Just a few years ago, it was a tough job finding any women’s bike races in the UK at all. Ever since the women’s road race at the 2012 Olympics and after the unparalleled success of the Women’s Tour, that’s all changed. Women’s cycling has been growing fast and continues to do so, and while there still aren’t as many events for E/1/2 riders as there ought to be, there’s at least one for 3/4 riders just about every weekend from April through to September nowadays – in fact, often there’ll be two or three and sometimes even more than that. So many, in fact, that some race organisers are finding it hard to attract a good field when their event clashes with so many others.
There’s a very obvious way to avoid that, of course, but it’s not easy: you have to make your race stand out, and the best way to do that is by making it better than the rest. That seems to be the route the organisers of Bicester Millennium CC’s brand new Woodstock Classic, which will take place in Oxfordshire’s Cotswolds on the 10th of May, have decided to go down… half an hour doing circuits round an airfield? Nope. The Woodstock Classic is 80km – a proper road race. Women’s race right down the programme? Nope. This is for women only. A fiver for the winner and a thankyou for the rest, if they’re lucky? Nope. There’s a hundred quid for the winner, fifty for second place and twenty five for third – ok, so you’re not going to secure a comfortable retirement if you win, but for a race in its first year it’s not bad at all, and it ought to at least cover the cost of getting there. And it looks as though getting there will be worth the effort; if you’re still not convinced, maybe the fact that the prizes will be handed over by none other that Nicole Cooke will help you make up your mind?
“A category 3 & 4 competitive 80km single day ‘womens only’ road race. The paved roads of the beautiful Cotswolds of Oxfordhsire. There are straight sprint sections, as well as sections designed for the puncheur. Supported by the Bicester Millenium Cycling Club in colloboration with British Cycling Federation. Cash prizes awarded by Olympic Gold Medallist, Nicole Cook.
£100 first place, £50 for 2nd finisher and £25 for a third place finisher. This is a region B event /Band 4 meaning that the winner will get 15 points and points shall be awarded down to 10th place.”