News Round-Up 06-13.10.14

Jessie Walker wins Monsal Hill Climb — Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours confirms line-up — Elke Gebhardt retires — Domestic Results — Team and Transfer News — Shorts and Interesting Links — Photo of the Week — More to come


Jessie Walker wins Monsal Hill Climb


Jessie Walker – heading for the top

Jessie Walker can sprint with the best of them and is earning a reputation on the domestic circuit as a rider able to attack, attack again and then attack some more. Having been the fastest female for a fourth consecutive year at Derbyshire’s Monsal Hill Climb proves that at just 19, she’s already a complete all-rounder – with such a range of talents there’s a good chance that once she’d gained some more experience racing at the top level of the sport, as she’ll begin doing next year when her Matrix-Vulpine squad races with a UCI licence, she’s as good as guaranteed to become one of Britain’s most successful athletes.

The Monsal climb is 675 yards (617.25m) at an average gradient of 16.7%, though in parts it’s noticeably steeper. Jessie completed it 2.1″ faster than second-placed Lou Collins (Beeston RC) and 6.2″ faster than Nicola Soden (GB who was third.

“It never fails to impress, the crowds at Monsal were incredible,” Jessie told Neutral Service. “Really glad to end the season on a high and I’m extremely excited as to what 2015 will bring.”

Jessie in action

1 Jessie Walker (Matrix-Vulpine) 1’57”
2 Lou Collins (Beeston RC) 1’59.1″
3 Nicola Soden (GB 2’03.2″


Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours confirm line-up

British squad Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International, which dominated so many races throughout 2014, has confirmed its 2015 roster – and as reported by Neutral Service last week Katie Curtis (from Starley-Primal) and Beth Hayward (from Matrix-Vulpine) have both signed up. Jo Rowsell’s joining (from Wiggle-Honda) was made public a couple of weeks ago, whilst last weekend Clemence Copie revealed she would be leaving MuleBar Girl to take her place with the squad.

Katie Archibald, Lauren Creamer, Ciara Horne, Gaby Shaw, Sarah Storey and Anna Turvey remain onboard; Nikola Butler and Claire Galloway are “affiliates” due to being unable to commit to a full racing programme. More details here.


Elke Gebhardt retires


Elke Gebhardt is retiring after 21 years in the sport (image credit: Bigla CT)

German rider Elke Gebhardt has announced that she is to retire: “I will put my bike in the corner and finish my career after more than 21 years,” she wrote in German on

Gebhardt, who turned 31 this year, has enjoyed a highly successful career on the road and on the track. Last year, she won silver at the National Road Race Championships and this year she won Stage 6 at the Thüringen-Rundfahrt. She was National Points Race Champion in 2005 and 2009, and in 2008 she rode with the victorious squad in the Team Pursuit at the Track World Cup in Copenhagen,

“It is time to move on and to finish my studies in “International Management” at Ansbach,” the Frieburg-born rider, who spent 2014 with Bigla, added. “This year, cycling and studying was a double burden; sometimes this proved too much and I had to back off a bit – so I have now decided to give priority to studying.”

Gebhardt also admitted that her decision to retire was fueled partly by the same problem most “professional” female riders face – making a good living in women’s cycling is all but impossible, except for those at the very top. “The financial situation in the women’s cycling plays a role in my decision,” she said, before going on to thank all her fans, sponsors, soigneurs and team mates.


Domestic Results

Cycling Nuts 05.10.14
Cat. 3/4
1 Joanna Smith (Beacon Wheelers)
2 Sophie Edmondson (Kinoko Cycles)
3 Victoria Long (Army Cycling Union)
4 Judith Philip (CC Hackney)
5 Ali Peate (Bigfoot CC)
6 Victoria Mackie (Velo Club Venta)
7 Ceri Macalpine
8 Catherine Gaskell (Redhill CC)
9 Kary Greer (Kent Velo Girls CC)
10 Gemma Hayes (East Grinstead CC)
Under-12 results


Team & Transfer News

For the latest transfer news from the British domestic circuit, click here

Wiggle-Honda have completely ended earlier rumours that the team’s future was insecure by revealing a couple of big-name new signings this week: Anna Christian, the Manx rider who formed part of the GB squad at the World Championships this year and impressed with her efforts to support Lizzie Armitstead, and the team’s first pure climber Mara Abbott who joins from United Healthcare – giving the team the weapon it needs to open up a new front in search of victory in 2015. The team’s announcement is here.

UCI Transfers: what we know so far

Ale-Cipollini Confirmed Leaving: Shelley Olds

Astana-BePink Confirmed Leaving: Doris Schweizer


Tweet of the week: new World Champ Pauline Ferrand Prevot at L’Eroica (image: Pauline Ferrand Prevot)

Bigla Joining: Sharon Laws (United Healthcare), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec Products), Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini), Doris Schweizer (Astana-BePink), Iris Slappendel (Rabo-Liv), Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabo-Liv) Staying: Vera Koedooder, Lotta Lepisto Confirmed Leaving: Jo Hogan, Elke Gebhardt (retiring)

Bizkaia-Durango Joining: Coral Casado Ortiz, Paula Lanz, Alba Teurel Ribes

Boels-Dolmans Joining: Chantal Blaak (Specialized-Lululemon), Evie Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) Staying: Lizzie Armitstead, Demi de Jong, Megan Guarnier, Romy Kasper, Christine Majerus, Katarzyna Pawlowska, Ellen van Dijk Confirmed Leaving: Jessie Daams, Janneke Ensing, Nina Kessler, Sanne van Paassen, Nicky Zijlaard

BZK-ProBasic (new UCI team based in the Basque Country) JoiningAiala Amesti, Nahia Domínguez, Olatz Agorria Etxebarría, Ziortza Isasi (CAF), Mar Bonnín Palou, Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (CAF), Maria San Jose Tejerina, Eider Unanue

Hitec Products Joining: Charlotte Becker (Wiggle-Honda), Shana van Glabeke, Vita Heine Petersone (Endura Lady Force), Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) Confirmed Leaving: Chloe Hosking, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Sara Olsson

Lensworld-Zannata (formerly Joining: Mariel Borgerink, Kim de Baat (ParkHotel Valkenburg CT), Kaat van der Meulen (Keukens Redant) Staying: Annelies Dom, Mieke Kroger, Evy Kuijpers, Sofie De Vuyst

Liv-Plantur (formerly Giant-Shimano) StayingLucy Garner, Claudia Lichtenberg, Floortje Mackaij, Maaike Polspoel, Kyara Stijns Confirmed Leaving: Marijn de Vries, Kirsten Wild

Lointek Confirmed Leaving: Aude Biannic

Lotto-Belisol Confirmed Leaving: Emma Pooley, Liesbet de Vocht (both retiring)

Matrix-Vulpine JoiningLucy Martin (Estado de Mexico-Faren), Christina Siggaard (Firefighters Upsala CK), Laura Trott & Elinor Barker (Wiggle-Honda), Molly Weaver (Epic-Scott), Sara Olsson (Hitec Products) Staying: Mel Lowther, Harriet Owen, Jessie Walker Confirmed Leaving: Corrine Hall, Beth Hayward

Orica-AIS Staying: Loes Gunnewijk Confirmed Leaving: Jessie Maclean Rumour: Sarah Roy (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86) to join

ParkHotel Valkenburg CT Confirmed Leaving: Kim de Baat


Three-time U23 World Mountain Bike Champion Jolanda Neff will race on and off-road with Stöckli. More details here (image:

Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86 Joining: Aude Biannic (Lointek) Eugenie Duval, Severine Eraud, Elisabet Escursell Staying: Charlotte Bravard, Roxane Fournier, Pascale Jeuland, Lucie Pader, Amélie Rivat Confirmed Leaving: Sandrine Bideau, Oriane Chaumet, Fiona Dutriaux, Gabrielle Pilote Fortine, Liisi Rist, Manon Souyris, Kimberley Wells Rumour: Sarah Roy to leave

Project X (formerly Specialized-Lululemon) Staying: Lisa Brennauer, Tiffany Cromwell Confirmed Leaving: Carmen Small-McNellis, Evie Stevens, Chantal Blaak

Rabo-Liv StayingLucinda Brand, Thalita De Jong, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Roxane Knetemann, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Anna van der Breggen, Marianne Vos Confirmed Leaving: Iris Slappendel, Annemiek van Vleuten

Rytger Joining: Melanie Woering (RC Jan van Arckel), Henriette Woering (RC Jan van Arckel)

SC Michela Fanini Confirmed LeavingMireia Epelde Bikendi and Edwige Pitel (both retiring)

Servetto-Footon Staying: Veronica Cornolti, Marina Likhanova, Anna Potokina, Sari Saarelainen

Specialized-Sekuritor Joining: Kimberley Wells (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86)

Stoeckli Joining: Jolanda Neff

Swabo Joining: Nicky Zijlaard

Tibco Staying: Anika Todd

United Healthcare Joining: Linda Villumsen Leaving: Sharon Laws Rumour: Alison Powers to retire

Vainao-Fondriest Joining: Martina Biolo Staying: Allison Linnell

Wiggle-Honda Joining: Mara Abbott (United Healthcare), Anna Christian, Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) Staying: Dani King Confirmed Leaving: Elinor Barker, Jo Rowsell, Laura Trott, Linda Villumsen


Shorts and Interesting Links

Molly Weaver on how she won the Great Orme Road Race (Molly’s blog)

Jenny Eastham on joining PH-Mas (PH-Mas)

Roxane Knetemann wearing a jersey that belonged to her father Gerrie, winner of multiple stages at the Tour de France (Rabo-Liv)

Vos goes vintage (Rabo-Liv)

Wales launches National Team (BBC)

Video: Helen and Stef Wyman’s MRCX Cyclo Cross Clinic (Dirtwire)

Alice Miller (Look Mum No Hands!) races ‘cross and hangs out with Trek at the NEC bike show (Alice’s blog)

Lizzie Armitstead interview (

Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Blog podcast #44


Photo of the Week

Now that the road racing season is (almost) over, it’s time to reintroduce Photo of the Week. We’re especially interested in using photos taken by fans – either earlier in the year or from track or ‘cross events taking place now. Send ’em to us at the usual email!


Sinéad Burke takes to the air at Northallerton CX (image c/o Sinéad Burke, taken by Neil Hendry)