Aviva Women’s Tour 2015 – Stage 1

All Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

 

The start of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 got off to a ‘smashing’ start for Lizzie Armitstead and members of the media, not quite the finish everyone was anticipating.

 

With the profile of the 110km stage it looked like it would end in a bunch sprint but with QoM’s points to contest just before the finish there could be an upset.
Some of the big name riders in the hunt for a win were Bronzini and Armitstead, with their teams Wiggle Honda and Boels Dolman respectively keeping the pace high.

Aviva Women's Tour 2015 | Stage OneKatie Archibald, Pearl Izumi, “I think this race has been designed with the TV in mind with possible bunch sprint finishes. Stage 4 has a really technical finish but we hope to have everyone fighting it out to the end. My role in the team will be to sprint with the other Katie [Curtis], we will be looking for that kick at the end, Sarah Storey and Ciara Horne will be our main climbers.”

Archibald hit the deck approaching the first QoM (Queen of the Mountains) but Joanna Rowsell hung back to help her Pearl Izumi sprinter back into the pack, once she’d been seen by the race doctor. Armitstead looked to control the pace heading towards the QoM with Sharon Laws (last years QoM winner). Susanna Zorzi of Lotto Soudal unfortunately got a flat at the bottom of the climb.
6 pojnts went to Melissa Hoskins of Orica with Anouska Koster hot on her heels for the 5 points.

Lizzie Armitstead, “My form is good, I had a mini season break in May came back with two wins, I won the Tour of Qatar, I’ll take that confidence into the sprints but a much more lumpy race would really suit me.”

Orica AIS rider Emma Johansson, “ I’ve just come out of a tour in Spain that was really successful for me, I came away with 3 wins, I don’t feel like there is any pressure on me, I’m just gonna enjoy every day.”

The first sprint points were contested by a group of four riders but Coryn Rivera (UHC) won the sprint gaining the first 3 points of the tour followed by Marta Tagliaferro (2 points) and Elinor Barker (1 point).

Hannah Barnes UHC, “ I’m mostly looking at stage wins this Tour, last year was good with two top fours, Coryn and I are on form so the team is hoping to have a really good week.”

USA’s Heather Fischer took a nasty fall in the race for the second sprint, Tagliaferro took maximum points followed by Barker and Rivera.

Laura Trott, Matrix Fitness, “It went well at the Tour Series and the Milk Race for me, these stages are a bit longer than an hour race, two of the stages are 140km which isn’t what we train for, as long as I can get to the finish I think I can do ok.”

A five rider breakaway was established as the second QoM loomed ahead, the group consisted of the previous sprint contest riders, they were joined by Katie Archibald, and Coryn Rivera’s UHC team mate Katie Hall who was sitting on the back wheel waiting to pounce. The peloton chase was being led by Wiggle Honda with a 3 minute gap to the leaders at one point. Another gap developed as Katie Archibald struggled with the climb and was distanced from her breakaway companions. The UHC riders took the top two points available as the QoM summit (Katie Hall 6pts and Coryn Rivera 5pts). Archibald was last over the line for the breakaway taking 2 points as she started to slip slowly backwards, eventually when the peloton arrived at the QoM’s Sharon Laws mopped up the remaining point uncontested.

Giorgia Bronzini, Wiggle Honda, “For me and my team this race is a big goal, we are here with good riders and we are prepared for every solution that can be in the race.”

The leading group was down to four riders with 10km’s to go. Orica snd Wiggle had raised the pace on the front of the peloton and the lead groups advantage of 2 minutes 45 was eroded to 55 seconds.

Lisa Brennauer of Velcro SRAM“I think there are more possibilities for a sprinter than just the bunch sprint this tour, I hope it’s going to be exciting and not predictable as to who’s going to win.”

With 5km’s to go the lead group were dangling like a carrot in front of the hungry peloton.

With 2km to go the race became exposed to the crosswinds of the coast with those hiding in the peloton at an advantage.

Aviva Women's Tour 2015 | Stage OneUnder the Flame rouge and the breakaway was hanging in by a thread. They were quickly absorbed into the peloton. The sprinters came to the front and immediately Armitstead, Frapporti, Brennauer and Johansson showed their form. Crossing the line first was Lizzie Armitstead with Lisa Brennauer 2nd, and Emma Johansson 3rd.

The days spills didn’t end there, moments after the win Lizzie appeared to swerve to her left and in doing so hit a number of the press photographers, CyclingShorts.cc Chris Maher was one of them, they fell like a pack of cards. The photographers were in their correct position along with race organisers. Currently nothing is known about why Lizzie lost control of her bike but she went down very hard. She was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken femur, she was released later luckily with nothing more serious than bruises. Lizzie thanked everyone for their concern and also thanked the NHS staff who treated her.

Armitstead has a 4 second lead after stage one with a time of 2h39’43”. We wish Lizzie well and hope she’s able to defend her jersey tomorrow.

Stage One | Bury St Edmonds to Alderburgh

Stage1Results

 

U23 – Coryn Rivera

Best British – Lizzie Armitstead

Points – Lizzie Armitstead

Queen of the Mountains – Katie Hall

Team – UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling

 

Useful Links…

Twitter www.twitter.com/thewomenstour    Event Hashtag #AvivaWT2015

Facebook www.facebook.com/thewomenstour

Instagram www.instagram.com/thetourcycling

YouTube www.youtube.com/thetourcycling

Aviva Women’s Tour Women’s Tour

 

Thursday 18th June 2015 | Stage Two | Braintree to Clacton

AvivaWT_Stage2_Map-1

Words by Anna, Images by Chris Maher

Celebrations at Herne Hill Velodrome

150603_Press Release Images_South ElevationCelebrations as a new pavilion for the Herne Hill Velodrome is given the green light

Cyclists across London and the South East are celebrating this week following the approval of plans to build a new pavilion at the historic Herne Hill Velodrome.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Southwark Council’s planning committee, councillors voted unanimously to approve the Hopkins Architects design for the new building, which will replace the existing one, which has been out of use for nearly a decade despite the track itself being very popular and in constant use.

Hillary Peachey of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust said “We’re over the moon.  This has been a long time coming and I want to thank each and every person who has played a role in getting planning permission this week.  For far too long, visitors and riders at Herne Hill have had only basic facilities that do not do justice to the site.  Herne Hill has been vital to the cycling history of Great Britain and now, with this final piece of the jigsaw secured, will play a role in the future”.

The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, who submitted the plans, was established in 2011 to ensure the regeneration and continued use of the Herne Hill site, which has hosted a velodrome since 1891.  The first ‘win’ of the campaign was to secure a medium term lease on the land, thereby unlocking funding from British Cycling to enable the total refurbishment of the track surface, which had become dangerously unsafe to race on.  The second success came with funding from Southwark Council’s Olympic legacy project, to install trackside flood lighting and create a new, junior track inside the existing one, as well as much needed hard standing for use in coaching, training and events.  This was completed in 2013 and has allowed the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust to increase participation from around 15,000 riders a year to a staggering 34,000 a year from a range of schools, community groups and regional cycling clubs.

The design is by Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects, who was also the architect of the 2012 Velodrome.  He said “After over 4 years hard work by the local and cycling community, this approval is great news for the long-term future of Herne Hill. To complement the 2012 Velodrome in Stratford, south east London can now have decent facilities to support the already popular outdoor track at Herne Hill. In combination these two venues will really help promote cycling in London. After our experience delivering the Olympic venue we are delighted to be able to help out at Herne Hill too.”

The Herne Hill Velodrome, where Sir Bradley Wiggins first rode a track bike while still at primary school, has hosted some of the world’s greatest track riders, and continues to be a hive of activity from balance bike sessions for toddlers to elite level training and racing. Until the completion of the Stratford velodrome for the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, Herne Hill was the only velodrome in the whole of London.

Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said; “This is fabulous news for cycling in London. The planning consent for the new pavilion will allow the completion of the final phase of the comprehensive improvement programme and ensure that cycling’s rich history continues in the long term. As one of the only surviving venues of the London 1948 Olympic Games the future has never looked brighter for Herne Hill”.

Tessa Jowell, who as local MP was vocal in her support for the campaign since the very start, said; “I’m delighted that Southwark Council has granted planning permission for Herne Hill Velodrome, and I know how much this will mean to the community. The new pavilion will ensure this fantastic asset remains as popular as ever, and as Patron of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust I look forward to helping plan for a successful future for the track”.

The approved plans, which have been developed and (subject to completion of funding agreements) will be delivered thanks to Sport England, the London Marathon Charitable Trust and Southwark Council, will allow for a multi-sports room, training and office space as well as reconfigured bike storage. It is proposed to begin work and have the new building ready to celebrate the track’s 125th birthday in 2016.

Matrix Fitness GP Series leader Nikki Juniper Chats

Matrix Fitness GP Series 2015 leader – Round 2 – Nikki Juniper by Cycling Shorts

Nikki Juniper of Team Giordana Triton talks to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc about her current lead in the Matrix Fitness GP Series 2015 after round two in Motherwell.

 

Nikki Juniper of Team Giordana Triton talks to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc about her current lead in the Matrix Fitness GP Series 2015 after round two in Motherwell.

 

Read the race report here.

Over a million turn out for first ever Tour de Yorkshire

Final GC podium for 2015 Tour de Yorkshire LtoR: Voeckler, Nordhaug & Sanchez - Image ©wwwchrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Final GC podium for 2015 Tour de Yorkshire LtoR: Voeckler, Nordhaug & Sanchez – Image ©wwwchrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

The first ever Tour de Yorkshire has ridden itself into the history books after a momentous three days of racing.  One and a half million fans at the roadside and TV audiences in more than 150 countries have witnessed some of Yorkshire’s finest scenery, with crowds at key points in the race comparable with the Tour de France.

Initial spectator figures from police and race organisers indicate that on Stage One, 250,000 people watched by the roadside, followed by 450,000 on Stage Two and 750,000 on Stage Three.

A fantastically strong field lined up for the first stage of the men’s race in Bridlington on Friday 1 May, among them World Champions and Olympians and 13 of Yorkshire’s finest riders.  Sir Bradley Wiggins drew huge crowds with his Team Wiggins team mates, as did Giant-Aplecin’s Marcel Kittel, Team Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler and Yorkshiremen Ed Clancy of JLT Condor and Team Sky’s Ben Swift.

Sadly by Stage Two the race had lost two of the main protagonists as Ben Swift and Marcel Kittel were forced to retire but Yorkshire’s towns and villages showed no sign of dimming enthusiasm for the race with crowds growing each day.  Stage Three proved a hard fought, thrilling day of racing for the international peloton and spectators who lined the route.

The three day men’s race was joined by an 80km women’s race in York on Saturday 2 May, and crowds lined the circuit to see a thrilling sprint finish in what riders called a showcase event for female racing in the UK.

In scenes reminiscent of last year’s Grand Départ, painted bikes, children’s artwork and hundreds of miles of bunting could be seen across Yorkshire weeks ahead of the race.  On race day the crowds matched the excitement of the 2014 Tour de France and joint organisers the ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire are already looking ahead to the 2016 race.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said “Once again we’ve seen staggering crowds provide a rousing welcome for these incredible riders.  I salute each of the 144 riders in the men’s race and 98 in the women’s, and the 6,000 who took on the sportive.  We thank the people of Yorkshire and the riders, the crowds, the Tour Makers, the ASO and our team at Welcome to Yorkshire should be immensely proud of the weekend’s achievements.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France (ASO), said: “It was an emotional return to Yorkshire, who did of course put on the grandest of all the grand Départs last year. This was again a special moment, an historic three days and a great advert for cycling and the passio and the heart that Yorkshire has for the sport.”

The race is a joint venture between Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO, with the backing of British Cycling – supported and delivered in partnership in 2015 with North Yorkshire County Council, East Riding Council, Selby District Council, Scarborough Borough Council, City of York Council, Wakefield Council and Leeds City Council.

Key sponsors include Yorkshire Bank, P&O Ferries, Dimension Data and JCT 600 as official car supplier.

The Tour de Yorkshire will return in May next year on a new route with new start and finish towns.