Ann Walsham Interview at Tickhill GP

 

 

Ann Walsham of Women’s Cycling Sheffield – 3rd in the women’s 3/4 Cat race at Tickhill GP talks to CyclingShorts.cc.

 

Giant Sheffield Women’s Cat 3/4 Podium

1. Fiona Hunter Johnston
2. Kirsty Boak – Marton Race Team
3. Ann Walsham – Womens Cycling Sheffield Race Team

Tickhill GP – PH-MAS Interview

 

The PH-MAS ladies talk to CyclingShorts.cc about their Tickhill GP experience. LtoR: Leah Pheasey, Natalie Hodson, Jenny Eastham (Airedale Olympic CC) & Jess Taylor talking to CyclingShorts.cc writer Heather bamforth.

#partyontheroad

 

Tickhill GP – Ellie Dickinson Interview

 

 

Heather catches up with Under 16 Youth Champion; Ellie Dickinson of RST Racing Team after her win at the Tickhill Grand Prix 2014.

No riders were harmed by out of control Cycling Shorts Flags in the filming of this interview.

 

Tickhill GP – Hill House School Under 16 Girls Podium

1. Eleanor Dickinson   –   RST Racing Team
2. Samantha Verrill   –   Marton Racing Team
3. Sophie Enever   –   Tyneside Vagabonds Cycling Club

 

 

 

 

Tickhill GP Giant Sheffield Women’s Cat 3/4 Race Gallery

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

If you wish to order prints or high resolution files of these images please contact us for the price list.

GIANT SHEFFIELD WOMENS CAT 3/4
1. Fiona Hunter Johnston
2. Kirsty Boak   –   Marton Race Team
3. Ann Walsham   –   Womens Cycling Sheffield Race Team
4. Charlotte Parnham   –   Womens Cycling Sheffield Race Team
5. Samantha Verrill   –   Marton Race Team
6. Jenny Eastham   –   Airedale Olympic Cycling Club
7. Natasha Morrison   –   MG Decor
8. Sophie Enever   –   Tyneside Vagabonds Cycling Club
9. Lindsay Atkinson-Wright   –   Albarosa Cycling Club
10. Elisa McDonagh   –   Team WNT

2015 Epic Cycles Women’s Race Team

In a big step for Women’s Cycling, Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team announced yesterday their plans to help move the sport and their team forward. Here’s what’s in store for 2015:

Over the past three seasons Epic Cycles and Scott Sports have been the two main sponsors for the successful Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team. Going into 2015 we will see one or two changes in sponsorship, but with the same team management and owners. A new team name will also be announced soon.

One feature of the team over the past three years has been its evolving terms of reference – in years one and two the emphasis was very much on the development of junior riders, while in year three the focus has been on bringing together a balanced and talented group of senior riders with the aim of riding together as a cohesive team, rather than as a collection of individuals.

This evolution will continue in year four, with renewed focus on rider development and a primary aim to act as a path into the professional ranks and/or competing in UCI races for those with ambitions to do so.

To support this aim we are working closely with the newly announced Matrix-Vulpine UCI Team. Our joint expectation is that a number of our riders will have the opportunity through this relationship to ride with the Matrix team as stagiaires in UCI races during the 2015 season, offering them the chance both to race in the pro peloton and to demonstrate what they could offer to a UCI pro team.

We also aim to build on our successes in the area of team work, and will be targeting key events in the UK domestic road racing scene, with a view to building on our list of 2014 victories and podium places.

The team will, as in 2014, be managed in a professional manner and we hope to further contribute to raising the standard of women’s race team management in the UK.

Key Aims

  • To provide team environment and structure in which riders can develop and progress, either to riding at a higher level within the UK scene or to a career as a professional cyclist.
  • To build on the number of podium places achieved in key UK races during 2014.
  • To provide opportunities to take part in UCI races and gain exposure within the pro peloton.
  • To raise the profile of our riders, team, and sponsors.

The Team

While we anticipate that some of this year’s line-up will be moving on to new teams, we are hoping to retain a number of our existing riders for 2015.

In signing new riders we are aiming, as in 2014, to assemble a strong and ambitious team who have complementary strengths and skills, so that we are able to enter races with different leaders and tactics according to the nature and timing of each race.

As in previous years, the team will not been built around a single star rider or to specialise in a particular type of race. Instead, we will aim to perform consistently well in all types of road racing, throughout the entire season.

Our planned team size of around 10 riders should provide sufficient cover for key events, while maximising the opportunity for individual riders to participate in a full programme of races without too many occasions where we have more riders than places available.

Our preference is for the team to be made up of a mix of over and under 23 seniors, but we do not have a rigid age or experience profile in mind. It is anticipated that most/all will be in some form of employment or education – full time availability to race is not a requirement.

A track record of participation and progression in road racing is essential. Previous race success (in terms of podium spots) is secondary to a positive attitude and a commitment to team work.

Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team

Hayley Davies

Hayley Davies

Writer

Riding since Feb 2011 Hayley is a 30 year old female who loves adventures. If she’s not on one of her many bikes or in the water on a bodyboard/surfboard, then Hayley is probably out looking for something new to keep the adrenaline pumping!
Website: www.hjdonline.co.uk

Women’s Cycling – Opportunity Knocks

Ryedale Women's Grand Prix 2014 inc BC Junior Nat WRR Championsh

Image ©chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

I read something recently about how women’s cycling is in excellent health in the UK and I have to say that I was very surprised by that statement. Yes, there has been an increase in the number of races available, but there have also been a few races which have been cancelled due to low rider numbers and other races practically begging riders to support events (I am guilty of the latter), so you may be able to see why I am surprised.

At the beginning of this year, I was one of three coaches who saw nearly 100 female riders attend novice race training sessions in the North West and North Wales. My aim was to inspire at least 20% of those attending to try road racing, which kind of worked with the first event that I am involved in having 74 entries in advance, nearly doubling the number of entries for the same event the year earlier.

However, as the season progressed, there came the inevitable drop off in numbers, and now I have two events in August which have just 17 and 15 riders entered in advance at present.  These are the CDNW events at Oakenclough on 10 August and Great Budworth on 23 August.  These are events which are restricted to second, third and fourth category riders, there is an overall league and a league for those who started this year as fourth category riders (currently unique in the UK, I believe, and something that I devised to try and encourage women to have a go at road racing without having to worry about more experienced riders in the race).

Back in May this year, prompted by another article about women’s cycling, I wrote about the sport from a grassroots’ perspective where I urged female riders to enter in advance to show the organiser that his/her race was being supported to prevent them being cancelled, especially where road racing was concerned due to the cost of putting an event on.  Unfortunately, there now seems to be a few issues which are making cancellations more prevalent:

  1. There are more races being held which leads to a dilution in rider numbers;
  2. Women don’t seem to support road races, for a variety of reasons, possibly because they are more expensive, harder to win licence points and tend to lead to riders having to take a leap of faith to try something different;
  3. There is still a massive issue with rider retention – of the 70 women who registered for the CDNW league last year, only around 40 of them have registered this season, with even less actively taking part;
  4. Racing is expensive, especially when you find yourself in a crash;
  5. Cycling is actually a hard sport, which leads to many riders becoming disillusioned early on and then giving up practically straight away because “it isn’t for them”.
JadanPressWomensCircuitRace14_2083A

Image ©chrismaher.co.uk / Cycling Shorts.cc

I have to say that organisers don’t help sometimes. There seems to be a misconception that there are similar numbers of men and women racing, which is totally untrue. Mid-week races are especially difficult for women as there are probably less than 100 women who race regularly in the UK and have the time, money and inclination to travel to all of the races, but as the majority of these have to take time off work to attend, there are only so many days’ holiday you can afford to take to use to attend a bike race. Many organisers then complain that their races aren’t being supported by the riders, and those who do support events then get irritated because it is the same people attending the events, and the riders then feel like they are being treated unfairly just because they don’t have the time or money available to attend.

Prize money can sometimes hinder race entry numbers too, unfortunately. If there is a significant cash prize for the winner, the race tends to attract the better riders (who may not have as many commitments as other riders), so those riders who end up making the numbers up never get a look in for prize money and are less likely to enter just so someone who is practically a full time rider can win the race. Which makes sense to me – I have a career (outside of cycling) and I often don’t have time to do any training during the week, so I don’t need to pay £20 to enter a race to be dropped on the start line because I am still recovering from working, when others in the race are as fresh as a daisy. That may seem like a negative comment to make, but it’s a reality that many female riders face, I’m afraid.

Having said that, Tickhill Grand Prix on 24 August is leading the way by having an elite women’s race (E/1/2/3) and a women’s support race (3/4 categories only), both of which have sponsorship from Giant Sheffield, so if there are any readers out there who want to have a go at town centre racing but want to do it without racing against the top domestic riders, why not enter the support race, which you can do by clicking here.

I always try to be positive and look for solutions to resolve issues rather than just complaining about the problem and doing nothing about it. British Cycling is now looking at women’s cycling in an attempt to resolve the position, but even I am struggling at the moment to see how the sport can move forward. Only with more opportunities can the sport of women’s cycling in the UK hope to develop properly, but there does seem to be a fair few people who don’t want the sport to progress. There are good points to social media, but just because you get 40 re-tweets to a link to a website doesn’t mean that you will get any more entries.  Neither does complaining about riders not entering an event – they’re even less likely to support an event if they feel that they are being coerced into riding.

DoncasterCycleFestival2014_1071B

Image ©chrismaher.co.uk / Cyclingshorts.cc

Women’s cycling is still years away from achieving equality with the men’s sport; how can it when the numbers participating are nowhere near to the number of men racing? Sport should be aspirational, a means for people to achieve outside of their everyday lives, but women’s cycling is anything but that at the moment. Most domestic races are run by local clubs who have to have an event break even as they don’t have reserves to fall back on, so it usually means that in order for a race to go ahead, there will be a minimum number of riders required to meet the costs of running it. Unfortunately, road racing has additional costs to circuit races, especially if you have accredited marshals, which means that you tend to need at least 20 entrants in order for an event to go ahead, and that’s without prize money. If a race is lucky enough to have a sponsor, then the organiser will want to protect the sponsor’s investment by ensuring that there is a decent field – it doesn’t look good if somebody has put up £1000 in prize money and then 10 people turn up, so if you find yourself being annoyed that an organiser of a sponsored event is complaining about the lack of entries, think twice before making a comment.

I guess in conclusion there are a few things that everybody needs to bear in mind about women’s cycling – there is a long way to go before it can be described as being in excellent condition, it needs rider support to develop and, I am afraid ladies, that if you want businesses to sponsor an event that you are riding in, then you need to enter in advance to support the organiser’s attempts to offer as near to equal opportunity as he/she can provide.