Women’s Race Training Arrives in Northern England (finally!)

Last year, Huw Williams initiated a number of race training sessions for women at Cyclopark in the South, with a view to providing specific training for women who were either complete novices or were third or fourth category riders.  They proved extremely popular and many women wanted to attend a similar set up in other places around the country.

For women riders who are able to get to the Tameside circuit in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, Frances Newstead, a level 3 British Cycling Road and Time Trial coach has worked with Huw to deliver a number of similar sessions up North on 18 & 25 August 2013 followed by a race (restricted to 3rd & 4th category women riders) on 8 September 2013.  Places will be limited, so if you are new to racing or are maybe thinking of racing for the first time next year, get involved with Frances’ session.  She will be covering a variety of skills and topics, including what type of training to do over winter.  Further details can be found in the flyer below:


CTUK web flyer

Help Manchester Wheelers celebrate their 130th anniversary!

Manchester Wheelers is turning 130 years old on 7th July  2013 – one of the oldest and most well established clubs it has a long history in the world of cycling.  To celebrate the 130th year, the club is putting on a series of events over the course of the anniversary year. Kicking the festivities off is a day of racing at the Tameside Circuit in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, Manchester on Sunday, 14 July 2013.

There are races for all age groups and abilities:

  • Under 8/Under 10’s
  • Under 12/14/16’s
  • 4th Cat only
  • Women Only
  • 2/3/4

Prize money will be equal in men’s and women’s races.

The event, organised by Ruth Taylor on behalf of Manchester Wheelers, is set to be more than just a series of races with food stalls and refreshments available. After the official racing there will also be some fun events to get everyone involved. The club would love to see a big turnout of Manchester and area cyclists young and old to come and help them celebrate 130 years of the Blue, Red and White jersey. Entries are available online at British Cycling and will also be available on the day.

To enter online, please visit https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/87811/Manchester-Wheelers-130th-Birthday-Day-of-Racing

Brand New Venue for Mid-Week Racing in Bath

Bath and North East Somerset Council opened up a brand new facility in April, the Odd Down circuit, funded by British Cycling, which has meant that a number of local clubs can now benefit from mid-week racing.  VC Walcot is one such club, and Laurie Chalk, the club secretary, has been in contact to tell us about their new evening series, which includes races for all categories, from youth to men’s E/1/2, to men’s 3/4 and even a women’s only event (which are hard to come by mid-week).

Last year, the local clubs around Bath, including VC Walcot and Bath CC organised a mid-week evening series based on a circuit in a local park, which proved extremely popular, with over 200 people turning up to watch, and the men’s events often seeing a field of 60 riders.  This year, due to the opening of the £600k facility, the series is moving from the park, and there will yet again be a women’s only event, as well as the men’s events and supporting youth races.

VC Walcot Summer Series

VC Walcot Summer Series

This series is by no means the only mid-week series of events in the South/South West regions however it is one of the mid-week series that has a dedicated women’s race.  All mid-week racing is now classed as Band 5 (10 points for the win, with points down to 10th), so this series is no exception however, with the first event next Tuesday (4 June 2013) it looks like no better time to try your hand at racing the new 1.5km circuit.

For more information about the events, visit www.vc-walcot.com, or follow them on Twitter @VeloClubWalcot or on Facebook at facebook.com/vcwalcot.  More information about the Odd Down circuit can be found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/sport-leisure-and-parks/health-and-fitness/ride-bnes/odd-down-cycle-track.

The Surf and Turf 2 Day Returns to Blackpool

Cycling Development North West (“CDNW”) are hosting a round of the National Women’s Road Series on 15 & 16 June 2013.  The presence of the event, which starts at Blackpool’s Palatine Circuit on 15 June, is a continuation of the event that ran as a two day for the first time last year, as a development of the Blackpool Grand Prix des Dames which had held a place in the Women’s National Road Series for a number of years.

In addition to the main event, there is a round of the local CDNW Youth Series, held on the Saturday (15 June 2013), with a Regional B supporting men’s event over the two days, making the Saturday a day out for all of the family!

© Ed Rollason Photography

© Ed Rollason Photography

For the women’s event, there will be a one lap time trial at Saturday lunchtime (covering approximately 1 km) followed by a circuit race of 45 minutes later in the afternoon.  The supporting men’s event will be held after the women’s circuit race and will start at 5:30pm for one hour.

Sunday sees the event move to the Pilling/Nateby course for the first time, with a departure from the Bashall Eaves circuit used last year.  The course has proved popular already this season, with the second round of the CDNW’s inaugural women’s road race league for second, third and fourth category riders being held on the circuit, as well as the men’s North West Regional Road Race Championships due to be held on the circuit on 19 May 2013.

© Ed Rollason Photography

© Ed Rollason Photography

 http://www.cdnw.org/surf&turf_stage_races.htmlFor further information on the event itself, head to CDNW’s website at:

Entry for both the men’s Regional B event and the Women’s National Series event is £34.40 plus 60p for online entry – visit British Cycling’s website at:


For those of you on Twitter make sure you check out our dedicated Twitter page at https://twitter.com/SurfandTurf2Day

We hope to be tweeting live during the event, using the race’s official Twitter feed @SurfandTurf2Day with the official hash tag #sat2day2013 and we will be tweeting in the lead up to the event too, so make sure all you Twitter folk follow the event to keep up to date with all the announcements!

The Milk Race Returns – with equal prize money for women

You may have already seen the press release about the return of the Milk Race after a 20 year absence, and, although it’s format for this year is not the stage race of the past, it is still pulling punches by offering equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s events.


“The Dairy Council is proud to announce that legendary cycling event The Milk Race is to make a return to the British sporting calendar after a 20-year absence.  “The event, which initially ran between 1958 and 1993, will be reborn as a major city centre race – to take place this year in Nottingham on Sunday 26 May 2013. In its previous incarnation, The Milk Race was the most prestigious multi-stage event in the UK and the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board’s 35-year sponsorship remains the longest association that the sport of cycling has ever had.  For 2013, The Milk Race will constitute an elite men’s race and an elite women’s race to happen on the same day alongside a full day’s festival of cycling for all the family in Nottingham.  The decision to bring back the event, and to re-ignite the link between the ‘white stuff’ and the sport of cycling, was taken by industry bodies The Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum.  Dairy Council chairman Sandy Wilkie said: “The Milk Race is undoubtedly the most well remembered and most well regarded cycling event that there has ever been in this country. So to bring it back, and to re-establish such a strong link between milk and sport, is a very exciting development.  Much like British cycling, the ‘white stuff’ has gone through  something of a renaissance in recent years through the establishment of the celebrity ‘make mine Milk’ campaign, which has included Olympic champion cyclists Ed Clancy and Laura Trott. It’s therefore a perfect partnership for what promises to be a momentous occasion in Nottingham in May.”
Both races have total prize money of over £4,000, which is pretty unheard of for the majority of women’s races in the UK.  Entry is open to elite, first, second and third category riders, and the Race Director, Tony Doyle MBE, is keen to attract a field of 60 riders for the women’s event.
The cost of an entry is only £5 – for an event with such a legacy, on closed roads, with crowds, atmosphere, equal prize money and a chance to race with the likes of Olympian Dani King, what more could you ask for?
If you may be thinking about racing but are worried about your other half or your kids, then do not fear, the Milk Race is taking over Nottingham town centre for the day on 26 May, with rides for all the family, face painting, cyclists doing stunts – check out their website for more information: www.themilkrace.com
If you fancy entering, then you can do so via the British Cycling online entry system, by clicking on the following link: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/88763/The-Milk-Race

“STOP! Cyclists!” An Alternative View of the Cheshire Classic

Andy Wood of Weaver Valley Cycling Club has achieved many things in his first year as organiser of arguably the biggest and most hotly contested women’s race on the domestic calendar – the Cheshire Classic.  Not only did he source amazing sponsors in Epic Cycles, Delamere Dairy, De Vere Hotels and Roberts Bakery, as well as support from the Breeze Network and Halfords, but he also managed to persuade British Cycling to get their act together with the Accredited Marshals Scheme that has been promised for so long.

(c) Ed Rollason Photography

Closed roads for a road race are pretty much unheard of – for a start it costs too much, and when, as an organiser, you are often pushed to the limit financially to put your event on, then road closures are the last thing on your list.  It also depends on where your course goes too – and the Cheshire Classic goes up and down a bypass, so the local council are never going to go for that.  However, with Accredited Marshals comes a new concept – stopping the traffic with lollipop signs but instead of them saying “Stop! Children!” the say “Stop! Cyclists!”


The first thing that I noticed on the way to the headquarters, was the large number of “Caution! Cycle Event!” signs on your approach to the bypass.  This meant that drivers had warning from an early stage that there was an event on – not a small side hiding in a grass verge – but a sign on every lamp post in the couple of hundred metres leading up to the area where the accredited marshals were going to be in place, so drivers had no excuse.  The next tell tale sign was “Traffic Control Ahead” which is probably what the drivers didn’t want to see!


(c) Ed Rollason Photography


How did it affect the race?  Well there were two main sticking points on the course – firstly the entry on to the bypass – this is a single carriageway bypass, with no central reservation and cars will speed down that section of road so it is very dangerous.  The presence of the accredited marshals meant that the bunch was able to enter the main road from the sweeping left-hand bend without worrying about oncoming traffic.  The second tricky place was the main climb, where the finish is, “The Cliff” on Acton Lane, where the gradient gets steeper towards the top.  Again, the presence of the accredited marshals meant that cars had to stop at the top of the climb whilst the riders came through, which also meant that all of the road was used (until you came around the bend to find the stopped car!)


(c) Ed Rollason Photography

© Ed Rollason Photography

It was a classic Cheshire Classic, with Karla Boddy of MG Maxifuel taking the win in a tight sprint finish with Emma Grant of Matrix Fitness.  A superb ride by Karla, who was understandably emotional at the finish!  But, in my humble opinion, there was another star in the making – it was Andy Wood’s first solo attempt at organising a bike race, which was one of the most well-organised events I have been able to attend.  I only hope that the riders appreciate all the hard work and effort he put into the event to make it such a great success.