Hendry has decided to concentrate on his Junior and Youth teams this year, but will continue to provide support for a number of women who will race in the squad’s now-famous chequered kit.
The launch was a glitzy affair that, were it not for the form-fitting lycra and carbon fibre bikes on show, could have passed for a soiree at Downton Abbey; a selection of photos are available on the team’s Facebook page.
VCUK-PH Mas also has a redesigned website, with more details of the 2016 women’s team – U14 National CX Champ Ava Oxley-Szilagyi, U15 British Transplant Games RR Champ Lydia Mellen, Nicky Hartle, Anna Maunder, Leah Pheasey, Natalie Hodson, Jenny Eastham, Amber Southern and Sinead Burke.
Kinetic-Welwyn Racing, the new women’s racing team with an emphasis on junior development created by the well-known Welwyn Wheelers club, has joined Twitter. Give them a follow and keep up with the latest news.
The amazing Helen Wyman, one of the most successful British professional cyclists of all time, has been blogging about her experiences at the World Cyclocross Championships.
Islington CC is organising a women’s Cat. 2/3/4 race to take place on the Bulmer course (as used by the CC Sudbury women’s road race last year, an event which attracted an incredible 60 riders). The event will take place on the 24th of September and is 60km in length.
Shimano appear to have a women-specific groupset in the pipeline, according to an article published by Cycling Weekly. Whilst some riders have wondered on Twitter if this is the latest example of “pink it and shrink it” (not without reason, looking at some of the products that have been marketed at women in the past by a variety of companies), others have suggested that it might be a good thing: “[It] depends on tech specs. Shifters can be very uncomfortable for women with small hands,” said Jess Duffy of the Bikeshed-Bianchi team.
London Bike Kitchen’s latest Women and Gender Variant evening, held at Look Mum No Hands!, featured a discussion on how women’s cycling is portrayed in the media. Laura Laker, one of the speakers on the panel, wrote a review for TTL Women’s Cycling…
…Meanwhile, retailer Halfords has found itself in a spot of bother after marketing its men’s Carrera Crossfire as ideal for “tarmac or trail riding” and the women’s version as the perfect bike for visiting Auntie Doris. Read more at Cycling Weekly.
Our title photo this week is U16 rider Xan Crees, racing for Team Empella CX at the final round of the National Trophy last month. Xan finished in fourth place, after a very tough race in snow and sub-zero temperatures.