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]
Spokesmen Ltd, the UK based Media, PR and Television Production company responsible for TV coverage of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, has been commissioned by Eurosport and Cycling Time Trials to produce a 30 minute documentary on the art, science and psychology of time trialling, to be aired on British Eurosport this summer.
Spokesmen, headed up by David Harmon, has joined forces with renowned Channel 4 documentary film maker Dan Edelstyn (How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire, Subverting the City and No Good Deed goes Unpunished) and Executive Producer Michael Hutchinson to go in search of what makes time trialling the bedrock of Britain’s cycling success.
Taking the viewer inside the discipline of the professional rider will be time trial champion Alex Dowsett and we are now inviting other time triallists to be part of this innovative documentary.
We need another two subjects to be followed through the experience of their race of truth. Whether you’re entering your first club 10 or challenging for the yellow jersey of the Tour, time trialling is unique in its mental and physical demands.
We want to know what motivates you, why do you do it and what do you get out of it? What brings you back to the road again and again, what are the great highs and lows?
What’s important is that you love the sport, feel passionate about cycling – come rain, hail or whatever Britain throws at you – and that you are happy to be filmed to advocate time trailling in the UK.
If you would like to be considered as a subject for the film, Spokesmen would like to hear from you.
Send us a YouTube or Vimeo link or file of a self produced video of up to 2 minutes, that will give us a flavour of who you are and what time trialling means to you, not just as a rider but within your life. Submissions are particularly welcome from junior and veteran riders.
You must be available for filming for at least two days during May & early June. Videos need to be submitted by Friday 3 May by email to [email protected] The programme will air during the Tour de France on British Eurosport.
If you’ve seen my recent articles, you will know that I am trying to encourage women with their first steps into racing. Well this article is about an organisation that has been doing that since 1949 – Manchester & District Ladies Cycling Association (“M&DLCA”). And the good news for women starting out in cycling who may not yet be certain which club they want to join but still want to have a bash at time trialling, well you can join the M&DLCA as an individual, which will then enable you to ride time trials as an M&DLCA member – good, eh?
M&DLCA Best All Rounder Competition
The organisation runs a number of events, including a Best All Rounder (“BAR”) competition, which is based on performances at events run at 10 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles with the performances being calculated in m.p.h. and the average taken of the resultant speeds. When choosing your counting events, the 10 mile time trial must be one of the events promoted by the M&DLCA (see below). For counting events at 25 and 50 miles, there is no restriction except that it must be on any “J” course (the Cycling Time Trials Manchester division, which are all courses based in Cheshire). Once you have completed your counting events, you just need to submit a copy of the entry form and result sheet to the BAR Secretary before 1st October of the current season.
This BAR competition is a great way to try out time trialling, as the women’s British BAR uses 25 mile, 50 mile and 100 mile events as counting events, which could be a step too far for people new to time trialling.
The winner of the M&DLCA BAR holds the B.S.A. Best All-Rounder Trophy for one year and receives a medal. Medals are also awarded for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places and certificates to remaining qualifiers. There is also a team event, with the winning Team holding the B.A.R. Team Shield for one year and each member of the winning Team also receiving a medal.
Yes, this is a genuine phrase for use in time trials. The M&DLCA are keen to encourage riders, and all of their events are “handicapped”. This means that if you have a time for whatever distance you have entered, you will be allocated a handicap time, with the fastest lady being put as “scratch”. For a 10 mile time trial, the scratch time is 17.00 minutes, and the organiser will work out what your handicap time is based on your previous results (for example, I entered one of the M&DLCA 10s in 2011 and my previous best was 28:50 and I was given a handicap of 11:03 minutes, which meant that when I completed the distance in 28:36, my time based on handicap was 17:33, which meant that I was third on handicap).
There is also a Handicap Championship, which is based on your handicap times over the 10, 25 and 50 mile events.
What about age categories?
This is where the M&DLCA is extremely useful – not only is there a championship for schoolgirls (under-16s), there is a BAR championship for Juniors (under-18), which yours truly has won in the past, as well as a Handicap Championship for Juniors and there is a Veterans Championship for ladies aged 40 and over. The Schoolgirl Championship is over 10 miles only, whereas the Junior and Veterans Championships are over 10 miles and 25 miles.
When are the events held?
Hopefully, this is making you think, I could have a crack at that AND win a certificate. With that in mind, you’ll want to know what events are available no doubt. Many thanks to Carol Pardoe for providing this information:
- 27 April – Invitation “10”
- 4th May – “10”
- 1st June – “25”
- 22nd June – Invitation “10” again, and GHS (School age) heat
- 29th June – Open “50”
- 13th July – “25”
These events are only open to women however at the “Invitation 10” events you can invite a man, but you still ride on your own. Your combined times count for the prize. If you don’t know a man to invite, don’t worry as the M&DLCA will pair you up with somebody.
The overall vibe at these events is for everybody to have a go, do their best and then celebrate at the end with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Everybody is friendly and welcoming and if you are thinking of doing a time trial and you are based near Manchester, I would seriously recommend the M&DLCA events for one of your first. Just remember that you have to enter in advance for time trials, there’s no entry on the day, with the closing date generally two weeks before the event.
For more information, please visit http://www.mdlca.org.uk
If ever there was an early season challenge, Buxton Cycling Club Mountain Time Trial is arguably one of the hardest time trials you can do in the UK.
The time trial is based around Longnor in Staffordshire (about 10 miles south of Buxton) and incorporates some of the toughest roads available for use in any time trial.
It starts just outside the village school, turning left and pretty much starting with steepest climbing section of the course. The climb continues up to the main road, where riders won’t be able to view the spectacular scenery if they’re trying hard enough. The course joins the A53 for a rolling few miles before a left turn and the start of an exhilarating, technical decent back into Longnor. The race is 3 laps (33miles) for men and 2 laps (22miles) for women and juniors.
This year has the added incentive that Matt Botrill can equal Geoff Platts record of 7 wins in the MTT. It will be interesting to see if he can break the course record while matching the record of wins.
It is kindly supported by Detail Design Engineers Ltd, Veroli Limited, Cooper Hartley & Williams Solicitors and Sett Valley Cycles.
In addition to the normal prizes on offer in time trials we have a generous ‘athletes prize’, which is for the fastest rider on a road bike (no aero assistance, see the website for the rules).
The event regularly attracts top class athletes, with this year’s event expected to be no different.
Want your chance to compete against champions? Or want to prove you’re tough enough!? There is still time to enter either through the Internet entry on the CTT website or via a CTT entry form to Richard Towse, 14 Jodrell Street, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 3HJ. Entry fee is £8.00 with cheques made payable to “Buxton Cycling Club”. The closing date is the 19th March 2013.
We have set up a website specifically for the MTT at www.buxtonmtt.co.uk, giving all the information on the course and history of the event.
There is also a twitter, @BuxtonMTT, which gives regular updates on the run up to and during the event (phone signal permitting).
For Facebook users we also have a group, Buxton Mountain Time Trial: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001127056730#!/groups/236375376455888/
Whether in for the win or just going for the best ride you can do, there will be a support group available providing tea, coffee and cakes.