All images ©CyclingShorts.cc / www.chrismaher.co.uk
Wout Poels, who did so much sterling work for Chris Froome at the Tour de France this Summer, grabbed his own slice of glory with a superb win on the queen stage of this year’s Aviva Tour of Britain, finishing at the top of the Hartside climb in Cumbria.
The Dutchman, who put in several attacks on the ascent of Hartside, eventually overtook leader Edvald Boasson Hagen in the final 200-metres, to put himself just one-second behind the Norwegian, who took over ownership of the Aviva Yellow Jersey with three stages to go.
The eight-kilometre climb to the 1,902-feet summit of Hartside re-shaped the GC, with Boasson Hagen and Poels, who started the day second and third respectively, doing battle with Lotto NL Jumbo’s Steven Kruijswijk for much of the ascent up the Cumbrian Fell, one of the longest continuous climbs in England.
Cannondale Garmin’s Ruben Zepuntke had been the first to put in a serious effort to go clear, before Kruijswijk broke away, being joined by Poels, who had been led into the foot of the climb at high speed by Peter Kennaugh, flushing out the serious challengers.
But the powerful Boasson Hagen was not deterred and bridged across to Poels and Kruijswijk and then attacked strongly with 1.5km to go looked clear and set for a stage win.
Poels though is immensely strong and durable and had paced himself well, knowing that the finale was tough going as it turned into the strong Helm Wind which blows off these Cumbrian Fells no matter how benign the day – indeed it’s the only mountain wind in Britain that has a specific name! It was blowing gently by its own standards but it was still enough to have an influence on the race.
Gradually, and then quickly, Poels reeled the tiring Boasson Hagen in and with 150m to go passed the MTN Qhubeka rider and headed for the line and Team Sky’s third stage win of the Aviva Tour of Britain. Boasson Hagen however kept going bravely to limit his losses and was rewarded with the Aviva Yellow Jersey, with overnight leader Juan Jose Lobato being one of the first riders to be dropped after passing through the village of Melmberby at the base of the climb.
Behind Boasson Hagen and Poels, Denmark’s Rasmus Guldhammer of the Cult Energy team lies at 30-seconds, with Movistar’s Benat Intxausti a further three seconds back.
Team WIGGINS’ Owain Doull lies fifth overall, the Premier Inn Best British Rider and also the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey thanks to his consistent top placings.
With a classic tough day around Derbyshire and the Peak District in prospect on Day Six the race between first and second couldn’t be closer and Boasson Hagen, the overall winner of the Tour of Britain in 2009, and his team are certain to come under severe pressure.
In his favour however will be the inside knowledge he has on the Team Sky riders and their tactics after five years spent racing with the team and the fact that if any of the remaining three stages end in a sprint he might be better equipped to challenge for bonus seconds. It’s going to be an intriguing battle all the way to London and time bonuses could yet prove vital.
CyclingShorts.cc writer Chris Maher caught up with Stage 5 winner Wout Poels after his hilltop victory. Wout Poels, who did so much sterling work for Chris Froome at the Tour de France this Summer, grabbed his own slice of glory with a superb win on the queen stage of this year’s Aviva Tour of Britain, finishing at the top of the Hartside climb in Cumbria.
“It was really close.” admitted Poels. “At 500-metres to go when Edvald attacked really strongly I thought I was going to be second but then he slowed down a little bit so I took my chance. I knew there was going to be strong cross winds in the last 500-metres, in fact it was quite rough for the last 3-kilometres.
“Riding in a wind like that can be real difficult so I went back at one stage to try to work together – there was a group of about four of us – but everybody was looking for the stage win and also I had the GC in my mind. Then Edvald attacked and he looked very strong but I still felt strong and I knew how hard it was out there in the front riding on your own.
“It’s always nice to go for your own win and GC occasionally. I don’t get to win a lot of races but I really enjoyed today. You know when you go to the Tour de France with Team Sky you are working for Chris Froome that is your job.
“It’s going to be difficult to get past Edvald now because he is a good sprinter. He is looking strong but I am going to do my best. Tomorrow though is going to be a very hard stage also so perhaps there are possibilities.”
Boasson Hagen meawhile acknowledges that perhaps he went a little early but it was a risk worth taking.
“I knew the wind was going to be really hard but my hope was to build enough of a gap when we had the tailwind but Walt was too strong. When he went past I tries to ride for seconds and I am happy to have the jersey.
“Sky rode very strongly today and every stage is going to be hard from now on. They have been taking a lot of responsibility in the race every day. They have already won three stages and want to win the GC so we will need to ride smart to defend the jersey. We will fight as hard as possible.
“This race is on another level from when I won in 2009, it has become very hard. It’s also a bigger race with the crowds and Team Sky have done a lot to make that happen, and encourage the interest in the British crowds.”
ONE Pro Cycling’s Peter Williams departed Prudhoe in Northumberland on Thursday morning wearing the YodelDirect Sprints Jersey, but after another day spent in the break through the packed crowds of Northumberland the Skipton based rider also had possession of the SKODA King of the Mountains climb.
Joining Williams in the break was Madison Genesis’ Mark McNally, who won the Rouleur Combativity Award, while thanks to the performances of Intxausti and Ruben Fernandez, the Movistar Team move into the lead of the Aviva Team Classification.
For full results and standings, please click here.
The Aviva Tour of Britain resumes in Stoke-on-Trent on Friday morning for Stage Six, getting underway in the city centre at 1030, before heading for Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
The route heads into the Peak District National Park, including 3,500-metres of climbing during the 192-kilometre stage that finishes in Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Ground after passing through Buxton, Bakewell, Matlock, Belper and Ilkeston.
Highlights of Stage Five are on ITV4 at 8pm with a repeat on Friday 11 September on the same channel at 11.55am.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
Lisa Brennauer clinched the overall victory in the Aviva Women’s Tour, surviving an attacking final day of racing through the Chiltern Hills from Marlow to Hemel Hempstead, won by Hannah Barnes.
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling rider sprinted to victory in the Premier Inn Best British Rider Jersey as the peloton once again caught the day’s break of Claudia Lichtenberg and Audrey Cordon inside the final kilometre.
The duo were finally reeled in by a fast charging peloton on the arrow straight final 500-metres, setting up an exciting finish with Barnes coming through to claim her biggest victory to date, along with both the Premier Inn Best British Rider and SweetSpot Best Young Rider prizes by virtue of her fifth overall.
Behind Barnes Stage Two winner Jolien D’hoore took second with Simona Frapporti third, while General Classification Contenders Brennauer, Majerus and Johansson took fourth, fifth and seventh respectively.
The World Time Trial Champion’s consistent finishing of top six places on all five stages earned her the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey to pair with her Aviva Yellow Jersey, finishing with a six second advantage over D’hoore with Majerus a further second back.
Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks after her dominant performance and taking the overall win in GC in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour. A well deserved Yellow jersey win!
“This Tour is one of the biggest events on the women’s calendar, so this victory means a lot to me. It was a great victory for me, but also for the whole team – big thanks to all my team mates,” said the Velocio SRAM rider afterwards
“I have to thank my team mates, it wasn’t easy today – a tough stage with all the hills and a lot of hard attacks.
“I worked hard yesterday to get the jersey back. I missed some of the intermediate sprints. I wanted to get to the point where I could give back to my team-mates for all their hard work.”
Having started amidst the biggest crowds of the week in Marlow in Buckinghamshire, riders headed into the Chiltern Hills for a stage of attacking racing. A lead group of four riders, including eventual YodelDirect Combativity Winner Gracie Elvin, formed early on but were caught by the top of the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb of Cryers Hill as the General Classification contenders fought for bonus seconds at the first Chain Reaction Cycles Sprint at Prestwood, which came almost immediately afterwards.
Lichtenberg then attacked on one of the day’s, many, unclassified climbs with many riders trying to cross to her, but Wiggle Honda’s Cordon was the only one to make the junction with thirteen kilometres remaining.
Yet again though in the Aviva Women’s Tour the escape would not prevail, setting up Barnes for a highly popular win in Hemel Hempstead
Hannah Barnes of Team UnitedHealthcare talks to the media after taking the U23 and Best British Rider Jerseys in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour and topping it all off with the final stage win!
“This was the biggest aim of the year, so I’m happy to have pulled it off.
“I knew it would be hard in the Chilterns and what to expect. The sprint was crazy, very difficult. I got boxed at 100m to go but thankfully got free. The team are normally used to the American peloton & wide roads,” continued Barnes, before praising teammate Alexis Ryan for protecting her in “the Alexis bubble”.
With breakaway riders sweeping up the big points at both Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs Orica AIS rider Melissa Hoskins extended her lead by a point to keep hold of the orange polka dot jersey ahead of Elise Delzenne.
The Boels Dolmans team added the Aviva Team Classification to their two stage wins with Elisa Longo Borghini claimed the Overall YodelDirect Combativity Award having been at the front of the action on several stages.
An excellent Women’s Tour bring on 2016!
Highlights of Stage Five will be shown by ITV4 at 8pm on Sunday 21 June with a repeat at 11.15am on Monday 22 June and available on demand via the ITV Player for 30-days after broadcast.
Stage 5 Results
Final GC Podium for the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour
U23: Hannah Barnes
Best British: Hannah Barnes
Points: Lisa Brennauer
Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins
Team: Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
For full results and final overall standings please click here.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / Cycling Shorts.
Results Women 2/3/4
1. Paige Willmard, bikepure
2. Abby Mae Parkinson, RST Racing
3. Penny Rowson, Matrix Volpine
4. Sam Burman, WNT
5. Lauren O’Brien, RST Racing
6. Rebecca Rimmington, Merlin
7. Sam Thoy, Jadan
8. Alison Kinloch, PH Mas
9. Nicola Moore, Squadra RT
10. Joanne Blakeley, GB Cycles
Saturday saw the launch of a new women’s cycling team – Team Jadan, hoping to change the image and progression of how women are involved in road racing. Team Jadan had its official presentation in the historic East Yorkshire town of Beverley at the eponymously named Beverley Arms Hotel.
As you may or may not know the Cycling Shorts collective has taken it’s first foray into cycling team sponsorship. We are very proud to announce our Official sponsorship of the new women’s Cycling Team – Team Jadan.
When I met the women on the team I knew they had the right attitude and mindset that I like to see in sportswomen. Cycling Shorts had to be involved!
I’m really impressed with the team’s attitude towards promoting women’s racing to all levels of riders. They are a great group of strong focused women. The team are out to prove you can have a family, career and study but still be part of a structured cycling team. As we all know the cycling world is male dominated and it’s a place where women are still not given equal standing, it needs these ladies to shake it up a bit from the grassroots!
I should also point out we have a vested interest because our Sub-Editor (and women’s cycling game changer) Heather Bamforth will be one of the team’s key riders this season. So no pressure Heather!
AnnaBel Sill & Frankie White – Hull Thursday 2-Up TT – ©TeamJadan / chrismaher.co.uk
Team Jadan is the brainchild of Victoria Hood who believes that the perception of what women of all levels can achieve in cycle road racing needs to be changed.
The concept behind the team is to provide a stepping stone for women to progress through the racing categories, keeping the experience friendly and supportive. The goal of the team is to break down the barriers for non-elite riders and to prove that road racing is accessible for women and that they have other options than just breeze rides and charity events if they want to gain more experience.
This year’s team is made up of a variety of levels of experience, all very strong cyclists in their own right, but the riders have also been selected for their attitude and because they are good ambassadors and role models for women’s road cycling. Team Jadan are here to prove you can have a full time job and family life as well as competing at a high level in what is a tough competitive sport.
The team will play a key role in the new Yorkshire Women’s Road Race Series (promoted by Victoria Hood) and the successful CDNW RR League (promoted by Team Jadan rider Heather Bamforth), both of which exist to provide a springboard for women’s cycling talent without the intimidating atmosphere of some of the traditional events on the race calendar.
Victoria Hood & Pam Wainman – ©Team Jadan / chrismaher.co.uk
When Victoria was looking for sponsors she chose the more continental style of sponsorship by including local businesses as well as international sports brands. The principal sponsor is Jadan Press, a Hull-based digital printers. The owner Pam Wainman was approached by Victoria and the two clicked immediately. Pam’s mother was a keen cyclist in the 1950’s and she sadly passed away just before Pam and Victoria met. When Pam heard Victoria’s plans for a women’s cycling team to encourage development of riders she decided she had to be part of it, “I know my mum would have been proud of the girls”.
The Sports brands on board are:
Bioracer UK who provide the women’s team kit.
Cycling Shorts an online cycling magazine who are providing the team’s website and PR.
Torq Fitness provides the team with performance nutrition products.
Vankru Cycling have fitted the team’s bikes.
Cycling Photographer Chris Maher who is the team’s official photographer.
Jadan Press – Printers.
Neil Thompson Strength & Fitness a personal Trainer – Neil wants to promote strength training for women as it helps fight off osteoporosis.
Riley’s – a designer clothes retailer in Beverley.
Prestige – an East Yorkshire company specialising in damp proofing, fire and flood restoration.
Hugh Rice Jewellers – A Jewellery retailer with stores across the North of England.
The team aims to give back to its sponsors too. The team will all write about their training and racing experiences during the season. Through the www.TeamJadan.com website, sponsors are also encouraged to share their latest news.
The team is packed with personality, with different skills and backgrounds; A-level students, trainee teachers, mums and career women. They are out to prove that women can be involved in cycling with the same level of commitment and professionalism as their male counterparts, organising themselves as a dedicated competitive team with quality sponsors.
Meet the team:
Victoria Hood – Team Captain – East Yorkshire
Victoria is a qualified ride leader and an NSI cycle instructor.
“The team I have is amazing they are all really strong riders but the important thing to me was that they had to be friendly and approachable, cycling is tough but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at the same time as racing. I want to promote women’s cycling, make it more accessible and help to bring more girls into the sport.”
Heather Bamforth – Manchester
Heather has over 20 years’ experience of cycling, and has raced at both national and international level on the road in the past. A qualified cycling coach, Heather has proved to be one of the key people in bringing about a change to women’s competitive cycling by making it appealing to all levels of female cyclist.
“Victoria asked me to join the team as she wanted to set up a similar level of racing in Yorkshire to what I helped to instigate in the North West. 2014 sees the inaugural Yorkshire Women’s Road Race Series which I hope will prove to be as successful as the North West races. I am looking forward to being part of the team and we have a beautiful kit from Bioracer, which definitely helps us look the part!”
Olivia Tomlinson – East Yorkshire
Olivia is the youngest member of the team and is in her first year as a senior rider. Olivia had some great results last season and is looking to build on her success last year.
“I have been riding since I was 14 – I took part in a local club’s time trials and joined in on their Sunday rides. When I was 16 I began to enter races and really enjoyed taking part in the events. For this year’s season I am looking forward to racing in a women s team, I’m hoping to progress and learn from the other more experienced team members”.
Annabel Sill – Hertfordshire
Annabel has been riding for 6 years. “Cycling and racing has been a big part of my life since university, and my current housemates put up with me having four bikes in the house and a turbo in the corner of the kitchen. I’ve been time trialling for five years, and started doing a mix of crits, road races and TTs in the 2013 season – and that’s how I met Victoria, she asked if I would like to join the team. I’m keen to promote women’s racing and I’m currently doing a British Cycling Level 2 Coaching course to help bring on youth and junior girls at my cycling club Welwyn Wheelers. I’m really looking forward to building on my strengths, and being able to race with and support the other girls on the team this year!”
Lauren Brown – Carlisle
Lauren is a feisty rider, who has a number of local victories under her belt over the last few seasons.
“Having raced for Abergavenny WCT last season, I’m looking forward to racing with the girls in National Series events and the CDNW women’s road race league and the new Yorkshire road race league. I’m from a sprint and track background then two years ago I switched to road. I’m a Level 2 British Cycling Coach and I help little kids improve their skills… well I certainly hope I do!”
Frankie White – Manchester
“I’m very much looking forward to racing in the UK and beyond with this lovely group of ladies. We have a great mix of characters on this team, each inspiring me to work hard and develop as a rider. I really enjoyed our first training camp in FebruaryI much prefer the long races, 3 hours is good for me, I’m the complete opposite to Lauren, she’s really good at 1 hour long crits. I find it’s not nearly enough for my style of racing, I love the endurance.”
Sam Thoy – Lincolnshire
Sam has been racing cyclocross through the winter, with 5 wins under her belt so far – a latecomer to cycling but with a fell running background she’s a very strong athlete.
Sam said “I am looking forward to this year, with our team doing some proper damage at the national team series events. I also fancy trying the round town circuit races and there is a race up Alpe d’Huez that I must do! I just love biking and racing, why did I not discover it earlier!”
It’s with a heavy heart that Cycling Shorts brings you this sad, sad news about the SCCU Good Friday Meeting (Southern Counties Cycling Union), I won’t drop the other Cycling Shorts writers in it, but a few of us have been having the same collective grumble about this all morning.
I wanted to call this article “Herne Hill abandoned for shiny new venue with no soul”, but I’m resisting.
Personally I feel the event will lose a lot of it’s core supporters who have stood by the event no matter the weather, in fact the weather is part of the charm of the Good Friday Meet (and other Good Friday races around the country)… people will still go out in mucky weather to watch or take part in cycling in the UK. At least at an outdoor track the riders pass the spectators repeatedly keeping the audience gripped, the same can not always be said of road racing, it whizzes past you once… reach for your flask of coffee and hobnob (other biscuits are available) and the photo opportunity is gone! Isn’t part of the point of these races to get outdoors and enjoy what spring throws at us?! Herne Hill will be remembered with more fondness than Lee Valley ever could be. It seems it’s yet another event cashing in on the new and sacrificing the old. In my mind this isn’t a move of location, it’s a total change of event.
I want to see grass roots venues being treated with the respect they deserve, if the cycling bubble we are currently riding in does burst (fingers crossed it won’t) you need venues like Herne Hill to help keep cycling going in the bad times, don’t snub it in the good times, why can’t these venues continue to host these sorts of races?… so what if demand outstrips supply of tickets, it becomes a more exclusive event.
The international pro riders I know who ride the GFM year in year out always tell me they love going to Herne Hill, they say it feels like you’re in the heart of a community.
I won’t be able to make it down this year to Lee Valley, I know I grumble, but I know it will still be a great day of racing and I’m sad I can’t go this year, it’s always well organised and quirky… if you haven’t been to the Good Friday Meet before and don’t like British weather then you have no excuse this time, get down to Lee Valley for an action packed day of cycling!
I’ll give it a go next year…. maybe.
Disappointed of the weather beaten (but hardy) North.
So after much rumour…here are the details of the relocation we received this afternoon.
On 18th April 2014 The SCCU Good Friday Meeting will be departing one historic Olympic Venue for another as it makes a move from Herne Hill to Lee Valley Velopark to help celebrate the opening year of the park and the cycling legacy of London 2012.
Lee Valley Velopark
We know that many of our supporters at Herne Hill will be disappointed that they will not be making their annual pilgrimage to Burbage Road ‐ and it will certainly be a very strange feeling for us to not be unlocking the gates at 6 o’clock in the morning – but after 110 years of forecast watching we will not be at the mercy of the British weather this year!
This decision has not been taken lightly. We’ve spent several months weighing up all of the options whilst constantly aiming to bring the best afternoon’s racing we can to our loyal supporters.
Herne Hill is a much‐loved and highly respected venue and work to renovate and evolve into a multi‐use facility is ongoing, taking it from strength to strength and elevating it far above it’s Victorian peers. Whilst the Good Friday meeting is undoubtedly a part of the velodrome’s history we are aware that track racing has moved on over the years and the event also needs to evolve to meet the expectations of the new generation of enthusiasts and supporters.
With this in mind, we felt that it was appropriate to bring the meeting to an indoor venue.
Rest assured, Herne Hill will continue to be a home of world‐class events and we fully intend to expand the number of outdoor‐specific and continental‐style events we promote at the venue, returning to the traditions and racing styles which the venue has hosted for over a century.
To our traditional supporters we say come with us, and to our new supporters we say welcome to some great racing!
Event website: http://www.bristowevents.co.uk/GoodFriday.html
Everybody’s bought their licences and they’re raring to go at the start of the season. This article relates to anybody who wants to have a go at racing on the open roads…
First thing that I want you to take a look at is the first 30 seconds or so of the following clip from Dirty Dancing (yes, I am serious):
You may all think that I have totally lost the plot, but Patrick Swayze makes two important comments:
- “Spaghetti arms” – the need to keep your [body’s] frame locked and your head up;
- “Dance space” – Jennifer Grey (as the amateur dancer) keeps encroaching on his space, to which he states “I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine”.
Yes, I get that the late Lord Patrick of Swayze is going on about doing a rumba; or whatever dance he is teaching her – I have only ever danced a rumba to “Hungry Eyes” (I’m not joking, either), so I don’t want anyone to correct me on the dance please, but it’s an important lesson to anybody who is contemplating racing on the open road in a road race.
Keeping your arms relaxed but in control of your handlebars is very important, as is keeping your head up. Time and time again you see riders in a bunch who aren’t in control of their bike properly. Some think it’s cool to ride either none-handed or with their wrists balancing on their handlebars in the middle of a bunch. Sorry, my friends, this is not “cool”. I don’t care if you see Grand Tour riders doing it on Eurosport – that is not appropriate behaviour in a local bike race in the UK, when there is oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the road.
More often than not, riders think that it is somehow appropriate to move themselves into a gap that is actually non-existent. If you were driving a car along a dual carriageway and there was a vehicle in each lane, you wouldn’t drive up the middle of the cars, so why ride into a “gap” that doesn’t exist? And saying “inside” to the rider who is on the left hand side in the gutter isn’t the same as saying “barleys” – where you can do what you want because it doesn’t matter as you won’t get any bad luck because you’ve crossed your fingers. Errr. No. Sorry, that doesn’t work.
Actions have consequences
Okay, you might think that I am having a rant because somebody brought me off on Sunday and that I should just shut up because “crashing is part of racing”. Fair enough, I understand the risks, having raced (on and off) since 1993, but I am not convinced some people understand the consequences of racing on the open road. The closed circuits that British Cycling have built are great tools for learning skills and act as an entry into racing, but people seem to apply the same racing rules to the open road as they do to closed road circuits. There’s a major difference that seems to pass people by – oncoming traffic. This means that if you push your way into a gap that doesn’t exist, the rider who has to make way for you then has to move elsewhere, which often means that they have to ride on the wrong side of the road, or hit the cats eyes that mark the middle of the road, which can then lead to issues in itself.
It’s not just the women…
Historically, women’s racing on a domestic level has been littered with crashes (partly due to the large difference of abilities that you can find when catering for “women” as a whole), but the numbers of crashes in the local men’s races (in the North West at least) is increasing at an alarming rate. More often than not, crashes occur because people stop concentrating (if only for a nano-second), which leads to a touch of wheels, people braking and then a domino effect occurring behind the culprit. Or the person on the front decides that they don’t want to be on the front anymore and swings across the front of the bunch, without looking before making the manoeuvre (I saw that happen with my own eyes on Sunday), or just slams on for no apparent reason.
If you have ever watched the professionals racing on the TV, for the most part you will see riders giving each other space – they respect each other as riders and as fellow professionals – they will give each other space on descents, especially – and any crashes (except the bizarre like Jonny Hoogerland’s in the Tour de France) tend to happen either in the last few kilometres when teams are jostling for position in the lead up to a sprint finish, or due to street furniture (roundabouts, bollards, etc) when the roads become really narrow. The latter shouldn’t happen in a domestic race in the UK because of risk assessments being carried out.
Admittedly, there can be potholes and puddles and grids (we live in the UK after all), so let people know if there’s an issue that you can see, including oncoming traffic – communication is the key in these instances.
The Moral to the Story
If you only take a few things away from this article, I hope that they are:
- Give your fellow competitors room;
- Treat everybody with respect;
- Remember that every action (however minor it may seem to you) has a consequence;
- Never stop concentrating when riding in a bunch.
The above are my observations from racing with men and women. Crashing is an expensive option both economically (I consider myself lucky from the crash I had on Sunday, but practically every item of clothing that I had on was wrecked, including a brand new helmet and a pair of Oakleys, which if I wanted to replace it all would cost in the region of £750 – and that’s not including the cost of fixing my bike) and physically (I headbutted the floor at 22 mph and have injuries to most parts of my body, although they are mostly cuts and bruises – the guys who came off in the men’s race weren’t as lucky and have broken bones and written-off bikes) and therefore, in my humble opinion, should be avoided at all costs – which means looking out for each other. Incidentally, for the majority of us, we have to get up and go to work the following day (you know, so that you can pay for the bike riding) or go home to look after dependents (whether that’s kids or other halves!) – you can’t do either if you’re smashed to bits.
Let’s keep the #partyontheroad safe, so that everybody can enjoy the party after the race and remember – nobody puts Baby in a corner…
Until next time…