News Round-Up 09-16.02.2015

Two team-organised races coming up in May — Last week’s results — Blogs — Social Media Snippets — Photo of the Week — More to come…

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Two team-organised races coming up in May

Women’s cycling has changed enormously over the last couple of years and, although changes have not happened quite so rapidly as we would like (there are still far too many events in which the women’s race is billed as little more than a sideshow to keep the fans entertained while they wait for the men, after all), most of those changes have been positive.


Fowlmead Country Park, which has a cycling circuit described as one of the best in the UK by British Cycling, will host PMR@Toachim House’s Giro d’Fowlmead races in May (© David Anstiss CC BY-SA 2.0)

One interesting phenomenon has been the rise of races organised by teams rather than by cycling clubs. There are some clubs that have a very good idea what riders want and what a race needs to offer in order to attract a good field – Tickhill Velo, which showed how to do it to perfection with the women’s events at last year’s Tickhill Velo GP, is one example. However, most clubs’ membership is still overwhelmingly male and, unless they have a couple of members with an interest in women’s cycling and are willing and able to devote the time to organisation (who can be male or female), their women’s races are likely to be less well-planned, smaller budget and, when not very many riders can justify the expense of taking a day off work and travelling to compete for a prize equal to three or four hours’ pay, rather less than spectacular. When a women’s team decides to organise a race, it’s very different: the team manager or whoever it is that is putting the event together has easy access to an expert focus group of female racers who know exactly what they want in a competition and, since they already have a close working relationship with the organiser, how to explain what it is they want. If the team’s sponsors are happy to put up some funds and a few decent prizes, the combination is a winner.

We have three team-organised races coming up in the next few months. The first is PMR@Toachim House’s Giro d’Fowlmead, taking place on the 9th of May at the beautiful Fowlmead Country Park in Kent- which boasts a tarmac circuit described by British Cycling as one of the best in the country. The event features two women’s races with one open to E/1/2 riders and one to 3/4 riders; both offer £100 to the winner, £50 for second place and £25 for third place – equal to the prizes in the men’s races (there’s also a junior race, once again prizes are equal). Entry is through British Cycling and costs £20.

The second is organised by a team that has done in the last season to promote women’s cycling than many national federations do in a decade: VCUK-PH Mas, which only started as a women’s team last year yet has already grown and developed to become one of the best-known and most popular domestic squads in the UK. The first of their four-part women-only road race series, the 56km Spring RR takes place at Otley on the 24th of May. Entry, via British Cycling, is £19.

Neil Hendry, VCUK-PH Mas manager, confirmed that he consults his riders as part of his efforts to organise his event. “Yes, definitely need the input from the girls as they give me a good indication of what’s required,” he told Neutral Service.


Last Week’s Results

Linda Saunders Estate Agents CRT-Notaro Windows-Kalas Spring Pursuit
E/1/2/3/4 08.02.15
1 Kate Baker (University of Bath CC) 3pts
2 Elle Twentyman (University of Bath CC) 2pts
3 Alice Miller (EliteVelo-Kalas) 1pt
4 Imogen Hutchings (University of Exeter CC) 0pts
5 Nicki Carr (Somerset RC-The Bicycle Chain) 0pts
6 Bethan Stubbs (Bikeshed-Exeter University CC) 0pts


Francesca Rust rode her first 25-mile time trial – on the TT bike provided for her by the Neutral Service Women’s Cycling Benevolent Fund – the day after she came fourth at ELV Winter Series

East London Velo Winter Series #5
E/1/2/3/4 07.02.15
1 Keira McVitty (Giordana-Triton) 3pts
2 Bella Leach (London Phoenix CC) 2pts
3 Francesca Morgans-Slader (EliteVelo Kalas) 1pt
4 Francesca Rust (VO2 Bikes) 0pts
5 Gaia Casciello (Welwyn Wheelers) 0pts
6 Lucy Wright (UCL Union) 0pts

Woolly Mamil Winter Series #4
E/1/2/3/4 07.02.15
1 Molly Weaver (Matrix Fitness Pro Cycling) 10pts
2 Lucy Shaw (Matrix Fitness Development) 8pts
3 Emily Barnes 7pts
4 Rosemary Homer (VO2 Bikes) 6pts
5 Catherine Coley (Ludlow CC) 5pts
6 Gemma Stuart (Performance Cycles) 4pts
7 Maisie Duckworth (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 3pts
8 Melissa Brand (IKON-Mazda) 2pts
9 Heulwen Gilbert (University of Birmingham CC) 1pt
10 Gabrielle Duckworth (Lune RCC) 1pt

1 Connie Hudson (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 3pts
2 Georgia Hilleard (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 2pts
3 Rebecca Simmons (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 1pt
4 Melissa Baker (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 0pts

1 Hollie Owens (Mid-Shropshire Wheelers) 3pts
2 Sophie White (Wolverhampton Wheelers) 2pts

Ludgershall Winter Series #6
E/1/2/3/4 07.02.15
1 Chanel Mason (Army Cycling Union) 10pts
2 Elizabeth-Jane Harris (Army Cycling Union) 8pts
3 Kate Baker (University of Bath CC) 7pts
4 Lindsey Ackland (Zappi’s) 6pts
5 Florence Collyer-Powell (Southampton University) 5pts
6 Sophie Herbert (Southampton University RC) 4pts
7 Sarah Hardy (Army Cycling Union) 3pts
8 Gail Brown (Bournemouth Arrow/Hotel Collingwood) 2pts
9 Hannah Beaumont (Army Cycling Union) 1pt
10 Alice Dobbs 1pt

Dulwich Paragon/VeloPark Winter Series #2
Cats. 2/3/4 05.02.15
1 Jennifer Crouch (Velosport) 10pts
2 Therese Coen (Queen’s Tower CC) 8pts
3 Agata Woznicka 7pts
4 Emma Fudge (Dulwich Paragon) 6pts
5 Tamala McGee (London Phoenix) 5pts
6 Michelle Forster (London Phoenix) 4pts
7 Claire Goodman (Kinoko Cycles) 3pts
8 Charlotte Heywood 2pts
9 Katie Righton (Dulwich Paragon) 1pt
10 Rebecca Williams (Dulwich Paragon) 1pt



NSodenthumbNicola Soden: My Hero

“There are a lot of people in the cycling world I would say inspire me. Paul Kippax and his ability to ride so hard he nearly passes out (this is also massively entertaining – see youtube), Charline Joiner breaking her back and competing in the commonwealth games in the same year, my parents who have both had crashes on the bike in the last few years and continue to get back on…” Read more

EMcDonaghthumbElisa McDonagh: Eco-warrior to Cyclist: the five year plan

“Today seems like a good day to write this blog entry as it marks a year to the day since I did my first ever circuit race part of the Pedal Pushers series in Lincoln and boy was I nervous (some things haven’t changed). We set off at rather a sedate pace, not what I’d expected at all although it soon picked up and I found myself in a break with four other riders. I spent the remainder of the race clinging on for dear life…” Read more

Emma Coldwell: To Strava Or Not To StravaEmmaColdwellThumb

“A new year entered and my first year in the saddle completed. It perhaps marks a seemingly small milestone – but cycling has become an enormous part of my life now and so much seems to have happened in the past twelve months…” Read more

IslaThumbIsla Rush: When WyndyMilla met the Royal Bank of Canada

“On Saturday 31st January myself and four other members of the WyndyMilla SWAT team headed out on a cold rainy morning on to the Lee Valley road circuit, accompanied with cyclists from the Royal Bank of Canada. WyndyMilla has been chosen to provide bikes and kit for RBC, as well as help them train for the RBC V Series at Canary Wharf…” Read more

NOhthumb2Nicole Oh: #imonlyheretoeatcake

“It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the odd bit of cake, nor the fact that I enjoy a bit of a chinwag with my riding companions. So it is of no surprise to find my favourite part of every ride is… The Cake Stop. And with long winter rides the order of the day at the moment, I have had to the chance to enjoy many over the past few months. With not a lot else happening on the Les Filles blog scene at the moment, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my top 5. So, in no particular order…” Read more

BBHodgethumbBeth Hodge: Learning How To Ride From The Professionals, Session 1

“”This is an exciting time for women’s racing. You girls are key to making this normal. You could be the biggest women’s team in England” – Leda Cox is one of Britains most experienced professional cyclists. Leda has raced all over the world and clocked up 30 international wins. Forced out of racing due to an injury, Leda and her husband Jez Cox, who is also an ex-pro rider and now GB Duathlete, run a successful coaching outfit Howgoodcouldibe. This winter they have turned their attention to coaching the ladies of Dulwich Paragon, the Paragonettes…” Read more


Social Media Snippets

“Yesterday my wheel fell off the book while sprinting on the turbo, today my foot got stuck in my pedal while lying in mud #livingthedream” Helen Wyman

“Come off my bike 30 mins into a 2 hr ride, big hole in leggings, do I go home and change or carry on? Carry on! Half of Essex has now been subjected to the image of my swollen right butt cheek!!” Nikki Juniper

“Just passed my 2015 @ukantidoping advisor reassessment 😀 #2015code #cleansport” Sinead Burke

“Ah, the Utopian bliss that is greasing one’s bottom bracket…” – Laura Morgan

“Always funny to wake up with news about yourself, where you don’t even know about yourself… #WHR” Marianne Vos


Photo of the Week


Triathlete Lucy Charles, still smiling in the final mile of the Ely Hardriders 25-Mile TT (© Neutral Service/John Orbea – and apologies for that; if you have a photo that you’d like to see here use the contact links at the top of this article!)