News Round-Up 05-12.01.2015

First teams confirmed for Women’s Tour — Doncaster Crit course changes — Velopark introduces women-only track tasters — Last Week’s Results, inc. Sinéad Burke’s Ripley Castle CX report — Team and Transfer News — Blogs — Photo of the Week — More to come

First teams confirmed for Women’s Tour

The first two teams to be confirmed as taking part in this year’s FriendsLife Women’s Tour have been announced, and they’re both British – Matrix Pro Cycling and Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International.


Matrix-Vulpine, now known as Matrix Pro Cycling, may have been the only domestic team at the Women’s Tour in 2014 but they got some of the biggest cheers from the crowd

Matrix, then known as Matrix-Vulpine, were the only domestic squad to ride in the first edition of the race last year and were inspired by doing so to apply (and gain) UCI Professional status for this year. Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours, who were one of the most successful teams on the domestic circuit in 2014, will now take their place and become the only domestic team taking part in 2015. A further 14 teams, all UCI professional, will be announced in due course.

Fans, riders and organisers alike were confident that the first edition of the race would be a success, but from the grand depart in Oundle to the finish in Bury St. Edmunds where Marianne Vos won the final stage and overall the event exceeding expectations with crowds many times larger than even the most optimistic of women’s cycling supporters predicted.

“Hopefully, this year’s race continues to capture the imagination of the public and we can race in front of crowd-lined streets again,” Matrix manager Stef Wyman, who is well-known for his efforts to promote the sport, told race organisers. The team is now backed by Trek, one of the largest and best-known bike manufacturers in the world: with sales of bikes to women and the popularity of women’s cycling increasing all the time, Trek’s publicity will bring the race to the attention of people all around the globe.

Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours manager Barney Storey, husband of track World Champion Sarah Storey, has also done much to help develop women’s cycling. His team is backed by betting magnate Fred Done, founder of BetFred, who last year instructed his Sports Tours company to increase its support of women’s cycling – making it likely that the race will receive even greater publicity through the association, bringing it to an even wider audience of so-called generic sports fans.

“We’re all very excited by the news,” Barney told Neutral Service.

Doncaster Crit course changes

The organisers of the Doncaster Criterium, which takes place as part of the South Yorkshire town’s annual Cycling Festival, have revealed their planned changes to this year’s race – and as predicted by Neutral Service last week, they’ve added an extra corner to make the race more interesting for riders and exciting for fans.


© Doncaster Cycling Festival


Last year’s circuit was roughly square, with the riders starting at Festival Square on Waterdale before heading into a left turn at the Waterdale/Wood Street roundabout. They then turned left again to travel along Cleveland Street and left once more onto College Road before tackling the very tight final left back onto Waterdale. This year, shortly before reaching the roundabout they’ll turn left onto Horsefair Green, facing a much narrower section before turning left again to join Wood Street and continue through the remainder of the 2014 circuit. The narrow section, coming so soon into the parcours, will give riders at the front of the pack an advantage and thus encourage an aggressive start – early breaks by riders in search of sprint points are a definite possibility, as are late breaks by riders going for victory. The new turn onto Wood Street also looks techical and could prove difficult if the road is wet.

The race will take place on the 31st of May and is free for spectators – with a full programme including races for Under 8/12/14/16 Girls and Cat. 2/3/4 Women in addition to Boys and Mens events, it promises to be a good day out for the whole family.

Rider entries are open now via British Cycling.


Velopark introduces women-only track tasters

Due to the success of the women’s races at the Tuesday night meets and with track cycling becoming ever more popular as the GB women’s squad continue to dominate the sport, the Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome – now known as the Velopark – has decided to introduce one-hour track taster sessions for women only beginning on the 18th of January.


Pendleton, Rowsell and Trott inspired you to want to have a go at track racing? You now can, at the track where they won Olympic gold in 2012 (Image: Munkfishmonger CC BY 3.0)


Tanya Griffiths, who in addition to riding for the Velosure Starley-Primal team is a founder of the Women’s Eastern Road Race League, has been racing at the Tuesday meets and explained that despite being open only to riders with track accreditation numbers have been “very positive.”

“There were many more riders wanting to take part, but unable to meet these criteria as yet, so next year’s women entry looks exciting, if potential riders are able to get experience over the summer,” she said.

The fortnightly taster sessions will provide an excellent opportunity to get that experience, enabling a new generation of female riders from the south-east and further afield to aim for full track accreditation – a four-stage process that can be completed within a few months, allowing riders to be race-ready in plenty of time for the 2015/16 track season.

The first session is already fully-booked; places at future sessions, which cost £30 each and are open to female riders from the age of 12 and up, can be booked via the Velopark website.


Last Week’s Results

National CX Trophy #6

Andy Whitehouse’s report

1 Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing) 48’42”
2 Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes – Bradford Olympic RC) 50’38”
3 Adela Carter (Hope Factory Racing) 51’55”
4 Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morvelo Project) 52’03”
5 Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) 52’09”
6 Diane Lee (Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) 52’26”
7 Tracy Moseley (T-Mo) 52’49”
8 Annie Simpson (Hope Factory Racing) ST
9 Ruby Miller (Hargroves Cycles-Ridley) 54’25”
10 Merce Pacios Pujadó (Beeline Bicycles) ST
Full result/U14/U16/Vets

Ripley Castle

Sinéad Burke (Team VCUK-PHMas) reports…

What better way to kick off 2015, than spending a day getting caked in Yorkshire mud! Ripley Castle cyclo-cross was back once again, providing some New Year’s entertainment for the second year in a row.

A little different to your usual ‘cross course, this year’s design created a fun course for both riders and spectators. 2015 saw the course incorporating the castle courtyard, a disco in the woods and a scaffolding flyover, which the course went both over and under. There were also 2 sets of hurdles, a bridge and some steps up to the Castle to keep the riders busy.

Despite the grey, wet weather, there was still a huge crowd turnout for the biggest race of the day – the combined V40/V50/women’s race. Thirty women lined up to start, a field of riders from both local teams/clubs and also some who had travelled from further afield. Starting behind the Vets meant that the course was cut up from the start, with the slippy corners and sticky straights only becoming more ‘interesting’ as the race progressed. Nevertheless, Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes Cycles), showed her strength and skill to take the lead from the beginning, finishing an impressive 2’30 ahead of 2nd place Henrietta Colborne (Bonito Squadra Corse). Marie Jackson (Paul Milnes Cycles) took 3rd overall and 1st Vet-40, ahead of Joanna Rycroft ( Racing Team) and Alison Kinloch (PH-MAS VCUK Cycling Team), in 4th and 5th respectively.

Presentations were made later on, in front of the castle and watched by crowds warming up in the courtyard café after a hard day’s cheering in the cold. Special efforts were made by the race organisers to have equal prizes for men and women, something that is unusual in similar events.


Amira Mellor (seen here at Milton Keynes in November) was dominant at Ripley Castle, winning the women’s category by 2’19 (© Neutral Service)

1 Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes Cycles) 44’46”
2 Henrietta Colborne (Bonito Squadra Corse) 47’15”
3 Marie Jackson (Paul Milnes Cycles) 47’43”
4 Joanna Rycroft ( 48’17”
5 Alison Kinloch (PH-MAS) 48’55”
6 Hannah Saville (Norton Wheelers) 49’10”
7 Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles) 49’13”
8 Sam Burman (WNT) 49’26”
9 Nicola Davies (Beacon Wheelers) 49’34”
10 Vanessa Holmes (Arrow Cycles) 50’13”
Full results

Central Cyclo-Cross League 7/Welwyn Wheelers
London League #13
CXNE #12
Western League #14
eliteVELO Cycling CX – South West Cyclo-Cross League
War of the Roses
Hillingdon Winter Series
Imperial Winter Series


Team and Transfer News

15-year-old Isla Rush, who was in the news last week after an unidentified adult male punched her while she was out on a ride, will remain with WyndyMilla. The WyndyMilla-Reynolds team will no longer operate this year; however, Isla will continue to be supported by the Surrey bike manufacturer and will act as a brand ambassador for them. have signed Mary McFadzean, who was previously with Revo Racing, while EliteVelo-Kalas have revealed a very strong line-up along with a fantastic new website – find out more with our 2015 Transfers Guide!



In a new feature for 2015, we’ll take a weekly look at blogs written by riders and fans. If you have a blog on women’s cycling in Britain or British women cycling abroad that you’d like to see featured here, let us know.

Image17Helen Wyman: Pressing the equality button

“Sometime you tweet and nobody cares, sometimes they catch the imagination of others and kind of take off. Yesterday’s conversation about equality in cross was one of those days. I’m in a position to try to influence the future shape of women’s cyclocross with my place on the UCI cross commission. This role is very much about the evolution of the sport, and there is certainly no revolution plan in place to just press the equality button…” Read more

islarushthumbIsla Rush: 2015 – here we go!

“As it’s New Year, it seems fitting for me to talk about my plans for 2015. I still have one more year left as a youth rider, so I’ll be entering my third season of racing; how time flies. But, in all honesty, I can’t wait to do longer races as I get older; for this very reason, I’ll be doing a fair bit of racing in Belgium this year…” Read more

SineadBurkethumbSinéad Burke: A winter catch-up

“It’s been aaaaages since my last blog update! So sorry for not writing something sooner, but everything’s been a bit hectic recently. I feel like I need a break from my off-season! What with uni, training, work and our new, crazy addition to the family, border collie puppy Eva, things have certainly been a bit busy round here. What better day than boxing day to spend writing a bit of a catch up post though?…” Read more

LauraMorganthumbLaura Morgan: Yet another HNY!

“Here it is! The final post of 2014. Where did that go!? It all happened rather quickly…so I’m going to post my stats and some favourite moments on the bike. Training is going great, and after a couple of years of testing the water I finally think the time has come to start properly playing the game. Roll on 2015… it’s going to be a good one!…” Read more


Photo of the Week

We usually try to aim for a photo of a British rider in a British race for Photo of the Week, but Nikki and Gethin’s shot of Italian Giorgia Bronzini in action at the Australian Bay Crits is simply too good to miss. Anyway, Giorgia rides for a British-registered team, so she counts as one of ours!


© Nikki and Gethin Pearson

Bay Crits report
10 Minutes With Giorgia Bronzini