Since their incorporation as a charity last year, The Racing Chance Foundation has been providing cycle training and racing opportunities for women in the UK, and have provided coached sessions for over 200 women since January 2014.
Limited funding has meant that the majority of racing opportunities so far that the Foundation has been able to provide have been restricted to the UK scene, however, since receiving a generous donation from the Fred Whitton Challenge, the Foundation has been able to secure places in two international stage races, the first of which is this weekend: The Ladies Tour of Norway.
The Foundation are pleased to announce that their first team to travel abroad will consist of the following riders:
You can find out more about the Tour of Norway here.
The Foundation would like to the Fred Whitton Challenge, Onimpex Bioracer, CyclingShorts and Chapeau! Chapeau! for their continued support.
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.
RCF 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 a world first for cycling, the Tour de Yorkshire will include a podium jersey which is voted for by fans via Twitter.
Sponsored by Dimension Data, the ‘digital’ jersey will be presented to the rider who has distinguished himself as the most aggressive, the rider who has made the greatest effort, and who has demonstrated the best qualities in terms of sportsmanship at each of the three-stages of the event which covers 515 kilometres, and takes place from May 1-3.
No other cycling race has an official jersey that is voted for by the public and the decision to introduce one for the Tour de Yorkshire illustrates the growing interest in cycling in the UK.
Christian Prudhomme of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), and director of the Tour de France, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire is the perfect race to launch a digital jersey – especially coming so soon after the enormous success of the 2014 Tour De France Yorkshire Grand Départ. We know that the people of Yorkshire and the UK will vote in large numbers for the most aggressive rider – especially for the British cyclists who are riding on home soil – who will push hard, be active in breakaways, and be recognised by the public.”
Jeremy Ord, Dimension Data’s Executive Chairman said: “We’re very excited to sponsor cycling’s first ever digital jersey. As the official technology partner for ASO, our goal in year one is to revolutionise the viewing experience of cycling fans across the world. The introduction of the digital jersey is another step in enabling ASO to deliver on its vision to transform the sport of cycling in the fast-evolving digitally driven world. Now, for the first time ever, cycling fans will be able to vote on the most aggressive rider.”
Fans can vote for the riders selected by the Tour de Yorkshire race director via @letouryorkshire. Twitter voting cards will be available on both the web and mobile app. All the fan needs to do is tap on the vote button. When the voter selects a rider, the card reloads and indicates which rider is leading the vote. Twitter card voting is open for half an hour which is 40 minutes before the end of each stage, and closing ten minutes before the end of each stage.
In addition to the Dimension Data’s digital jersey, the other three jerseys unveiled last week are: Sprinters sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, King of the Mountains sponsored by P&O Ferries; and the overall Welcome to Yorkshire Leader’s jersey.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’re breaking new ground getting people involved in voting for the most aggressive rider. Race weekend will be like no other the UK has seen. Combined with the other new, very impressive podium jerseys, we’re very excited to see who will be the first riders to wear them.”
All jerseys have been designed and manufactured by Milltag, the company with Yorkshire roots, which has used the Yorkshire ‘Y’ logo across each jersey.
Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
Cheshire Classic 2015
Star-studded line-up for the Cheshire Classic on Sunday 26th April
Olympic gold medallists Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness Vulpine), Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness Vulpine), Joanna Rowsell (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) join multi-paralympic gold medalist Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) and 2014’s winner, and current World & European gold medalist, Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) for a star-studded line up for the 2015 edition of the Cheshire Classic.
The Cheshire Classic, the longest running event on the British Cycling National Series calendar and organised by Weaver Valley Cycling Club, takes place on Sunday 26th April in Northwich, Cheshire. Racing starting at 9.30am. Previous winners read as a “who is who” of Women’s cycling with riders including Lizzie Armitstead, Sarah Storey, Nicole Cooke, Lucy Garner and Mandy Jones.
Riders will be competing for an increased prize fund of £3000 which includes the Delamere Dairy Sprint, Advanced Medical Solutions Team Prize and Your Sports Therapist Most Aggressive Rider competitions. Race sponsors also include housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, Wates Construction and LG Joinery who are all working on new development projects in Northwich. Delamere Dairy will also be handing out free samples on the day.
Race organiser Andy Wood commented “It is an amazing line-up however I’m most proud of the prize fund we have available. 3 years ago the total prize fund was £500; thanks to our amazing sponsors we have been able to destroy that. I’m delighted that once again the race has set the benchmark in raising standards for Women’s cycling”.
Follow @cheshireclassic on Twitter for race updates and visit www.cheshireclassic.co.uk to learn more.
One of the world’s most famous trophy makers has created the Tour de Yorkshire trophy which will be presented to the race’s overall winner.
The new trophy has been crafted in the shape of the famous letter Y for Yorkshire, and will be presented to the winner of the first ever Tour de Yorkshire which takes place on May 1 to 3.
The race’s bespoke trophy has been designed and crafted by the Yorkshire company Thomas Fattorini Ltd.
Thomas Fattorini Ltd was originally founded in Yorkshire in 1827 by Antonio Fattorini, a European immigrant who settled in the county where he then established a number of retail outlets.
One part of the company, known then as Fattorini & Sons of Bradford, made the FA Cup trophy which Bradford City won that very first year in 1911. The company also made the Rugby League Challenge Cup.
The trophy was unveiled at Brudenell Primary School in Leeds, the city where Fattorini first began and children got a sneak peak of the trophy.
Tom Fattorini, Director of Sales and Marketing at Thomas Fattorini Ltd, said: “We do business internationally, supplying trophies to the likes of FIFA, and when we were invited to support the production of the Tour de Yorkshire trophy and medals we felt it was a perfect fit given our Yorkshire history. We look forward to the winner proudly showing off the new trophy to the world on May 3.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The company’s history and Yorkshire roots make them the perfect partner for providing the inaugural race trophy and medals. We were thrilled when we saw the design and even more excited when we saw the trophy for the first time. The excitement is really building now right across the county as we move towards race weekend, when Yorkshire will once again go global.”
The race will be broadcast on ITV, Eurosport and to over 100 countries around the world with viewers seeing the race winner lift the new trophy.
The trophy will now embark on a mini-tour around the county during the next few weeks before returning for the race on May 1 – 3, with the first ever winner of the Tour de Yorkshire being presented with the trophy on Sunday May 3 in Roundhay Park in Leeds.
INTRODUCTION OF ‘THE SUFFER PRIZE’ TELLS STORIES
OF EPIC SUFFERING IN EACH ROUND OF WORLD CUP
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce that The Sufferfest will be the Official Sponsor of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup in 2015.
A leading producer of indoor training videos, The Sufferfest has been a sponsor of the UCI since 2010 and of the UCI Women Road World Cup since 2014. It produces highly effective and engaging training videos using footage of professional races, including UCI events.
This year, the UCI and The Sufferfest will step up their collaboration by introducing a unique, new award for the UCI Women’s Road World Cup. At the end of each round of the World Cup, The Suffer Prize presented by The Sufferfest will be awarded to the rider who demonstrated particular determination, courage and suffering to help a teammate, to animate the race or simply to get to the finish line against the odds.
The judging panel will be made up of the TV production team, the Chief Commissaire, the Race Director and the UCI. The concept was extremely well received by riders and team representatives at the UCI Women’s Teams seminar in early March.
“This award is not necessarily about winning the race, but about the Sufferlandrian values of pushing yourself beyond what you thought yourself capable of,” explained The Sufferfest’s Chief Suffering Officer, David McQuillen. He added: “Women’s professional racing is incredibly difficult and tells inspiring stories of effort, sacrifice and resilience. We want to share these stories and The Suffer Prize presented by The Sufferfest is our way of showing how outstanding these athletes are.”
At the end of the season, The Sufferlandrian community will have the chance to vote for the Epic Moment of Suffering experienced by one of the winners of the Suffer Prize. The final winner will receive a $1,000 USD cash prize.
UCI President Brian Cookson commented: “The UCI Women’s Road World Cup is a magnificent showcase for women’s cycling, and I am delighted that The Sufferfest will again be supporting the series in 2015 with this incredibly unique prize. This is a demonstration of their esteem for this exciting and increasingly popular discipline.”
UCI Vice-President, Tracey Gaudry also welcomed the news: “As a former professional cyclist I have witnessed many inspiring demonstrations of courage and gritty determination within the professional women’s peloton. I am delighted that, together with The Sufferfest, we will be able to highlight some of these amazing stories.”
Winners of The Suffer Prize presented by The Sufferfest will be communicated via social media (@UCIWomenCycling & @TheSufferfest). In addition, news and highlights of the races – including an interview with The Suffer Prize presented by The Sufferfest winner – will also be available on the UCI YouTube channel (www.tv.uci.ch) throughout the season.
As the UCI Official Sponsor of the 2015 Women Road World Cup, the Sufferfest will enjoy visibility throughout the season, having kicked off with the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe in Holland. The winner of The Suffer Prize on that occasion was Orica-AIS rider Lizzie Williams (pictured above), who crashed twice, chased back to the pack twice and then broke her rear derailleur and had to give up, having no further spare bike.
This initiative complements other activities resulting from the collaboration between the UCI and The Sufferfest. For example, registrations are now being received for the first week-long training camp open to the public at the UCI headquarters in Switzerland in June.
More information is available on The Sufferfest website.
LIZZIE WILLIAMS OF ORICA-AIS
WINNER OF THE FIRST
SUFFER PRIZE PRESENTED BY THE SUFFERFEST
Williams crashed twice and had twomechanicals. She twice battled her way back from the caravan to the bunch before ultimately withdrawing because she was out of bikes to ride. Not only that, after she completed her interview for The Suffer Prize, she discovered that her team had left without her and shewas forced to find her own way home.”It was probably the worst day on the bike that I’ve ever had, but you have to take the good with the bad in this sport. I had a bad day and hopefully tomorrow will be sunshine and no crashes. You’ve got to get back. You can’t give up. If you’re going to give up, you might as well not be here. I’ve come all the way from Australia. I’m not going to give up just because I have a tumble. I got to the front and hit the cobbles tenth wheel, feeling really positive, and 500 metres later myderallieur broke off and snapped into my back wheel. That was the end of my day. I had no bikes left. I had two bikes and they were both broken.”
The Racing Chance Foundation
The growth in women’s cycling over the last few years has been phenomenal however there is still no clear structure in place for women who want to start competing and progress up the ranks. No-one can deny that there is now more television coverage of women’s cycling thanks to events such as the Johnson’s Health Tech Grand Prix Series and now The Women’s Tour, but there is no clear pathway for women who aspire to compete in such events.
Heather Bamforth talks through bike set up with riders.
The Racing Chance Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation so it has to remain transparent. It has been registered as a charity with the Charity Commission (charity number 1156835) and has four trustees – Heather Bamforth, Alan Gornall, Colin Batchelor and Carley Brierley. The charity’s intention is to provide a performance pathway for female cyclists in the UK who currently fall outside the existing track-based national programmes. As such, the focus for the Foundation (for the time being at least) will be based on the road. Membership of the Racing Chance Foundation costs just £5 per year and gives cyclists exclusive access to races, events, a club shop, and a wealth of cycling knowledge & information.
The Foundation is currently developing sessions for all levels, from novice to elite, to help those riders who wish to develop their competitive cycling careers, with the first sessions planned for January 2015. The aim is to provide assistance to riders by offering sessions that they can attend which will help develop their skills as competitive cyclists. In addition, rather than providing grants to specific riders, one of the Foundation’s ultimate ambitions is to invite riders (at both a development and elite level) to compete in races as the Racing Chance Foundation, both in the UK and abroad, which will be funded by the Foundation.
We will be releasing details shortly regarding criteria for our elite and development squads. What we can say in advance is that there won’t be a minimum number of licence points as a requirement.
The Foundation is affiliated to British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials and club membership is available to anybody (male or female) over the age of 16 (with parent/guardian permission if under the age of 18). We don’t believe in solely trying to attract female membership; indeed the first races that we are organising in 2015 are two men’s events on the tough Bole Hill circuit in the Peak District.
As charity, the Racing Chance Foundation relies on donations to keep it going. They already have kit designed by Bioracer which is available to order, with profits going into the charity and, once established, RCF hope to be able to sell branded items in their online shop. If you feel that you may be able to assist with the Foundation by supplying branded items, please email: [email protected]
The Trustees would like to thank Andrew Middleton of Towns Needham LLP for his invaluable assistance in registering the Foundation with the Charity Commission and Anna Magrath of Cycling Shorts for her assistance with the design and maintenace of the Foundation’s website and media management.
Further information can be found at the Foundation’s website (which is still partly in development): www.racingchancefoundation.com or by following them on Twitter and Facebook.
For press & media enquiries please contact: [email protected]