With a new title sponsor on board in the British Cycling women’s network, Breeze, an updated website (www.cheshireclassic.co.uk) and a Twitter campaign (@cheshireclassic), together with the race being pushed back to the second event in the National Women’s Road Race Series, it is all change in 2013.
Andy Wood, the event’s organiser on behalf of Weaver Valley Cycling Club, has forwarded the press release to me for sharing to our readers:
“Breeze supports new look 2013 Cheshire Classic
“After an incredible summer of women’s cycling, the Cheshire Classic Women’s Road Race launched its 2013 campaign by announcing that British Cycling’s Breeze network is to be an event partner.
“With cycling becoming more and more popular in the UK the Cheshire Classic wants to make the most of the opportunity to encourage more women to ride their bikes. Funded by the National Lottery via Sport England, Breeze is the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun.
“The Cheshire Classic takes place a week later than usual this year on Sunday 28th April in Northwich, and is organised by Weaver Valley Cycling Club. Last year’s edition was won by Paralympic superstar Sarah Storey with previous winners including Olympic Silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, Nicole Cooke and two time Junior World Champion Lucy Garner.
Network Manager at Breeze, Natalie Justice replied “our partnership with the Cheshire Classic was a no brainer; a reputable race with great heritage to inspire more women to get out on their bike, at whatever level. The race is a fantastic way to raise awareness on a National level”.
Organiser Andy Wood commented “the potential growth of Women’s cycling is huge. There is a lot to think about from which bike to get, to what clothing, to getting fit to join a club – it can all be quite intimidating. A major goal for me is to use the race to help people out, we’re bringing on board partners to help us provide advice and Breeze was the perfect fit”.
“The race also sees a brand new identity alongside a redeveloped website which includes a dedicated area with tips and advice from Sarah Storey, Lucy Garner & Hannah Walker. The area offers support to riders from grass roots to those wanting to start racing.
“We are hoping that 2013 will be the best yet, some of the most exciting racing at the Olympics was in the Women’s races and we want to build on the back of that. We are looking to add new features and more prize money to the race, every single penny raised is invested back into the race”.
As part of their new strategy you can follow the build up to the Cheshire Classic on Twitter (@cheshireclassic) and Facebook. Race entries are now open to riders.”
If you feel that racing is a step too far at the moment, you can find more about the Breeze network below:
British Cycling’s Breeze is the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Our aim is to help thousands more women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride. Breeze is part of British Cycling’s programme of free bike rides, information and support designed to help and inspire women of all ages and abilities to re-discover the fun of bike riding. It has never been easier to get back on a bike as the Breeze network offers some great information, advice and support on a wide range of topics including access to cycle hire, someone to ride with and safe routes in their local area.
To join a Breeze bike ride in your area, register at www.breezebikerides.com or contact the Breeze network at British Cycling on 0161 274 2117.
Phil and Anna Weaver of Epic Cycles opened their doors on a sunny Sunday morning to welcome the class of 2013.
Team Scott Contessa Epic formed in 2011 and with 8 junior riders on the squad for the 2012 Road Season and they managed to secure victory in the National Womens Team Series in their first year.
Today (25 November 2012) the team was announced with a 10 strong line up for the 2013 season retaining talented juniors from last year and introducing some exciting riders to add even further strength and depth to the team.
Now in only their 2nd year the team are already planning an assault on the major events for womens bike racing in the UK starting with a defence of the Team Series title.
The team has developed and become more commercially focused for the coming season and as such they have positioned a strong management team to support every aspect. One such position is Directeur Sportif and Scott Contessa Epic have aimed high in securing Alan Gornall, Commonwealth Gold medallist and well respected former professional cyclist.
On accepting the position Alan wasted no time in introducing himself to the team along with his clear and direct ambitions for them.
He went on to say “It is an honour to be involved with some of the best young female cyclists in the UK and having spent the day with the riders I am very excited about next season. My wife Sue and I have been involved with cycling at every level both in the UK and internationally and the future of our sport looks very promising. Scott Contessa Epic was very quickly recognised as the team to be involved in for Womens bike racing and has already played a part in producing a World Champion, European champions and providing 3/5ths of the GB Junior Worlds squad. That is some accolade for a team that is only one year old!”
Phil Weaver of Epic Cycles has tirelessly worked on behalf of the riders ensuring they have world class equipment, clothing and support.
“Both Scott UK and Epic Cycles are very proud to be part of the team and more importantly the development of its riders. 4 girls moved up to the next level of cycling and we are proud to have been part of their development as riders. With 3 girls now full time with the GB academy and 1 focusing on UCI events in Europe I feel we have every right to be proud and we will endeavour to do all we can in supporting the future of women’s cycle racing. I know that the 10 riders we have for the coming season perfectly match the team ethos, which, as we have proven, will ultimately lead to success” he commented.
New appointments to the team are;
Crystal Lane, Paralympic Cyclist and London 2012 Team GB member
Laura Wasley, TT specialist, IoM Commonwealth/Island Games hopeful
Alice Barnes, National MTB Junior Champion GB ODP rider
Kim English, 1st Year Junior former National Champion
Beth Hayward, 1st year Junior and GB OPD Track and Road rider
Amy Gornall, 1st year Junior, Road Race and Hill Climb specialist
Joined from last season by;
Emily Kay, Multi-National track champ, GB OPD and 2012 World RR rider
Rebecca Hunt, 2nd year Junior Track and Road all rounder
Anna Christian, 2nd year Junior Road and TT specialist
Zoe Armstrong, 2nd year Junior Road, Circuit Racing and Cyclo Cross
Scott Contessa Epic line up for 2013 L-R
Emily Kay, Anna Christian, Rececca Hunt, Zoe Armstrong, Laura Wasley, Crystal Lane, Beth Hayward, Amy Gornall, Kim English and Alice Barnes
So, with the number of Premier Calendar races at just 6 events in 2013, you would think that road racing has hit an all-time low. I am glad to say that in the North West we are actually working hard to show that is not the case, and I am pleased to be involved with the inaugural Cycling Development North West Women’s Road Race League next season. It is not unique in that it is the first women’s road race league to exist, not at all, but it is unique in that it gives women in the lower categories an opportunity to race at a competitive level over a reasonable distance.
“How is that different?” I hear you cry. Well, for a start, due to the various costs of organising a road race, and the relatively small numbers of women riders that compete, most road races are open to all categories of women, from Elite to fourth, and many are over a distance in excess of 50 miles. The remaining races that women can compete in are usually circuit races which can last anything from twenty minutes up to an hour, covering a distance of say approximately 20 miles. So, if you’re a fourth or third category rider looking to make a move into road racing for the first time, you could be totally unprepared for what is waiting for you when you get on the line at the road race.
Yes, there is a big difference between finishing a circuit race over 15 to 20 miles and being able to be competitive in a race over more than 50 miles when you’re not used to it. Unfortunately, some women have to travel hundreds of miles to get a ride in a road race, only to get shelled out of the back on the first lap because it is totally different racing on the open road than it is riding around a closed circuit. Worse still are the crashes that can occur because some riders can lose concentration because they are not used to riding in a bunch/riding over such a long distance (compared to your 40 minute circuit race), tiredness and fatigue sets in and you either get shouted at for nearly knocking somebody off or you just get really disheartened because you aren’t as good as you expected to be and you think, “why do I bother?” All the fun is taken out of the race and you forget why you are there in the first place.
The CDNW Women’s Road Race League is only open to second, third and fourth category riders, with the longest race being over 65km (40 miles). The courses being used are not hilly or too technical however they are well-suited for practising your race technique, and are races that will provide the stepping stone up to the longer road races, including the National Series Road Races. There are two main reasons for these races – they assist younger (Junior) riders who are making the move from Youth “A” circuit races on to the road for their first season as a Junior, and they are also to assist women who are new to the sport of competitive cycling (as opposed to sportives, etc).
Unfortunately, women’s cycling will not continue to develop unless there are these “stepping-stones” to help women riders build up their confidence to move on to the next level. I understand that there were over 15,000 women riders on the Breeze rides this year, many of whom may want to take the next step with their cycling “career” but don’t have the confidence or inclination to mix it up with the elite riders at this time. The CDNW women’s races aim to be all-encompassing, where encouragement is the theme of the day.
The road race league events will be held as follows:
#1) 3 March 2013 – Pimbo Industrial Estate – 50km
#2) 17 March 2013 – Nateby/Pilling, Lancashire – 65km
#3) 21 April 2013 – Great Budworth, Cheshire – 65km
#4) 7 July 2013 – Pimbo Industrial Estate – 65km
#5) 1 September 2013 -Nateby/Pilling, Lancashire – 50km
In order to ride the events, it will cost £5 to enter the league itself, with each event being £20 in advance. I have had a number of people telling me that the price is high, however these races are on open roads, with National Escort Group motorbike marshals. The cost of first aid has risen by 100% for next season, and the men’s events will also be the same amount (as opposed to £17.50 plus online entry processing fee this season). I would prefer for people to concentrate on the fact that these are five new races, which are aiming to attract people to competitive road racing, as unfortunately, if the grass roots level doesn’t develop, there won’t be a sport in a few years’ time.
We are still looking for a series sponsor who could help with prizes (for example, most improved rider, best 4th category rider, best 3rd category rider, etc), so if you think you could help with promoting the development of grass roots women’s racing, please get in touch.
DHL Future Stars Leading Team – Team howies – LtoR: Emily Haycox, Tristan Robbins, Ellie Coster & Joseph Wiltshire.
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Ellie Coster at Cycling Shorts
Cycling Shorts Revolution 37 Report
Cycling Shorts Revolution Series website
Matt Holmes ©Phil Jones (bluetrainatlondon) 20/12/2009
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Short interview with Matt Holmes, team Raleigh, about his experience at the Revolution event at Manchester Velodrome of the 27th Oct. Matt also talks about how he got into racing and the support he recieved from his parents and Team Wallis. He also chats about the loss of his friend Lewis Balyckyi.
Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund
Cycling Shorts Revolution 37 Report
Cycling Shorts Revolution Series website
Follow Ned on Twitter @nedboulting
Richard Towse – Buxton CC
A Few Minutes with… Richard Towse of Buxton CC
I have been looking at the “Wiggo Effect” in the North West of England, as I wanted to see whether Bradley Wiggins’ success in the Olympics and Tour de France has had an effect on the general public. I decided that one of the best ways to do this would be to speak to a cross section of cycling clubs/teams to ask their opinion, and whilst I was at it, to ask them for some information about their club.
The first one up is Buxton CC, and Richard Towse, organiser of the Buxton Mountain Time Trial for the club, has kindly answered a few questions for me. So without further ado, here goes…
1. How big is the membership of Buxton CC? Have you seen this grow since the Tour de France/Olympics? Are you seeing an increase in membership in general or are there more increases in particular areas (e.g. women’s riding, time trialling, etc)
Buxton Cycling Club has around 70 members with an age range of between 7/8 years old up to 70 plus. We haven’t seen a rise in membership since the tour or Olympics but we have noticed that more people are cycling in the local area. We expect an increase in membership in 2013 and attendance of our weekly time trials.
2. What type of rider do you cater for?
We mainly cater for the road rider (recreational, race or time trial) although we have members who ride at the Manchester Velodrome, go mountain biking or do cyclo-cross.
3. Do you promote events? If so, what type of events do you do?
We run a series of time trials during the summer months on a Tuesday night just outside of Buxton where anyone can turn up and ride the 9.8mile TT either for fun or to chase a time. These are followed up with a series of 3 hill climbs.
The club also organises 2 open time trials: a mountain time trial (follow @BuxtonMTT if you are on Twitter) which is probably the toughest in the country held on Good Friday each year and a 10 mile time trial in June (follow @BuxtonCCOpenTT if you’re on Twitter). There is also the Bole Hill road race we host on behalf of the CDNW [Cycling Development North West], which is one of the toughest circuits in the North West. We also host one of the first hill climbs of the season on Long Hill which hosted the National Championships in 2011.
4. Is there any development/coaching at the club which is available to all members?
We don’t have any structured development or coaching available in the club but we have a lot of members who have a vast range of knowledge who are willing to pass it on to those who want it. This ranges from the basic “how do I survive a club run” to road race or time trial training tips.
5. Do you still have traditional club runs? Are these well-attended?
The club has the Sunday club run every week throughout the year, usually we have about 6 or 7 riders (on good weather days). Due to the nature of where Buxton is club runs are hilly but are only as fast as the slowest rider, no rider is left behind.
6. If anybody reading this article would like to join Buxton CC, who is the best person to contact?
The best person for a quick chat is Sam at Sett Valley Cycles (www.settvalleycycles.co.uk), as our website (www.buxtoncyclingclub.co.uk) is undergoing a rebuild at the moment and should be back up and running towards the end of November. Full contact details will be on there.
7. Do you struggle to find marshals for events?
As with any event you always feel you’re marshal short, we are fortunate in the Club we have 2 qualified time keepers and a committed group of guys who want to see events run and be successful.
8. Finally, are there any riders at Buxton CC who deserve a mention? Any results that the club are particularly proud of?
Lee Baldwin had an impressive Hill Climb season culminating in 4th place at the National Hill Climb championships on the Rake, his result along with Chris Baines and Sam Mansfield contributed to winning the Team Prize, the Hill Climbers in the club have been chasing this for a few years.
If you would like to have your club [ no matter where in the world you are] featured please contact a member of the team we will be happy to chat and find out what you’re all about. Click to contact us.