Shorts, Blogs and Links

Medway Velo 10-Mile with equal prizes

MedwayVeloTTWhen major events featuring professionals riding at the very top of the sport argue they can’t arrange equal prizes for male and female athletes, you could be forgiven for thinking that domestic races for amateur riders wouldn’t stand a chance of managing it. However, time and time again they do – just like Medway Velo have with their 10-Mile TT, due to take place at the Isle of Grain in Kent on the 23rd of May. Better still, unlike most crack-of-dawn TTs, this one starts at 3pm – so you’ll be able to race without getting up at midnight. And it’s only eight quid per rider to enter!

The event is open to solo riders, tandems, 2-up teams, standard bikes, aero TT bikes and fixed-gear bikes. Organiser Sally Smith explains that the club has gone all out for prize equality: “[It’s] not just equal prizes on scratch,” she says. “There will also be equal cash to fixed gear, non aero road bikes (no TT bars or deep sections) and veterans on standard. If I get a full field there’ll be more. I also have spot prizes for the ladies of jerseys, arm warmers and bottles.”

That’s an event worth supporting. Enter by contacting Sally – sallyrmsmith@hotmail.com

 

UK Women’s Cycling races this weekend

 

Barnsley Crit hosts Nationals

JW

Jessie Walker won the Barnsley Crit last year

2014’s 65 Roses Barnsley Criterium was one of the stand-out events of the season, with riders declaring themselves very impressed by a parcours made considerably more demanding by its numerous corners and steep climb than the average town centre crit (Neutral Service’s preview is here) and by the organisers’ attempts to get equal prizes for men and women – first and second places in both races were awarded £500 and £250 respectively.

“I thought it was really well organised,” said Nikola Butler, of Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International, who finished in eighth place. “Commentary was great – the commentator knew his subject which is often not the case for women’s races. Good, tricky course.”

Those efforts have paid off, with this year’s edition being selected by British Cycling to host the National Circuit Racing Championships. Matrix-Vulpine (now Matrix Pro Cycling) stars Jessie Walker and Penny Rowson took the top two spots last year with Iona Sewell (then GB Cycles, now Carnac-Planet X) in third; expect to see several big name riders back on the 29th of July.

 

Hayley Simmonds wins BUCS

Cambridge University PhD student Hayley Simmonds, who rides for the Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa team, battled strong winds to win the British Universities and Colleges Sport 10-mile TT Championship in Oxfordshire on the 11th of April.

Riders took advantage of a tailwind on the outward leg and set some high times to the midway point. Conditions were sufficiently testing on the return leg that average speeds were low and overall times suffered as a result; however, Hayley achieved a respectable 21’19” to finish 2’04” faster than the University of Warwick’s Sarah King and 2’12” faster than Claire Hamilton of the University of Glasgow.

 

BUCS Road & Circuit Races needs entries

The Roads and Circuits round of the BUCS taking place at Yorksport on the 9th and 10th of May is in need of more entries from female riders. Entry must be made via your university or college athletic society and should ideally be done by the 16th of April; however, riders who wish to formally enter later may be able to do so if they contact the organisers as soon as possible.

 

Tour of the Reservoir Gallery and Report

 

Tour Series needs local staff

PearlIzumi011

The Pearl Izumi team at last year’s Peterborough round

The legendary Matrix GP Series is back this summer with five rounds taking place between the 19th of May and the 11th of June (click here for dates and venues) – and if you’d like to become more involved (and get paid for it!) the organisers are looking for staff to assist in various tasks at each event.

“Fancy joining us at some of the 2015 rounds? We are looking to recruit paid local crew to help with the set up and break down of equipment at Pearl Izumi Tour Series events across the country.

Duties include setting up gazebos and putting out branding around the circuit, all under supervision and apart from the ability to carry out manual work and some moderate lifting, no special skills are required .

Hours of duty 0730 – 1200 for set up, then 2030 – 2230 for breakdown. Anyone interested in helping at their local round should email Series Manager Mark Leyland leylandm@thetour.co.uk”

 

Redbridge gains pro timing

Image45c_sm

Professional timing system to be installed at Redbridge

The Redbridge Cycling Centre at Ilford is an extremely valuable facility with an excellent track much appreciated (and, thanks to the infamous Hoggenberg, feared) by all the riders who have used it – which probably includes just about every holder of a British Cycling racing licence in the UK.

Now, thanks to a grant of £9960 from Sport England, it’s about to get even better with the addition of a MyLaps timing system, as used in numerous professional races around the world, including the Grand Tour La Vuelta a Espana, to ensure results accurate down to a thousandth of a second in addition to providing exact start times and intermediate times. The system to be installed includes 70 additional transponder chips, permitting it to be used for even the largest events at the Centre.

 

Blogs

 

JulieErskineThumbJulie Erskine: Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir

“The sound of carbon and bodies hitting tarmac is pretty horrendous and you just have to block out the screams from fellow riders. As hard and unethical as it sounds, you just have to ride away…Read more

IntrepidSarahIntrepid Sarah: 10 things nobody tells you about cycling as a woman

“3. Mansplaining: no matter how intelligent or capable you are on the bike, you are still sadly probably not immune to a bit of mansplaining. Best way I find to silence it is to wait for the significant climb of the ride and then one by one overtake the men up it…” Read more

TWIMthumbThree Weeks In May: Equality is better for fans

“Take a moment to ask what is better than one race to watch, that is correct, it’s having two races to watch. Last Sunday we could have had that, both the men and women were racing the same course, but there was no footage available from the host broadcaster.With bugger all happening at 100 km to go we were not allowed to swap feeds or go to a split screen to watch the finish for the women’s race. The excuse was we might have missed something…” Read more