Women’s Cycling News Round-up 30.06-07.07.2014

Nationals: Trott and Pooley take titles — National Champions around the world —  Armitstead wins in Otley — Wiggle-Honda signs Bertine — Tickhill GP needs entries — Upcoming British & UCI Races — Interesting Links — more to come


Laura Trott takes National title


Laura Trott famously hates road cycling – and now she’s National Road Race Champion! (image: Nicola CC BY-SA 3.0)

The support and commitment invested in her by Boels-Dolmans has seen Lizzie Armitstead develop into one of the finest riders in the world this season and her performances in the World Cup this year have been so impressive that she seems the safest bet for overall victory by a large margin (even five-time winner Marianne Vos says it’s hard to see past her). She went to the National Road Race Championships as defending champion and was widely tipped to win; after spending the first four laps working to earn an advantage which over the course of the next three she built into a lead over the pack that at one point reached 17″, it looked like the rest of the race was a formality.

It’s sometimes said that cycling is unique in being both an individual and a team sport, and this race turned into a fine example of that. With one lap to go, Armitstead attacked so savagely that for a while she left her chasers reeling as though unsure what had hit them; knowing that their chances of catching Armitstead without help from other riders in the final laps were not good, Wiggle-Honda team mates Laura Trott and Dani King forced an attack to make sure a group of thirteen riders got off the front of the peloton. When Emma Pooley (racing for VC Norwich, as the entry form asked for the name of her club rather than her team) launched her own attack, the Wiggle-Honda riders took a gamble and, joined by Sharon Laws of United Healthcare, went after her – a big risk because, if Armitstead still had the strength for another push, they might not have been able to respond, so the duo split up and King went to work on the leader while Trott stayed behind Pooley.

Even with a kilometre to go Armitstead was still fighting her corner, causing her rivals to open the sprint earlier than they might have preferred. That she kept up the pressure all the way into the final metres is more proof of just how good she is this season, but Wiggle-Honda’s efforts eventually paid off: riding either side of Armitstead as they approached the line, a final kick enabled them to gain the mere centimetres they needed – Trott was first, King second and Armitstead third with all three riders recording the same time of 2h44’56”. Pooley took fourth 4″ later, followed by Laws at +6″; the crowd had to wait more than minute for fifth-placed Katie Archibald to lead in the remainder of the chase group.

Video highlights

Top Ten
1 Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) 2.44.56
2 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda)
3 Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
4 Emma Pooley (VC Norwich) +4″
5 Sharon Laws (United Healthcare) +6″
6 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1’12”
7 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1’51”
8 Elinor Barker (Wiggle-Honda) +1’53”
9 Hannah Barnes (United Healthcare) +5’36”
10 Nicola Juniper (Echelon-Rotor) +5’37”


Pooley wins National TT Title


Pooley at the start (© Jack Chevell)

Emma Pooley is best-known for her climbing skills: with good reason, because she’s one of only three world-class climbers Britain has produced (the others are Vic Sutton and Robert Millar), but among her rivals she’s also highly respected as a time-trial rider – she was National Champion in 2009 and 2010, and she regained the title on the 26th of June after completing the technical 20.4km Newport course in 30’18”, clocking  an average speed of 40.4kph. Katie Archibald was 39″ slower for second place while her Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International team mate Sarah Storey was third at +51″.

“It’s special because it’s been a while since I won I race. It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden the Championships,” quipped the London-born rider after her victory. “Actually, I think every time I’ve ridden it I’ve won it!”

Photo gallery

Top Ten
1 Emma Pooley (Lotto-Belisol) 30’18”
2 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +39″
3 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) at +51″
4 Elinor Barker (Wiggle-Honda) +1’01”
5 Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) +1’09”
6 Joanna Rowsell (Wiggle-Honda) +1’23”
7 Lucy Coldwell (Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa) +1’25”
8 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda) +2’10”
9 Emily Robertson (CC Luton) +2’48”
10 Claire Galloway (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +2’53”


National Champions around the world

National Champions (by nation)
Australia: Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS)
Austria: Jaqueline Hahn (Bigla)
Belguim: Jolien D’Hoore (Lotto-Belisol)
Belarus: Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink)
Canada: Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Czech: Martina Sablikova
Denmark: Amalie Dideriksen
Eritrea: Wehazit Kidane
Estonia: Liisi Rist (SC Michela Fanini-ROX)
Finland: Lotta Lepisto (Bigla)
France: Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo-Liv)
Germany: Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-Lululemon)
Greece: Michali Tsavari
Israel: Paz Bash
Ireland: race postponed
Italy: Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico-Faren)
Japan: Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-Honda)
Luxembourg: Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans)
Netherlands: Iris Slappendel (Rabo-Liv)
New Zealand: Rushlee Buchanan (United Healthcare)
Norway: Camilla Sorgjerd
Poland: Paulina Guz
Russia: Tatiana Antoshina (RusVelo)
Slovakia: Monika Kadlecova
Slovenia: Polona Batagelj (BTC City Lubljana)
South Africa: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec Products)
Spain: Anna Ramirez (Bizkaia-Durango)
Sweden: Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
Switzerland: Myriam Gysling
Turkey: Semra Yetis
Ukraine: Tatiana Riabchencko (SC Michela Fanini-ROX)
United Kingdom: Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda)
USA: Alison Powers (United Healthcare)

By Team
Two champions: Jaqueline Hahn (Austria), Lotta Lepisto (Finland)
Two champions: Gracie Elvin (Australia), Emma Johansson (Sweden)
Two champions: Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France), Iris Slappendel (Netherlands)
SC Michela Fanini-ROX
Two champions: Tatiana Riabchencko (Ukraine), Liisi Rist (Estonia)
United Healthcare
Two champions: Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand), Alison Powers (USA)
Two champions: Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Laura Trott (United Kingdom)
Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
Anna Ramirez (Spain)
Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
BTC City Lubljana
Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)
Estado de Mexico-Faren
Elena Cecchini (Italy)
Hitec Products
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)
Jolien D’Hoore (Belgium)
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Leah Kirchmann (Canada)
Tatiana Antoshina (Russia)
Lisa Brennauer (Germany)


Lizzie wins in Otley

The huge crowd gathered in Otley town centre made it clear they were backing their local hero Lizzie Armitstead all the way, and the Boels-Dolmans star gave them something to cheer about when she launched a blistering attack in the fourth lap that would ultimately take her to a 16″ advantage at the finish line.

Full report


Wiggle-Honda signs Bertine

British-registered Wiggle-Honda, home to Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell and two-time World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, has signed Kathryn Bertine so that the 39-year-old can ride La Course at the Tour de France – the women’s race taking place on the final day that has been added to the event due to pressure put on the organisers by Le Tour Entier, which Bertine co-founded.

Rochelle Gilmore, team owner and manager, said it “wouldn’t be right” if Bertine were not able to compete.


Tickhill GP needs more entries

The organisers of the Tickhill GP, which is due to take place on the 24th of August, have been striving to deliver a first-class women’s race this year and their efforts look guaranteed to pay off – all indications suggest it’s going to be a fantastic race.

“Both the men & women are elite – they are the best in their field at this level, therefore there should be no differential,” says event organiser Rich Stoodley. “The women have put in equal training and effort and we believe that they should benefit equally. The Title Sponsor agrees with our view that the women should get equal prize money.”

The women’s races (Cats. E/1/2/3, 3/4 and Under 16/14)) still need more entries, and with that sort of attitude it deserves support. More information is available on the official website and entry is via British Cycling. Neutral Service has a preview here.


Upcoming British & UCI Races

British races
30.06 Army Cycling Union Ludgershall Summer Series #5
01.07 Total Cycle Coach Womens Series #12
01.07 Pembrey Circuit Series 2014 #5
01.07 Crystal Palace Crits #9
01.07 Ilkley Cycle Races
01.07 Behind The Bikeshed Summer Series #6
01.07 Tameside Cycling Development League #12
02.07  D.M. Keith Skoda Otley Cycle Races
02.07 Pedal Heaven Eelmore Circuit Series #6
02.07 Suffolk Cycle Racing Series 2014 – Week 4
02.07 Exeter Wheelers Westpoint Criterium #1
03.07 Mallory Park Thursday League #11
03.07 Castle Combe Summer Series #9
03.07 East London Velo Hog Hill Summer Series #9
04.07 Surrey League Dunsfold Park 4ths Series #9
05.07 MOD Woodbridge Autostrasse Porsche RT
05.07 Tour de Fowlmead
06.07 CC Ashwell Criteriums (Cancelled)
06.07 Velo Club Norwich Womens Road Race – Neutral Service preview
07.07 Army Cycling Union Ludgershall Summer Series #6

UCI races
04.07 Giro Rosa 2.1
07.07 White Spot/Delta Road Race 1.2


Interesting Links

Perspectives on doping in pro cycling: Inga Thompson (VeloNews)

Beryl Burton: The Yorkshire housewife who became a cycling legend (Daily Mirror)

Beryl Burton, the greatest British female cyclist of all time (The Guardian)

Marie Purvis: British Legend (Cycling Weekly)

Emma Pooley on the 2014 Giro Rosa, winning Nationals and more (Podium Cafe)

Joanna Rowsell blog: I’m eager to complete my medal collection with Commonwealth gold (Sky Sports)

South Africa: Women overcome stiff Rainbow Challenge (SuperSport)


Neutral Service always welcomes submissions: race reports, previews, photos, news, opinion pieces and just about anything on the subject of women’s cycling (especially British women’s cycling) will be considered. Click here for more details.