Gareeva Powers to Success in the Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial

Russian rider Aigul Gareeva wins the Junior Women’s World Time Trial Championships in a winning time of 22 minutes 16.23 seconds from Dutch rider Shirin van Anrooij and Britain’s Elynor Backstedt.

The early markers were set by Megan Jastrab of the USA then Leonie Bos of the Netherlands both of whom stayed within the podium positions for a considerable time, before they eventually finished in 9th and 6th place respectively.

Last year’s bronze medalist, Backstedt was last to start from the field of 50 riders, with Camilla Alessio from Italy and Gareeva expected to be the other major contenders whilst Van Anrooij was the Dutch hope, having shown excellent form as a first year Junior.

Gareeva was the fastest from the first checkpoint, where she led Backstedt by just 0.79 seconds after Backstedt had lost her back wheel on the wet corner just prior to the timing point. Gareeva continued to maintain the lead throughout although it looked like it was all in vain when she took the wrong turn prior to the finish line. But, with a calm head she turned around and was soon back on course, coming home in 22:16.23, knocking the leader at the time, Swedish champion, Wilma Olausson, off the top spot.

Gareeva seemed overwhelmed with the result but she later said that she wanted to get a result that would thank everyone for believing in her.

 

It was a hilly and technical circuit but I enjoyed every minute of it. I had a little wobble half-way around which lost me some seconds but thankfully I stayed on my bike. The crowds were absolutely incredible. I was the last rider down the start ramp and I could hear the fans cheering my name before I’d even started. That cheering didn’t stop then for my full ride and it certainly pushed me along. I am really happy with my bronze medal and it was an unbelievable experience.

Elynor Backstedt

Bronze Medal Winner, Team GB

I was on my absolute limit as I approached that last corner and was following the white stripes on the road instead of looking up at where I was going. It was an error on my part and I was so relieved when I was still able to win. It was a very emotional moment for me and am so proud to have my rainbow jersey.

Aigul Gareeva

Junior Women's Individual Time Trial World Champion, Team Russia

Heather Bamforth

Heather Bamforth

CyclingShorts.cc Sub-Editor

Heather has been with CyclingShorts.cc for 10 years attending and reporting on major cycling events; Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire, World Track Championships, World Road Race Championships to name a few.

Influencer, Trustee & Founder of The Racing Chance Foundation Charity, Member of the British Cycling Road Commission, BC Regional board member and National Councillor

Heather is a highly respected member of the British Cycling community, she founded the Racing Chance Foundation, a cycling charity to help women gain experience in cycle racing and progress their cycling careers.

Anna Mgrath

Anna Mgrath

Editor & Founder

Anna Magrath founded CyclingShorts.cc in 2008 and invited some of her cycling friends; coaches, photographers, writers and pro cyclists of different disciplines to join her, bringing you all things cycling related. She has a passion for track and road cycling.

Over the years Anna has supported grass roots cycling events, riders and teams, all the way up to reporting from the top cycle races on the world calendar including; the Tour de France, Olympics, World Cups & World Championships.

Anna is a BAJ & SJA accredited journalist and has a background in Film & Television, and award winning Designer and Art Director, working for BBC, CH4, and many others.

Anna is a member of A©ID

Want to get involved? Why not get in touch.

Cycling Shorts.cc are official sponsors of The Racing Chance Foundation, Team22 WRTTeam Jadan and cyclists Amy Gornall & Fraser Martin.

Fred Bamforth

Fred Bamforth

Writer - Chair of Road Work Group British North West Region & Team Manager Racing Chance Foundation

Fred has been with CyclingShorts.cc for 5 years attending and reporting on major cycling events; Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire, World Track Championships, World Road Race Championships to name a few.

Active member of the Northern Cycling community since the 1980's. Team manager for the Racing Chance Foundation, a cycling charity to help women gain experience in cycle racing and progress their cycling careers.

Fred is Chair of Road Work Group for British North West Region.

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

Photographer & Writer

Based in the North East of England; photographer Chris Maher specialises in sports photography with his main interests in Cycling and Super Bikes. Chris has covered sports events from local and national level right up to the Olympics.

Chris is a member of the SJA.
Website: www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

Women’s Cycling – an update for 2019

With the UCI announcing the WorldTour calendars for 2020 and that women’s teams will enjoy minimum provisions with effect from next year, including minimum salaries and entitlements for riders, there is a feeling that cycling is moving towards parity for men and women. But is that achievable or is it just a pipe dream for the female riders in the UK? 

Over the past few years, there has been a move to make the women’s racing equal to the men’s, with race distances being made longer as a consequence. In the UK, there has been a push to increase race distances for women, especially at a National Road Series level, with most races now over 100km, whereas perhaps five years ago, there were hardly any races that were over 50 miles (80km) in length. Whilst this can be called progress, we are moving towards a professional level of dedication, something for which perhaps the women’s sport is not yet ready. For example, there are not many teams that are able to pay riders’ expenses, let alone a wage, and this then means that many riders are effectively priced out of the market, especially when most national level events start at 9am, therefore meaning that an overnight stay is required, at a minimum. It should therefore come as no surprise if organisers are struggling to fill fields, as it becomes more and more costly to race at a national level without any significant financial support (whether that is from a sponsor or a family member). Is this sustainable, or do we need to find a –

And then we have the talent pipeline issue – we struggle to retain female riders after the age of 16, when riders make the transition from Youth to Junior, so it was hoped that the introduction of a Junior Women’s National Road Series would help bridge the massive gap from Youth to Senior. Unfortunately, probably to some degree as a consequence of coinciding with a major staff restructure at British Cycling, the Junior Women’s Series has not had the support from British Cycling that those involved at a grassroots’ level may have hoped to see, with organisers being given no guidance or support and races not being tied into the Series on the British Cycling website, therefore making it more difficult to find out what races were part of the Series. Those of us who are supposed to be in the know weren’t even told, so how riders are supposed to navigate the system to find the races does bring into question whether there really is a desire to see a push towards equality from a road racing perspective at British Cycling. We need British Cycling to be fully on board with the Junior Women’s Series and make sure that it is properly advertised, with organisers being given support and encouragement to promote these events if it is to be successful.

Next issue to be addressed is the shift in attitude with regards to risk assessment interpretation. Those of us who promote events for women are all too aware of the financial implications of promoting a women’s race – it is extremely difficult for an event to break even without a men’s race being organised in conjunction with the women’s race. At a regional level, when we first started promoting road races for women in 2013/14, the most viable way to do it was in conjunction with an existing men’s race, using the infrastructure which was already in place to add on a women’s race, usually starting a few minutes behind the men. This meant that we could ensure opportunities were being made available for women, without having to worry about the numbers. Unfortunately, a change in policy has meant that concurrent racing (where you have two events running alongside each other at the same time) is no longer deemed to be acceptable from a risk perspective and therefore the number of opportunities women will have to road race going forward will likely be substantially less, as organisers will opt –

 for men’s races that are easier to fill, rather than a potentially financially unviable women’s race. The risk assessment process is something which needs to be challenged – the outcome of this change in interpretation has effectively put a protected group (women) in a worse position and it is therefore paramount that a solution is found if British Cycling want to avoid a contravention of their own Equality Policy.

So what does all of this mean for women’s cycling? Well, whilst it’s great that the UCI have implemented a minimum salary requirement for Women’s WorldTour teams, it seems increasingly unlikely that there will be an increase in British riders gaining places on these teams if there is only limited financial support for those racing at a domestic level. Yes, it’s great that we have professional level National Series events but if nobody can afford to attend the races or organisers feel that the financial uncertainty is just too much, then the likelihood is that future cycling stars will not come from the UK, unless as a sport we can look at how events are run and redesign it to encourage as many people as possible to take part.

There are changes afoot at British Cycling, and a willingness to accept that what has come before has not necessarily been acceptable, but whether it will be too little too late remains to be seen. Let’s hope that we can find some solutions before it is too late.

All images © www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Heather Bamforth

Heather Bamforth

CyclingShorts.cc Sub-Editor

Heather has been with CyclingShorts.cc for 10 years attending and reporting on major cycling events; Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire, World Track Championships, World Road Race Championships to name a few.

Influencer, Trustee & Founder of The Racing Chance Foundation Charity, Member of the British Cycling Road Commission, BC Regional board member and National Councillor

Heather is a highly respected member of the British Cycling community, she founded the Racing Chance Foundation, a cycling charity to help women gain experience in cycle racing and progress their cycling careers.

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Race Report – Bickerstaffe Handicap Road Race

All images © Ellen Isherwood

 

Well they say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and that’s precisely what the riders who took part in #SouthportCyclingClub #BickerstaffeHandicapRoadRace did today.

An excellent race with Sarah Hardy and Nicola Soden forming an early break off the front of the first group, which would see Sarah solo to the win after Nic punctured. The scratch group were at 2 minutes and a group comprising of Amy Gornall, Mads Scott, Jo Ryding & Maxine Filby bridging across. Amy and Jo then set out to chase down Sarah, along with Flora Knight, who worked together to stay away from Daisy Barnes and Harriet Gilson who tried to chase the three down. Sarah held on for the win, with Amy coming second, Jo third and Flora fourth. Harriet and Daisy held off the bunch for 5th & 6th. Rachel Brown led the bunch in, in front of Becky Gregson, Laura Gray, Sandra Mackay and Kate Taylor.

A great showcase for #WomensCycling and a big thank you to Colin Baldwin for supporting the women by promoting the event.

Heather Bamforth

Heather Bamforth

CyclingShorts.cc Sub-Editor

Heather has been with CyclingShorts.cc for 10 years attending and reporting on major cycling events; Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire, World Track Championships, World Road Race Championships to name a few.

Influencer, Trustee & Founder of The Racing Chance Foundation Charity, Member of the British Cycling Road Commission, BC Regional board member and National Councillor

Heather is a highly respected member of the British Cycling community, she founded the Racing Chance Foundation, a cycling charity to help women gain experience in cycle racing and progress their cycling careers.

Race Tactics – it’s more than just a lead out

The growth of women’s cycling over the last few years has since a big increase in numbers attending events. Whilst this is obviously a positive for our sport, it also means that there are more challenges in races, as many riders (from junior to veteran) have been brought up racing in smaller numbers, where the best sprinter invariably would win. However, times are changing, and with that comes the need to understand race tactics in more depth.  Admittedly, this is quite a large topic, so I will keep it relatively brief in the first instance.  Here goes…

Bunch sprints don’t work for anybody other than those prepared to sprint

So if you’re not prepared to get your elbows out in the sprint finish, or you don’t fancy sprinting, you need to rethink your options. Which could be any one, or a selection of the following:

  • attack off the front, on your own
  • attack off the front, with other riders (not necessarily your own team mates)
  • slim the numbers in the bunch down by making it hard
  • use the circuit to your advantage

All seem relatively straightforward, don’t they? But hardly anybody uses these tools to their advantage.

(c) Chris Maher 2016

Offence is the best form of defence

Not something you probably hear much within cycling circles – it stems more from American Football, but it is also true in road racing – go on the offensive and you are at an advantage straightaway. This doesn’t mean that you swear and curse at your fellow riders (the beauty of the English language); instead it means that you stay near the front and off the front, so that riders come to you.  And guess what? It really is easier, as you don’t have to keep chasing people down, because they come to you. This lesson is especially important when you are riding in a bunch of over 60 – on the continent, races can have up to 200 riders and you can’t ride from the back to the front if 200 riders are stretched out, so you have to be near the front. I always look out for riders who are happy to sit at the back of the bunch, as the chances are that they are biding their time and conserving their energy for the sprint at the end. But if they’re at the back, that means it’s harder to stay on wheels as the less confident riders tend to drift to the back and they run the risk of getting dropped if the pace goes up.

A race is just that, a race

Which means that it shouldn’t be easy. It’s called “competition” so if you are finding that everybody in the bunch is chatting away, chances are you’re going to end up with a mass bunch sprint at the end of the race. If you know your stuff, you will know that once it comes down to a bunch sprint, you are much less likely to be in control of your own destiny and are at the whim of others. So if the bunch is having a chinwag riding along and you need a result, you need to do as much as possible to ensure that the chatting stops, the pace goes up and your competition start to find it a bit harder, because that is how you slim the numbers down and swing the finishing result in your favour.

MuleBar Tour of Northumberland 2016 | Stage One

Know your competition

This is two-fold: you want to know who to avoid (for example, riders you know who struggle with corners, or brake excessively) and you also want to know who probably knows what they’re talking about, who’s up for a race, and who you would want in a breakaway with you. If you’re not sure who that should be, look at the list of riders entered and see who’s good at time trialling, as chances are they will be pretty strong. At the same time, remember that anybody who knows what they’re doing, regardless of what they look like or how old they are, will know which wheel to follow and how to sit in. The rule is, don’t underestimate your competition.

When an attack isn’t an attack

There is a time and a place to attack.  You can also attack more than once in a race, but if you’re going to do so, make sure that your early attacks are feints rather than full on attacks.  The idea with this is that you are seeing who is up for the race and who isn’t on form.  Make sure you attack in different places, but choose the timing.  For example, most attacks happen either just after the brow of a hill or a corner when, in actual fact, the attacks which have the most effect tend to be when people least expect it.

Keeping the pace high

I’ve been in races when a discussion has been had pre-race that we would try to keep the pace high to slim the field down.  The only problem is that you have that discussion with riders and then they don’t necessarily understand that it just means you do through and off at the front of the race at a fairly high speed; instead when it’s their turn to come through they attack. This tactic doesn’t usually work if you’re trying to keep the pace high. And regardless of what you may think, it’s generally a good idea to keep the pace high because the race is then safer and you don’t end up with people riding into the space underneath your armpit and encroaching on your dance space.

Lead out trains only work from the front

If half of your team is sat near the back of the bunch, it’s not going to work is it? You need rider numbers, speed, nerves of steel and lots of confidence to effect a successful lead out, so if you think your team mates are going to be hanging around the back of the bunch, pick another tactic to win your race.

Use the circuit to pick your moment

Watch your competition as they go through the finish line – if the finish is slightly uphill and people are struggling, knock it into your little ring and roll up and see whether you can ride past people as you go through the finish. When it’s not the final lap, nobody will notice that you’re watching other riders. If the finish isn’t your ideal finish, pick somewhere else to make your move – it may be a tight corner that you’re better than others at riding, or there may be a descent when you can press home your advantage – look at areas as you go around and work out what will work best for you.

Tour Of The Reservoir 2016 | Elite Spring Cup & Women's Road Ser

Don’t be a sheep – negative racing is literally the WORST

Don’t follow every single attack that goes up the road, unless there is somebody in it who you want to be in a break with (the potential race winner, perhaps?). Also, don’t just mark people because you don’t want them to win. It makes a race really really boring. If you’ve got the ability to chase somebody down why not continue and do a real attack?

MuleBar Tour of Northumberland 2016 | Stage TwoIf you’re there for the photographs, you really need to be off the front

Why do you think professional riders launch random solo attacks 200km from the finish? Not because they’re mental (necessarily) but because it gives your team/sponsor(s) exposure. So if you’re in a sponsored team, do your sponsors a favour and attempt some attacks, because sponsors want exposure of the positive kind. Thanking you in advance!

Enjoy yourself

Funnily enough, if you want to be there, you will probably surprise yourself. Don’t pressurise yourself into getting a result, just enjoy it for what it is – a bike race.

 

Check out Heathers previous guides:

Womens Cycling Planning Ahead

 

Click below to read:
Part One – Where Do I Start?
Part Two – What Do I Enter?
Part Three – What training should I do?
Part Four – Practice! Practice! Practice!
Part Five – Are You Ready To Race?
Part Six – Race Day
Part Seven – Circuit Racing

 

Cycling Santa’s Christmas Shopping Guide 2015

Cycling Shorts unleashes Santa’s Little Helpers.
Yes the panic is setting in, so much to get organised and so little time, so we’ve all got together to give you a list of gift ideas that won’t disappoint the fussiest cyclist or cycling fan in your life.

We’ve split our choices into four perfect price packages, click on the images to be taken to the retailers website.

Wishing you a Merry Festivemas from all at CyclingShorts.cc!

 

Secret Santa – under £30

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Santa’s Little Helper – under £100

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Something Beneath The Tree – under £500

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Santa Baby – money is no object!

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Press Release – Racing Chance Foundation and Team 22 – 2017 and beyond

The Racing Chance Foundation and Team 22 are very pleased to announce a joint venture that will enhance the opportunities available to Under 23 and Junior Women riders within the UK.

A true pathway for success

From 2017, Team 22 will act as the Under 23 and Junior development squad for The Racing Chance Foundation (“Racing Chance”). This will allow Racing Chance to offer a complete development pathway for riders. This pathway will cover and support progression for riders from novice-focused intro- to-racing days and race skills development sessions for more advanced riders, through to a development squad (Team 22). Then beyond that, there will be the opportunity to race overseas through organised racing trips, as introduced and run by Racing Chance in 2015.

 

(c) Dan Monaghan Photography

(c) Dan Monaghan Photography

Talent identification and development

Within this partnership structure, Team 22 will continue to operate as a separate team and will be supported as it is now through commercial sponsorship, thus ensuring that there is no drain on existing Racing Chance funds. Riders joining Team 22 will be supported through its existing structure of coaching and financial support, but will also have access to the additional opportunities available from Racing Chance. Both Racing Chance and Team 22 are already putting in place a scouting network that will allow us to identify and offer places to some of the brightest young bike racing talent in the UK, providing opportunities to riders not on an existing development pathway.

 

(c) Dan Monaghan Photography

(c) Dan Monaghan Photography

What does this mean?

Team 22 owner Colin Batchelor says: “This is an amazing opportunity for everyone involved in this partnership. For us, it’ll be great to be part of a true development pathway and the level of support and opportunity we will be able to offer riders is something everyone involved in Team 22 is very excited about.”

Racing Chance Foundation Chair Heather Bamforth says “By creating an alternative road based pathway, we hope to be able to encourage Youth A riders to continue racing once they leave that age category by easing the transition into road racing with the junior and senior women. This development can only be seen as a positive for all people who are keen to see numbers participating increasing, and the Foundation hopes to offer training opportunities for all young women in the junior and under-23 categories regardless of whether they go on to race for Team 22.”

 

Team 22 smll-43

(c) Dan Monaghan Photography

 

About RacingChanceFoundation.com

The Racing Chance Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales which was set up in April 2014 to provide an alternative pathway for women in competitive cycling.  They focus on road-based events, providing training and racing opportunities from novice through to elite level.

Racing Chance have membership opportunities available, where you can join for £5.  They will have a membership area up and running on their website shortly, but in the meantime, they are affiliated with British Cycling, you can sign up here.  Not only will you be supporting a charity dedicated to women’s cycling, but the Foundation is also affiliated to Cycling Time Trials and the Manchester & District Ladies Cycling Association for those of you who want to have a go at time trialling but are not sure about what it is all about.  So, whether you are already a member of a club or are currently riding on your own, why not sign up today?  Men are welcome as much as women! In return you get exclusive access to their members and coaching area on the website (launching shortly), a discount off all purchases in the Racing Chance Shop for the duration of your membership (more benefits to be announced soon). You can also book and attend the charity’s heavily subscribed training events, for details of the latest events click here or why not visit the Racing Chance Foundation shop to purchase some stylish race kit, all profits from sales are put straight back in to the charity to provide more cycling opportunities for members. Even the smallest donation make a huge difference.

The Racing Chance Foundation is a not for profit registered charity: 1156835.

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