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
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
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.”
(c) Dan Monaghan Photography
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.
In January this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Annie Glover and Karen Ager from Holyhead Cycling Club. Both had travelled all of the way from Holyhead in Anglesey to attend our women’s race training session in Tameside, just outside Manchester, which I thought was pretty impressive! But that was just the start…
Annie, Karen and their club mate, Jasmine Sharp, are all keen cyclists, and are active in North Wales and Anglesey with encouraging younger riders to take up the sport. All three women are British Cycling coaches but until this year, they have only really participated in their local club time trials and, in Jasmine’s case, Audax events.
This year, for the first time, the women have decided that they want to step up their involvement in competition, and they used the Racing Chance Foundation’s women’s race training to give them the helping hand they needed. But there was also another reason for starting to race – for the first time this year, Ynys Mon (Anglesey) are fielding a women’s cycling team in the Island Games, which take place in Jersey at the end of June/beginning of July.
So, without further ado, I asked Annie what the Island Games was all about (coming from Manchester, I had no idea). Here she explains:
“The Island Games were founded in 1985 in Isle of Man and take place every 2 years. It is a friendly competition between small islands from across the world. It creates an opportunity for sports people from smaller communities to compete in international competition.
“The Island Games are a catalyst for sport & cultural exchange and aim to increase youth participation in sport. It presents an opportunity to represent the region & community whilst building links with other regions and promoting Anglesey & UK.
“Ynys Mon Island Games Association (YMIGA) was a Founder member, YMIGA was established in 1985, Island-wide consisting of Voluntary sports association – members are all volunteers. YMIGA promotes participation in Island Games sports”.
As YMIGA is run by volunteers, the each team has to fund its own way. Knowing from a personal perspective how much it can cost to get to a bike race, I asked Annie to give me some further detail about the costs involved:
“As well as training hard for these events we have to raise our own funds for the travelling, accommodation & logistics of getting the cycling team, their support team and their bikes to Jersey & back,” she explains.
“The team consists of a squad of 11 people, which includes a manager and assistant for logistical support on the road whilst competing and mechanical assistance. The cycling team needs include transport of 2 bikes per team member to Jersey & back, (via van/ferry), logistics of travel for the team, accommodation, team kit (shorts jerseys, skinsuits). Total costs have been estimated at around £8250.”
Jasmine, Annie and Karen put a lot into developing younger riders, and the hope is, by raising the profile of the Ynys Mon team both on a local level (in Anglesey and North Wales) and by attending the event in Jersey, it will hopefully in future provide the aspiration and motivation for younger riders from the smaller islands to take up cycling competitively.
The team have been busy raising funds, with team member doing a 24 hour sponsored ploughing (yes, you read that right, and it wasn’t the ladies doing it either) but any help that you can give them would be much appreciated.
If you can support the team, please pledge funds via their Go Fund Me page, which you can access by clicking here or if you can assist them with kit, van hire or anything else you can also contact the team via the page.
Expanded into a two day race. The Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir returned for the second year. Sponsored by Northumbrian Water once more, the first race got underway around a small Kermesse Style circuit clockwise across the Derwent Reservoir dam wall. (Not as the map shows)
With 106 entries on the start sheet, the rolling start got underway in sunny, dry conditions. Top names including; defending Alexandra ToR Champion Nicola Juniper – Team Giordana Triton, National Pursuit Champions; Joanna Rowsell & Katie Archibald – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l & Dani King – Wiggle Honda; returning to racing for the first time since her training accident last year headlined the quality field.
A strong squad from Matrix Fitness, Team WNT & IKON Mazda added to the mix, and provided a top class start to this years British Cycling Women’s Road Series, the first of eight rounds.
Gaining 20 secs from a group of fifty or so riders in the first lap of thirteen, Dani King & Katie Archibald set a blistering pace, that proved too hard to bridge throughout the remaining circuits. Juniper, who’d had the legs to go with them punctured early on, and a slow wheel change from Neutral Service saw her drop by 1:45s on the second main bunch on the road.
With a strong North-Westerly wind blowing, Juniper fought her way back eventually to the shelter of the second chasing group of around 30 by now, and around three and a half mins down, with the first smaller group being two mins behind the leaders.
A crash in the earlier stages had splintered the bigger group and by the concluding lap, Dani & Katie were lapping the field.
Katie lead the final three hundred meters, but Dani had the energy, (and the voice) to come round her, for the sprint, and claim the stage one victory. Leading the chase group over the line for third was Charline Joiner – Team WNT.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc
1 Danielle King (Wiggle Honda)1-01-24
2 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) same time
3 Charline Joiner (Team WNT) at 1-20
4 Corrine Hall (Ikon Mazda)
5 Amy Hill (Team Rytgear)
6 Natalie Grinczer (Fusion RT) all st
Interview – Nicola Juniper @JuniperNikki
I caught up with 2014 Women’s Road Series Champion Nicola Juniper after the finish of Stage One. “I’m back mentoring a very young team”. Team Giordana – Triton are a new British women’s racing team formed at the start of 2015. The core of the team are riders from the old RST/ NFTO. They were five of the more senior members present, for this two day race. Nikki, Annasley Park, Lauren O’Brian, Keira McVitty & Sarah Bryne.
I asked her about her plans for this year, & about the first days race that had not long finished. “It’s very frustrating isn’t it”, “I went all last season without a puncture, and over the cattle grid (lap one), the front wheel went down”. After riding up to the finish line on the rim, she waited about 2 mins for Neutral Service, who swiftly changed her wheel. Nikki had already noticed the girls had really splintered. “I chased back on for around seven laps”. Over the loud speakers, she could hear that a big group (second bunch of chasers) were around 40s ahead of her.
Her thoughts then were to just dig-in and catch that group. Recover, and try damage limitation in readiness for tomorrows race two. As she joined the group, she realised there were girls already away, and with only three laps remaining, just sit in, and see if there was anything left in her legs to sprint.
Nikki laughed about the bunch sprint finish. Blaming her age and failing eyesight, miss-jugging the distance to the finish line. She saw the finish line approach she said. “It was a bit further than I realised”, “I’ll just go for it”, she thought. “I went a bit early” “And fair play to Charlotte Broughton (Corley Cycles – Drops RT), she went round me”.
In the end, Nikki was happy getting second in the bunch sprint, after seven laps of hard chasing. Nikki finish 16th, over 3 and a half mins down on stage one.
I asked her about the rest of the series. As last year, she’s was going to take it race by race.
“I’ve already said that I won’t be coming into this season to defend the title. I’m going to try and ride consistently, but the depth of the women’s field has grown. There are fifty faces here I haven’t seen, and loads of juniors coming through. So this year, I’m just going to enjoy it (racing, that is). Try a few things, and mentor, and help the girls along the way. I’ll just see what happens!”
Stage two started off in deteriorating conditions, with the promise of wintery showers and increasing winds. Rolling through the start-line and up-to the feed zone, the peloton had already shed around a third of the girls. Continuing around the Reservoir Circuit the field began to split further after the Prime Hill climb, and down the rear part of the course past the Yacht Club.
Joanna Rowsell – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l made the first break, with 2014 champion Nicola Juniper ten seconds behind. The Yellow Jersey group were at thirty seconds, and the next group a further minute behind. The sleety rain began to fall, along with the temperature.
Rowsell was joined by Juniper and together gained a lead of 1:58. The Yellow Jersey group of around twenty girls included Archibald who was sitting in second place overnight. A crash midway through the race, saw Archibald chances of a podium disappear.
Ciara Horne had a go at bridging the gap, but returned back into the group. Race leader, Dani King’s only support for the weekend was Anna Christian who rode alongside her though-out the stage. The gap grew to three mins and on the final lap, the main chasers split as they made a bid for glory.
Finishing up the final climb, Joanna Rowsell dropped Nicola Juniper, and there was a wait to see if King could retain her advantage. It was King, Horne then Bex Rimmington (Ikon Mazda) sprinting to the line next, with King’s team mate Christian next. Dani King had done enough to retain the lead overall, and Horne’s final drive that earned her a podium place too.
Juniper’s hard effort over both days earned her a third place.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc
1 Joanna Rowsell (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 2-30-25
2 Nicola Juniper at 20sec
3 Danielle King at 2-22
4 Ciara Horne same time
5 Bex Rimmington (Ikon Mazda) at 2-25
6 Anna Christian at 3-22
1 Danielle King (Wiggle Honda) 3-34-11
2 Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) at 1-20
3 Nicola Juniper (Giordana Triton) at 2-06
4 Anna Christian (Wiggle Honda) at 2-20
5 Corrine Hall (Ikon Mazda) at 3-13
6 Charline Joiner (Team WNT) at 3-20
7 Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) same time
8 Rebecca Rimmington (Ikon Mazda)
9 Gabby Shaw (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l)
10 Ruth Summerford ([email protected] House)
Women’s Road Series Standings
Danielle King Wiggle Honda 58
Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 44
Anna Christian Wiggle Honda 43
Corrine Hall IKON – Mazda 42
Nicola Juniper Team Giordana – Triton 40
Charline Joiner Team WNT 39
Bex Rimmington IKON – Mazda 27
Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 23
Elinor Barker Matrix Fitness 23
Ruth Summerford [email protected] House 19
Gabriella Leveridge Velosure Starley Primal 15
Joanna Rowsell Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 15
Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 14
Lydia Boylan Team WNT 13
Jennifer Hudson Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 11
Amy Hill Team Rytgear 11
Natalie Grinzcer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 10
Laura Greenhalgh Les Filles Racing Team 10
Emma Grant IKON – Mazda 9
Maryka Sennema Paceline RT 8
Amy Gornall Asprire Bicycles/HSS Hire 7
Tamina Oliver Wv Zeeuws-Vlaanderen – J F L F 7
Julie Erskine IKON – Mazda 5
Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 3
Bethany Hayward Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3
Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 2
Henrietta Colborne Bonito Squadra Corse 2
Ellie CampbellFusion Development Racing Team 1
Charlotte Broughton Corley Cycles – Drops RT 1
The next race in the series is the Cheshire Classic, Sunday 26th April. With a field of eighty quality riders. The twelve lap circuit covers 92 kilometres with a climb up-to the finish line at Acton Bridge.
Women’s Road Series Calendar 2015
April 11-12 Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir
April 26 Cheshire Classic
May 31 Hillingdon Women’s Grand Prix
June 21 Curlew Cup
July 01 Otley GP
July 04 Stafford Kermesse
July 11-12Essex Giro 2 Day
July 19Ryedale GP
British Cycling Official Results
Once you have got a few circuit races under your belt, you might like to have a go at road racing, after all, it’s what many people believe that cycling is all about! However, there a few differences between road racing and circuit racing, so I thought it would be useful to explain them here.
The Open Road
Yes, that’s right, the majority of road racing in this country, whether you are male or female, is on the open road. That means that you are on the public highway and therefore have to abide by the rules of the road – for those of you who aren’t sure what I mean by this (and I have raced with a few (men and women) who don’t appear to be aware of this), it means that you stay on the left hand side of the road, because in the UK we drive on the left. With the races being on the open road, this means that you have to be aware of other road users, including cars and lorries that come in the opposite direction. If somebody goes on to the wrong side of the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle it can have horrific consequences, so you MUST be aware AT ALL TIMES that you have a duty to yourself and your fellow competitors to ride sensibly. Have a look at my Dance Space article about giving yourself room.
(c) Martin Holden Photography
Races are longer
This seems like I am stating the obvious but I will do anyway. The races are longer (generally between 30 and 60 miles for both men and women) which means that the pace tends to be a bit more consistent than in a circuit race, helped by the fact that you probably won’t be sprinting out of a corner every 10 seconds like you sometimes end up doing in a circuit race. Field sizes are generally larger as road races are more expensive to run and therefore need to have bigger fields, but that helps with the race distance as you get more shelter (in theory at least). As the races are longer, you also need to have more stamina and endurance than you would in a circuit race, and need to ensure that you carry food with you for eating during the race (see my Practice! Practice! Practice! article for advice in this respect). This can also mean that those riders who are great in circuit races may not be as good at longer road races and vice versa, so if you don’t think that the flat circuit races are for you, why not have a go at road racing?!
(c) Martin Holden Photography
There’s different terrain
One of the limiting factors of circuit races is that they tend to be pan flat (there are exceptions, especially where town centre circuit races are concerned) and usually finish in a bunch sprint, so it can become a bit demoralising if you aren’t keen on being a sprinter. However, road race circuits come in all manner of shapes and sizes, from shorter “kermesse” style races to longer circuits with a couple of climbs and descents in them. Don’t expect to be great at everything, but certainly try and have a go at different circuits to see what suits you best.
Start at the right level
The good news is that road races can be a lot easier for novices than circuit races, especially those road races that are aimed at 2/3/4 category women, due to the length of the race and there being less corners. The average speed for regional level races tends to be anywhere between 22 mph and 24 mph depending on the weather and the circuit and more often than not the pace eases up significantly, allowing you to have a bit of a breather.
Staying with the bunch is the key to success
This sounds really easy but it can be a bit of a nightmare when you are new to racing. Many people will happily let the other riders go up the road if the pace goes up a bit, never to see the bunch again, but the road race that you entered then becomes a time trial, and you don’t get the same enjoyment for spending 35 miles of a 40 mile race off the back of the bunch. Trust me, it may seem like really hard work at times when you are riding at a pace which you don’t feel comfortable with, however nine times out of ten the pace will ease off slightly and you get an opportunity to recover before the pace increases again. Road racing is supposed to be hard and difficult, where your legs and lungs are burning as you try to keep up with people who are slightly fitter and faster than you, but the feeling at the end is worth it!
Be true to yourself
By this, I mean “don’t let other riders bully you in to doing something that you don’t want to do”. There will be many occasions in races where more experienced riders will shout at you to do some work. You don’t have to do what they tell you to – it’s your entry fee and your race – but sometimes they might be saying it for good reason. Keep your common sense in tow and do what you think is right – if you’re about to blow up, don’t feel as if you have to do a turn on the front, sit in the wheels, get your breath back and you might be somewhere when it comes to the finish.
Road racing is fun, but it is hard work and is supposed to hurt your legs, so don’t give up as soon as they start hurting – battle through that pain for a couple of minutes at least (unless it is pain in relation to an injury when you should stop immediately) and you never know, you might surprise yourself!
(c) Martin Holden Photography
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
Once every year during the road cycling season trade team contracts are tossed aside (in most cases) to be replaced by national loyalties. This presents opportunities for some, barriers for others. The stripey jumper which awaits the winner of this world’s road race championships will make or break a riders season, or maybe even their career. No other one day race can hold this title.
The course has been muted as the most open in years and really no one can predict how the race could finish. With no beginning ‘neutral zone’ and the race immediately starting on the 18.2km circuit it will undoubtedly be a hard race, a war of attrition. The first climb is relatively easy, and effort where team support can be crucial, the second is much tougher with sections at around 10%. The descent after, could also be vital, as a solo attack over the top of the climb could be successful as there is only short run into the finish after the descent as finished. So a solo victor as occurred in today’s men’s U23 race or a sprint from a small group? Who knows let’s have a look at the main contenders.
- Simon Gerrans – the bookies favourite but as the race is so wide open does he really deserve the tag? Should he hold his form that brought him a Canadian double then certainly he should be there or there abouts. The Australian team is very strong but Gerrans is a rider who goes well under the radar and perhaps that could be his downfall.
- Fabian Cancellara – Skipping the time trial, Cancellara has pushed all his chips onto the table for this race. He hasn’t raced a road race since 3rd on stage 17 of the Vuelta. He has the sprint from a small group and the strength to drop a larger one. Certainly a big chance!
- Alejandro Valverde – Best placed of the home contenders could Valverde finally add the rainbow jersey to his palmares. Two things work against him. The course probably isn’t hard enough for him and secondly can the Spanish finally ride as team after last years debacle.
- Peter Sagan – The Sagan conundrum! Where to start? It really hasn’t been his year and he looked woefully undercooked at the Vuelta. Pretty much any course can suit him but does he have the tactical nouse to suceed? For sure he will have to do this alone as Slovakia will be overrun by the large nations.
- Greg Van Avermaet – The Belgian has flown down the betting odds in recent days after two wins in his last two races. He nearly succeeded in Flanders this year and he seems to be shedding his eternal second tag.
The Worlds is so wide open and there can always be a left field winner. Here are few other names to throw in the mix. John Degenkolb was a favourite until he was lain low by a leg infection after a crash in the Vuelta. If the race ends up in a small sprint there is no reason why he should not prevail. Same for Alex Kristoff, Ben Swift and Sonny Colbrelli. Both were podiums at Milan San-Remo whose course the Ponferrada circuit has most been likened too. Tony Gallopin has probably lost his surprise after a successful Tour de France and the course has been muted as a step too far for Nacer Bouhanni. Dan Martin is a good one day racer and is coming off the back of some solid Vuelta form whilst Tom Jelte Slagter leads a versatile Dutch team and how about Alex Howes?
For whats it’s worth here is my 1-2-3.
1. Alexander Kristoff
2. Greg Van Avermaet
3. Fabian Cancellara.
Whose your winner. Get in contact on Twitter at @CyclingShortsUK or @BywaterLawrence