Newquay Velo Road Race

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Newquay Velo Road Race- where to start!

Being British I might start with the weather; it was foul! Driving down there the wind was buffeting cars around the road so it was a bit concerning the effect it might have on a mere bike racer! It was raining too, just to add to the charm. But on the positive side it was quite warm, reading 12 degrees on my garmin.

The race course was a triangular layout, the start and finish were on the first leg, half way up a significant but not too steep hill. To add to the fun there was the wind, which seemed to have chosen to blow as hard as it could down said hill! The second leg was downhill with a couple of short sharp undulations. And the final leg was a pretty flat run in to the bottom of the hill.

Unsurprisingly at sign on it became clear that we would be racing with a smaller field than anticipated, due no doubt to the horrible conditions, but still 11 women signed on and lined up for the race. Heading out onto the course the rain began and we all settled down for what we hoped would be an uneventful, but challenging race.

The race started on the hill on the A39, the hill combined with the 49 mph gusts in our faces did slow things down a bit! People were unsurprisingly not that keen to ride on the front, but we did eventually get to the left hand turn where things started to pick up. For a start we had a tail wind and it was downhill!

Mathilde Pauls (Exeter Wheelers CC) chose this point to attack and got clear of the bunch by a good few hundred meters by the second left turn. However things went a little amiss here when the Race Car took the wrong turn. Mathilde and the lead car proceeded to take a wiggly route through various country lanes back to the course – Mathilde at this point oblivious to the fact they were lost! Meanwhile the majority of the rest of the women’s field carried on along the wrong road, heading down wind and down hill. Having ridden 3.5km in the wrong direction our commisaire in the following car eventually managed to get our attention to stop us, turn us round and take us back to the course!

By this point Mathilde and her lost lead car were back on the A39. The call was made to stop Mathilde while the rest of us got ourselves going back in the right direction. So Mathilde, still pretty perplexed about what was going on, was ushered into the lead car to keep warm while they waited for us.

Back with the main group we had just reached the corner where we had taken the wrong turn initially, and were about to get racing again. However this wasn’t to be! On the corner a wet drain wiped out one bike, taking down a few others and stopping most of the field. Cath Newton (Newquay Velo CC), Claire Elworthy (Exeter Wheelers CC) and myself (EWCC) were all that remained of the main group. Following some deliberation we decided to carry on racing. Mathilde was restarted as we approached up the hill, and waited to join our group.

This was the final lap, with this in mind me and Mathilde put in a couple of attacks on the second leg, both of which were chased down. It was then Cath’s turn to take a dig, attacking on the second small climb she split the group, only Mathilde could hold her wheel. Claire closed the gap before the second turn, where Cath and Claire took the correct turn, but Mathilde and her friend in the lead car tried to go AWOL again! Mathilde did the quickest U-turn witness by man and was soon back with Cath and Claire.

It all started getting tactical now. With two Exeter Wheelers in the group, and one just off the back, Cath was left to do most of the work along the final leg. On reaching the bottom of the hill to the finish Mathilde launched another attack. This attack split the group again with the biting headwind making the job of getting up the hill even trickier. The three leaders proceeded to “crawl” up the hill in a gripping, but pretty slow moving finale of an eventful race!

So Mathilde Pauls (EWCC) took the win, closely followed by Cath Newton (NVCC) and Claire Elworthy (EWCC). The rest of the splintered field rolled individually, each fighting the cruellest wind possible up the hill to the finish. Louise Benn (EWCC) came back, having hit the deck in the earlier crash to finish in 5th, not far behind myself (EWCC), I never recovered from Cath’s attack. A hard day’s racing for all I think!

After the finish we all headed back race HQ to get dry and warm with a cuppa and some delicious cakes. The prize giving took place before the men’s 2/3/4 race briefing so there was a good crowd to support us; I think the chaps were marvelling at our brilliant prizes!

Thanks to the Bike Shed for providing Bontranger R2, R3 and R4 tyres for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Also to Greens of Devon who made up a beautiful bunch of flowers for the winner and gave out 3 Chef’s Garnish boxes. And last but not least thanks to Alpha Vae Solar who gave us some SIS Sports products for the prize stash!

Thanks also to the event organisers Newquay Velo, and all who help out in proper nasty conditions! Also thanks to Primal for providing the QOM prize – won by Mathilde after her jolly through the lanes!

I lost track of who got what on the prizes front in the end but everyone looked very happy despite the drama of our race and that is the importat thing. At least things can only get better for the Series!

The next event is Ilton Crit on Sunday 21st April at Ilton’s Merryfield airbase, It is a great course for novices but has plenty of opportunity for more experienced racer to make it interesting too! Open to Men E1/2/3, Women and Juniors For more information click here to be taken to the British Cycling entry page. https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/91956/South-West-Regional-Road-Race-Championships#entry

For more information on South West Women’s Race Series visit: http://swwomensraceseries.wordpress.com/

See you there for more prizes, points and fun and games!

 

Newquay Velo Road Race Results

1st Mathilde Pauls – Exeter Wheelers
2nd Cath Newton – Newquay Velo
3rd Claire Elworthy – Exeter Wheelers
4th Ellie Bremer – Exeter Wheelers
5th Louise Benn – Exeter Wheelers
6th Gail Aspden – Squadra Donne-Shutt VR
7th Alex Sheehan – One & All
8th Sorrelle Johnston – Rutrainingtoday
DNF Kirsty Harries
DNF Mel King – Newquay Velo
DNF Dee Richards – Tavistock Wheelers

More “grass roots” events for women’s cycling


With the National Road Series for Women being open to E/1/2/3 only, with no room at the inn for 4th category riders, British Cycling are working hard to engage with women who are new to bike racing.  From the circuit races that are being held at Saltaire, Lancaster, to the training sessions held at Tameside Cycling Circuit, which are complimented with the Tameside Season Starter races at the same circuit, British Cycling are obviously keen to develop women’s riding skills, which Jenny Gretton, North West Regional Event Officer, has been working hard to promote.

You may be forgiven for thinking that these events are just happening in the North West, however this is not the case.  There are events across the country, from the North East, to the Midlands, to London and the South West.  The purpose of these events is to get women used to riding in a bunch, on closed circuits, where it is safe to learn, without the added fear of some random motorist driving headlong into the bunch, which happened last year on one of the National Road Race Series races.

The majority of these events seem to be in March and April, though, which leaves a gap for the rest of the season.  Hopefully, the theory is that the women riding these events will pick up sufficient points to become fledgling third category riders, who are then able to ride the National Road Series.

For those of you who are keen to get on the road though, as opposed to closed circuit races, the Team Series events may be just what you are looking for.  These events are put on with the idea of promoting women’s racing, without putting anybody off, so the courses are not necessarily too difficult, more “manageable”.  Their popularity has grown over the years, with more and more women entering them – the Bedford 2 Day being one of the most coveted wins in the Series!

But don’t despair if you are looking for an event that caters for everybody later on in the year!  That is where Andrew Parker, South West Regional Events Officer at British Cycling can help you.  He is organising a three stage, one day event on 15 July 2012 for women, and he is encouraging women who aren’t members of BC to come along and have a go, with the idea that the South West Road Race Work Group will cover the cost of a day licence.

Andrew’s reasoning for the event is as follows:  “I think a lot of women’s events tend to be shoehorned into a busy day’s racing and the competitors aren’t given the recognition they are due. I thought it would be good to have a dedicated days racing which can showcase the sport.  The format is based on an omnium, with points awarded for each stages placings instead of time, the overall winner will have the least amount of points. I’m hoping that it will be really successful and not only encourage more local women to take up racing but also draw in riders from outside the region.”

The event will include a time trial, handicap road race and a circuit race, and you won’t need to worry about staying over as it is all done on the same day.  If you would like any more information, please contact Andrew on  [email protected]

Click here to be taken to the stage race webpage.

So there’s even less excuses to ride a stage race now – you don’t even need a racing licence!  What more could you need?  Get your entries in, it is bound to be popular!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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