Sian Botteley rides for the well-known and popular Starley Racing team and has been taking excellent results for a few years now, including victory at 2015’s Ipswich Spring Scramble. On Sunday the 3rd of April, she won Twickenham CC’s Dave Peck Memorial, a round of the Women’s Team Series, on its new and much tougher course…
“At the beginning of this season, I wrote myself a small list of aims that I’d like to achieve in my racing for 2016. One of them was to win a Women’s Team Series race.
I perused the list of WTS races and looked into the parcours of the different events, and, being more of a sprinter, I earmarked the Dave Peck as an early season target for a good result. Prior to this year, this race has been comparatively flat. When I discovered that the course this year had been altered to feature the rather ominous-sounding Staple Hill a total of ten times, I was a little apprehensive. In previous years I haven’t been the greatest of hill climbers! This winter I spent a few weeks in Spain solely to improve my climbing ability, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to see how I would measure up in more of a rolling road race with a solid winter’s training in my legs.
The race started off fairly fast, speeding over the 5 mile circuit strewn with potholes, rough surfaces and mud. I sat in the wheels nicely, trying to conserve as much energy as I could. Sitting in the wheels also meant getting a fair bit of the road mud in my eyes and mouth, but hey-ho. The race stayed fast throughout, with riders like the Footon-Velosport girls and Alice Cobb of Matrix animating the race with plenty of attacks, but most to no real avail. Eventually, after around 4 of the 10 laps had been completed, a break of three went clear, including Tasha Reddy (RP-Vision RT), Sophie Faulkner (Fusion RT-Fierlan) and Emma Lewis (Adalta CC). These three worked together well, their lead stretching to around a minute. I didn’t let this concern me too much, just focused on staying in a good position and let the race run its course. Eventually, as we went through the bell with one lap remaining, we reeled the break back in.
The race had been pretty high paced throughout, and the bunch had vastly reduced in size from 60 to around 35. However, I had never felt in any trouble, in fact my legs felt rather good! I had intended on having a gel with two laps to go but forgot, so rapidly got one down my neck. Well – I attempted to anyway, most of it ended up on my face and dribbling globularly down my arm. I rounded the final corner, a tight left hander that came back on itself, in 5th wheel, and floated in the wheels as we accelerated faster and faster up the hill.
Still feeling good, I was confident about my sprint finish, hoping for a top 5. A top 5 wouldn’t be too shabby for the first national level race of the season! These thoughts swimming in my head distracted me a little bit, and as we sped swiftly past the 500m to go sign, suddenly I found myself royally boxed in. Had this been me last year, that would have been race over for me. I didn’t have the confidence to barge my way through small gaps and hold my own in a decent position in the bunch. But barge my way through I did, I found a gap and went for it, overtaking around 15 people in the last 100m, crossing the line a tad less than two bike lengths clear of Louise Surridge (VC Londres) in second place. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I had realised that I was leading and no one was coming round me! I started to take my hands off the bars in celebration, got one hand in the air and saw a rider in the distance. I suddenly thought “Oh dear, I’ve just become one of those people that has celebrated going over the line thinking they’ve won, and actually come second”. Luckily for me, the rider in the distance was one that we were coming up to lap, but I wasn’t confident until I had frantically sought clarification from several riders that I had actually won.
So there we go, that’s one of my big aims for the season ticked off the list! I rode back to the HQ with a massive ear-to-ear grin on my face; I couldn’t believe I had won a big race like that! I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks from all of us riders to Twickenham CC for the race organisation. I thoroughly enjoyed the race, and it has proven to me that my training is all coming together nicely. It was also fantastic to see a full field of women on the start line, a great sign of good things to come for the development of UK women’s cycling. Thanks for reading!” – Sian Botteley, Starley Racing.
Dave Peck Memorial 2016 Results
1 Sian Botteley (Starley Racing; Cat. 2) 30pts
2 Louise Surridge (VC Londres; Cat. 3) 25pts
3 Madison Campbell 0pts
4 Detta Guerrini (Footon-Velosport; Cat. 1) 17pts
5 Elizabeth Stedman (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2) 14pts
6 Jennifer Holden (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 3) 12pts
7 Susannah Osborne (Sigma Sport; Cat. 3) 10pts
8 Gabriella Nordin (Starley Racing; Cat. 2) 8pts
9 Madeleine Gammons (RP-Vision; Cat. 3) 7pts
10 Louise Mahe (Les Filles; Cat. 1) 6pts
11 Ellie Campbell (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 3) 5pts
12 Helen Ralston (Les Filles; Cat. 2) 4pts
13 Hetty Niblett (Footon-Velosport; Cat. 2) 3pts
14 Harriet Owen (Matrix p/b Corley Cycles; Cat. 2) 2pts
15 Jennifer Powell (EliteVelo-Kalas; Cat. 2) 1pt
16 Lydia Brookes (Sigma Sport; Cat. 2), 17 Alice Cobb (Matrix p/b Corley Cycles; Cat. 2), 18 Lauren Murphy (Liv CC-Epic Coaching; Cat. 2), 19 Jennifer Hudson (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2), 20 Mathilde Pauls (Twickenham CC; Cat. 2), 21 Alexis Barnes (PMR@Toachim House; Cat. 3), 22 Karla Boddy (Drops; Cat. 2), 23 Sophia Chastell (Kinetic Cycles-Welwyn Racing; Cat. 2), 24 Chanel Mason (Army Cycling RT; Cat. 1), 25 Charmaine Porter (Army Cycling RT; Cat. 2), 26 Bella Leach (London Phoenix; Cat. 1), 27 Natasha Reddy (RP-Vision; Cat. 2), 28 Laura Greenhalgh (Les Filles; Cat. 2), 29 Sophie Faulkner (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2), 30 Samantha Wilson (Army Cycling RT; Cat. 3), 31 Catherine Gaskell (VC Londres; Cat. 3), 32 Clemence Copie (Les Filles; Cat. 1), 33 Gaia Casciello (Welwyn Wheelers; Cat. 2), 34 Emma Lewis (Adalta CC; Cat. 2), 35 Jessica Duffy (Bikeshed-Bianchi; Cat. 2), 36 Isla Rush (Matrix p/b Corley Cycles; Cat. 3), 37 Nicole Oh (Les Filles; Cat. 2), 38 Alexandra Farquhar (Army Cycling RT; Cat. 3), 39 Sophie Curle (Les Filles; Cat. 2), 40 Alison Gravatt (Twickenham CC; Cat. 3), 41 Chloe Weller (Army Cycling RT; Cat. 3), 42 Megan Chard (PMR@Toachim House; Cat. 2), 43 Connie Hudson (RP-Vision; Cat. 3), 44 Alexandra Sheehan (Bikeshed-Bianchi; Cat. 2), 45 Katharine Broadbent (GBCycles.co.uk; Cat. 3), 46 Olivia Bentley (Twickenham CC; Cat. 3), 47 Louise Marsden (VC Norwich; Cat. 3), 48 Charlotte Heywood (Twickenham CC; Cat. 2), 49 Claire Hammond (Twickenham CC; Cat. 2), 50 Rachel Heptonstall (Kinetic Cycles-Welwyn Racing; Cat. 3), 51 Elanor Cadzow (Kinetic Cycles-Welwyn Racing; Cat. 2), 52 Christine Robson (VC Londres; Cat. 1), 53 Emma Jane Hornsby (VC Londres; Cat. 3),
DNF Kathryn Anderson (Welwyn Wheelers; Cat. 3), Rebecca Maynard (Welwyn Wheelers; Cat. 3), Hester Stembridge (EliteVelo-Kalas; Cat. 3), Bethan Stubbs (Bikeshed-Bianchi; Cat. 3), Hetty Summerhayes (EliteVelo-Kalas)