Amy Roberts wins in Redditch — Upcoming British Events — Upcoming UCI Events — Interesting Links — More to come
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Amy Roberts wins Redditch Matrix GP
The Wiggle-Honda rider took the lead after a crash ended Charline Joiner and Helen Wyman’s chances of victory. Full report here.
Upcoming British events
Smithfield Market is the place to be on Saturday if you want to witness some top-notch women’s criterium action, because that’s exactly what the London Nocturne has become famous for delivering. Katie Archibald is definitely the woman to beat this year, and the other teams are sending some tough riders to try to make sure she is. The official site is here; we’ve got a detailed preview here and we’ll have a report as soon as possible after the race.
On Tuesday, the country’s top domestic teams meet at Woking for the final round (yep, we’re at the end of the 2014 Series already) of the Matrix Tour Series. Woking is perhaps the most technical of the circuits with two very tight bends and two even tighter hairpins, which favours fast riders with good bike-handling skills and gives ample opportunity for breaks – the town has hosted five editions in the past and all have been excellent, exciting races, 2014 promises more of the same. We’ll have a report after the race; the official site is here.
Upcoming UCI events
The first of Canada’s three Elite Women’s events takes place on Friday the 6th of June: the Chrono Gatineau (UCI 1.1) has become one of the most hotly-contested individual time trials on the calendar, and the very technical 14km parcours always leads to some clever, fast and exciting rides. Back in 2010, when Canada found itself without any women’s UCI events, the Canadian Cycling Association decided to look into why those races hadn’t been as successful as they might have been and to investigate ways in which a new event might be given a better start in life. The reason, they decided, wasn’t that women’s cycling is boring or less competitive than men’s cycling; awareness of it just isn’t sufficiently widespread – there is an audience for it, but most of that audience didn’t know it yet. The answer they came up with was one that many professional riders and fans have been advocating for years: combine some UCI races with an already-popular family cycling event. That way, the existing event benefits when more professional cycling fans show up and the race benefits from a ready-made audience, many of whom then go home as new fans thinking that this pro cycling thing all seems rather good fun. Hence at Gatineau, you don’t just get a race – there’s also a gran fondo, bike show, bike market, children’s races, fairground attractions, food and many other good things. Last year’s winner was Carmen Small of Specialized-Lululemon; she’ll be out to defend her title but such is the prestige in which this race is held she’ll be facing some serious rivals. The official website is here.
European time trial specialists who don’t make it to Canada will be in action at the Nagrada Ljubljane TT, a UCI 1.2 time trial taking place in Slovenia on the same day. Although the race seems to have been organised in a hurry and only appeared on the UCI calendar in the last few weeks, it serves as the Elite National Championships so there’ll be a lot of action here too. The official website has maps, profiles and much more – kudos to the organisers, especially when one considers that some more established races make hardly any information public.
Canada’s second UCI event, the GP de cycliste Gatineau, is on the 7th. Rated a 1.1 race, it uses a similar circuit to the Chrono with riders completing twelve laps of 10.18km to make 122.16km. Last year’s winner was Shelley Olds of Tibco-To The Top; just like Carmen Small she’s got her work cut out for her if she wants to win again with numerous Canadian and US riders in excellent form at present. The official site has all the information you need.
There are few nations quite so passionate about cycling as the Basques, and not many that can provide quite such an impressive backdrop. The first of their two big women’s races is the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria on the 10th of June – which gives us a taster of what might happen at one of the biggest races in women’s cycling, the famous Emaukeen Bira which begins two days later and ends on the 15th. The official website doesn’t seem to have much information yet; however, it has options to read it in Spanish, French and English for all those of us who haven’t yet taken the time to become proficient in the truly remarkable language that is Basque. Marianne Vos won in 2013 with Emma Johansson equaling her time for second place (Vos also won in 2011 and 2010, making her the joint most-successful rider in the history of the race alongside the Basque Joane Sommariba).