Heather Bamforth Finalist for Ambassador of Women’s Sport Award

Heather Bamforth Reporting from the Cheshire Classic - Image © Colin Batchelor

So do you remember just a few weeks ago I brought you the news that our writer Heather Bamforth had been shortlisted for the #BeAGameChanger Women’s Sport Trust – Ambassador of Women’s Sport Award? Well the talented lady has only gone and beaten some formidable talent to the final (Judy Murray being one well know name who has fallen by the wayside). Heather will line up against two very well respected women; Ebony Rainford-Brent (cricketer) and Maureen McGonigle (Scottish Women in Sport advocate) for the final.

But lets not sit back… Heather needs all the support we can muster in the cycling community from both men and women to enable her to lift the trophy to represent all cyclists. So please take two seconds to drop by the Women’s Trust website and cast a well deserved vote in Heather’s direction. We can do this!

 

If my nagging hasn’t persuaded you here is a bit more about Heather:

Heather Bamforth has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to increase the number of opportunities for women in competitive cycling, and has done so as a volunteer in her spare time.

She joined the Cyclingshorts.cc writing team in 2012 where she actively promotes women’s cycling, and the inaugural North West women’s series in 2013, which featured groundbreaking grassroots road racing for women, this was Heather’s brainchild.

12993454_10154741972663332_131275939772403120_nIn 2014, along with three others Heather established The Racing Chance Foundation, a registered charity which provides women with a pathway in competitive cycling from novice to elite level.

Racing Chance has already coached over 200 women and inspired similar series across the UK that have resulted in British Cycling seeing an increase in female membership, with female racing licences increasing from 800 in 2012 to over 1,500 in 2015.

Heather spends an enormous amount of time helping to get women cycling by running training rides, with training sessions on closed circuits to help novices build confidence and skills before venturing onto the roads, along with events which are suitable for women who want to try road racing for the first time.

During the day Heather has a full time career, working in Restructuring Services for Mazars LLP, an international accountancy and business advisory firm.

 

About the Women’s Sports Trust:

Women’s Sports Trust are a charity that identifies and promotes a diverse range of role models, they find ways to shift the funding landscape for women’s sport and increase the percentage and quality of media coverage women receive.

 

http://www.womenssporttrust.com/ambassador-womens-sport-2016/

 

While I’ve got your ear cycling feature in the following categories as finalists. Please give them a vote too…

Sporting Role Model – Individual – Helen Wyman

Sponsor Partnership of the Year – Queensway Print/Drops Cycling Team

Inspiring Initative – National Award – Aviva Women’s Tour

Inspiring Initiate Award Local/Grassroots – Abergavenny Road Club

 

 

Race Report – Pearl Izumi Tour Series Woking – Men’s & Women’s

 

Tom Stewart leads Madison Genesis to double success in Woking
On the evening one Pearl Izumi Tour Series Yorkshire favourite bowed out for competition, another star from the same county was firmly launched in the Series.

Pre-race the news may all have been about five-time race winner and former Champion Dean Downing making his final appearance in the Series, but post-race the talk was of 24-year-old Tom Stewart, who clinched an impressive first victory in the Series.

Madison Genesis rider Stewart was to the fore throughout, first partnering NFTO rider Adam Blythe in a two-up move before being part of the race winning break, from which he flew with teammates Tobyn Horton and Andy Tennant keeping a watching brief that would ensure team victory too.

With a handful of laps remaining Stewart went clear from the small leading group, building an advantage he’d hold until the line.

The final two laps saw Blythe and George Harper in fast pursuit, but it was too little too late, with the only consolation for the latter being second spot individually, and third on the night for his Node4 Velosure team.

Stewart’s first win was also Madison Genesis’ second individual win on the bounce, following Horton’s Canary Wharf victory, with the Guernsey rider being another, along with Tom Scully, Madison Genesis rider prominent and aggressive throughout.

Their performances and the combinations of Stewart’s win with Horton’s fourth and Tennant’s sixth gave Madison Genesis the team win, their third of this year’s Series, but with Rapha Condor JLT coming second the deficit is still 16 points.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series heads to Jersey for its final round on Friday as a part of the Jersey Festival of Cycling, with an individual hill climb and circuit race posing a double-header challenge for teams.  With 24 points left to score, only an unlikely disaster seems to be between Rapha Condor JLT and the feat of becoming the first squad to win the Series overall twice.

NFTO’s Jon Mould did enough in Woking to wrap-up the Sprints Jersey with a round to spare, sitting on top of a 22 point lead over Kristian House, with Graham Briggs a further two points in arrears.

Briggs himself was also a winner in Woking, taking the Costa Express Fastest Lap with a 1’43.298, in what is likely to for the second year in succession have been the Series’ fastest race, with at the halfway point the race having an average speed of almost 45 kilometres per hour.

For Downing, racing for the first time in the Series as teammate to brother Russell, who made his comeback from injury in Woking, there was to be no fairytale finish at the circuit where he was victorious in 2009.

There was one final top ten finish though to round out a six year spell in The Pearl Izumi Tour Series that has made him one of the stars and most feted riders, in a Series which focusses on the team.

Five wins (Exeter and Woking in 2009, Exeter and Peterborough in 2010 and Colchester in 2011) plus the Series title with, the then, Rapha Condor Sharp team in 2011, are what Downing leaves behind, plus a legion of fans at venues impressed by his showmanship and results over the past six editions of the Series.
 
Downing follows NFTO teammate James McCallum into Pearl Izumi Tour Series retirement, as the next generation of stars begin to make their mark, led by the likes to Woking one-two Stewart and Harper.

Highlights of the Woking round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series are on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 11 June, with a repeat at 12.50pm on Thursday 12 June.  All of the highlights programmes are also available to view online and catch-up via the ITV Player.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Tuesday 10 June 2014, Woking

Round Nine Team Result
1) Madison Genesis
2) Rapha Condor JLT
3) Node4 Velosure
4) NFTO Pro Cycling
5) Team Raleigh
6) Starley Primal Pro Cycling
7) Pedal Heaven Colbornes 
8) Metaltek Kuota
9) Great Britain

Round Nine Individual Result
1) Tom Stewart, GBR, Madison Genesis
2) George Harper, GBR, Node4 Velosure
3) Adam Blythe, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling
4) Tobyn Horton, GBR, Madison Genesis
5) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
6) Andy Tennant, GBR, Madison Genesis
7) Matthieu Boulo, FRA, Team Raleigh
8) Chris Opie, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
9) Morgan Kniesky, FRA, Team Raleigh
10) Dean Downing, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling

Round Nine Costa Express Fastest Lap: Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 1’43.298
Round Nine Sprint Winner: Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Nine
1) Rapha Condor JLT, 106pts
2) Madison Genesis, 90pts
3) Team Raleigh, 82pts
4) NFTO Pro Cycling, 73pts
5) Node4 Velosure, 61pts
6) Metaltek Kuota, 45pts
7) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 39pts
8) Pedal Heaven Colbornes, 38pts
9) Great Britain, 36pts

Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Nine
1) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 69pts
2) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 47pts
3) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 45pts

 



Win for Roe seals Matrix Fitness GP Series title in Woking
Eileen Roe clinched the 2014 Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series title in style, winning the final race in Woking to head compatriot and best friend Charline Joiner at the top of the standings.

Roe outsprinted Redditch winner Amy Roberts and Grace Garner on the long drag to the Woking finish line to ensure she finished 13 points clear of Joiner at the top of the standings.
Joiner could only come in sixth, despite the best efforts of her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team, who worked tirelessly for her in the front group.

Roe, who has held the Series lead since her victory in Round Two in Peterborough, now moves on to the Commonwealth Games, where she will represent Team Scotland in Glasgow this Summer, alongside Joiner.

Consolation for the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team came in the team prize, having led the classification throughout the Series, thanks to the two victories of Katie Archibald and string of consistent placings from Joiner, Dame Sarah Storey and Gabriella Shaw.

After their first winless campaign in the Series, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine drew some consolation from taking the Sprints Jersey, with Helen Wyman winning the Sprints prize in Woking to seal victory in the classification over Archibald.

In a fast race, averaging 39 kilometres per hour, the front group was consistently whittled down until only a dozen or so riders remained.

Most notable for her aggressive riding was Tamiko Butler, riding for local Surrey squad WyndyMilla Reynolds, who enjoyed noisy partisan support in Woking, with the Combativity Award falling the way of Butler post-race.

Come the final sprint though it was Roe heading to the line first in a messy affair, as the leader caught a trailing group coming out of the final bend.  Behind Roe it was Roberts, whose second place on the night helped her into third overall in the Series, and Grace Garner, enjoying her best ever Matrix Fitness GP Series result at the circuit where elder sister Lucy has twice won.

Fourth spot on the night for Katie Curtis, who worked throughout for her Starley Primal teammate Roe, gave her fourth in the standings, with Clemence Copie fifth before Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International duo Joiner and Shaw.

Highlights of the final round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series will be shown as a part of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series highlights on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 11 June, with a repeat on Thursday 12 June at 12.50pm.

Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series
Tuesday 10 June 2014
Round Five, Woking

Race Result
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
2) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda
3) Grace Garner, GBR, RST Racing Team
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
5) Clemence Copie, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport
6) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
7) Gabriella Shaw, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
8) Laura Greenhalgh, GBR, Twickenham CC
9) Lydia Boylan, GBR, Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
10) Jo Tindley, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine

Round Five Sprint Winner: Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
Round Five Team Winner: Starley Primal Pro Cycling

Final Overall Individual Standings, post-Round Five
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 104pts
2) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 91pts
3) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda, 69pts
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 69pts
5) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 69pts

Final Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Five
1) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 30pts
2) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 20pts
3) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 18pts

Final Overall Team Standings, post-Round Five
1) Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 227pts
2) Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 169pts
3) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 136pts
4) Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 88pts
5) Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa, 73pts
6) RST Racing Team, 64pts
7) Epic Cycles – Scott WRT, 49pts
8) WyndyMilla Reynolds, 46pts
9) GBcycles.co.uk, 3pts

Women’s Tour Stage 4 – Matrix Sign In

Helen Wyman presents her team to the crowds at the start of Stage 4 of the FreindsLife Women’s Tour

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

Matrix Fitness–Vulpine launch and line-up 2014

Following last season’s central London launch, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine headed to the home of British Cycling – Manchester – and  specifically to Popup Bikes to introduce the 2014 team. 

A new, individual and up-and-coming venue on the cycling scene, Popup provided everything needed to launch an exciting new line-up for the coming season, while the Manchester streets provided the perfect backdrop for amazing photography to document the occasion (courtesy of Andy Whitehouse), as the team once again looked to produce something out of the ordinary

The 2014 line-up brings together many different influences.  Leading the team in a mentor role is European cyclocross champion, Helen Wyman.  Having ridden three World Road Championships and won Jersey classifications in UCI ranked stage races, she offers the road experience required to step up to new challenges, including the Women’s Tour.

For the first time in several years, the team includes an overseas rider; Holland’s Sigrid Jochems. A leading sprinter on the European scene, Sigrid is returning to the sport after four years absence while she pursuing a gymnastics career.

The British Cycling Olympic Development Program is well represented with Mel Lowther, returning for a second year, and Bethany Hayward; a natural climber who will be looking to represent Team GB at the World Junior Championships in 2014. The team feels it has a solid future with these two emerging talents.

 

Harriet Owen ©AndyWhitehouse

Harriet Owen ©AndyWhitehouse

Returning riders Jessie Walker, Harriet Owen, and Jo Tindley are re-joined by Penny Rowson who briefly departed the team in 2013 but comes back with renewed determination to reach the highest heights of the sport. Louise Borthwich, last year’s stand out rider on the domestic scene also joins, and alongside Harriet – who is now a full-time cyclist – will make a formidable attacking line-up as the team targets the UK’s biggest races.

The final rider to come on board for the 2014 season is Para-cyclist, Lora Turnham, riding with her tandem pilot Corrine Hall, who in her own right is a current National Champion on the track. In 2013, this duo stormed to the World Title in the road Time Trial, and plan to take on three events in this year’s World Track Championships.

“We have a real mix; different skills, different personalities, even different disciplines, but we are very much one team.  This group has so much talent it will be a real disappointment if we don’t make the step up to professional status in 2015.  That’s the goal. We are already firmly working on 2015” commented Team Manager, Stefan Wyman. “This season we have a new set of sponsors, integrating with long-term partners like Matrix Fitness and Velocite, and everyone is motivated to make the step up. We want to be at the newly formed Tour de France event in 2015, along with other key events.  However this year all of our focus is on the Women’s Tour. We need to step up, present ourselves in the best manner possible, and hopefully surprise a few people with our results.”

The launch event itself centered on a RollaPaluza competition; with participants battling it out on a pair of custom-built rollers connected to a huge dial, with split-second digital timing over a simulated 500m distance, at speeds in excess of 50mph. The action was accompanied by Rollapaluza’s own Caspar Hughes as DJ, music and cheering crowds. It was perhaps no surprise that Team sprinter, Harriet Owen, won the main event.

The team Q&A, introduced by Chris Garrison, Bontrager UK, was dominated by talk of the Women’s Tour, but it was clear from the 100+ crowd that there is a thirst for knowledge on the sport, with an ever increasing number of cycling fans prepared to come out and support women’s racing.

One question: “What will it be like to race against Vos?” was met with this response from Wyman: “Vos is amazing for the sport and she has been for about eight years now. She has really raised the level of women’s cycling, but there are others like Emma Johanson, Lizzie Armitstead, and Lucy Garner who will go very well in the Tour so I don’t think it will be a one woman show. She will try and get wins for her team as much as for herself. We won’t be going there to just make up the numbers. If I thought that I would have politely rejected the offer. We go there with real ambition, so it’s realistic for us to score a top ten in a stage, which will be incredible for a team of our size. We are not going to celebrate just finishing, we want to achieve, and at this level it’s all about one member of the team getting a result.”

The team now heads off to Limoux in the South of France, where they have just over two weeks together before returning to the UK for the Tour of Reservoir – the first team event of the season.

 

Matrix Fitness-Vulpine kitWant to ride in Matrix Fitness-Vulpine kit?

Purchase yours here.

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

GP Twenty20 Cycling First European Cyclocross Race to give Equal Prize Money

The Koppenbergcross will be the first European cyclocross race to give equal prize money, reported in a press release today. 

In co-operation with Twenty20 Cycling, the Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde sets a new milestone in the history of cyclocross as they become the first European cyclocross race to provide equal prize money for elite men and women. This brings the Koppenbergcross in line with the World Championships, the only other cyclocross event to offer matched prize money, where previously events have seen a gap as big as €5,000 for men versus women in first category races.

The winner of the GP Twenty20 Cycling on Saturday November 1st 2014 will now be rewarded €1667, exactly the same as the winner of the GP Willy Naessens for men elite, and further matched prize money through the ranks.

Helen Wyman on Koppenberg ©Peloton Photos

Helen Wyman on Koppenberg ©Peloton Photos

British rider, Helen Wyman – European Champion cyclocross, member of the cyclocross committee of the International Cycling Federation, triple winner of the race and resident of Oudenaarde is obviously happy with this step in women’s cross and cycling, quoted saying:
“In my eyes, this is a huge step. It is a very significant moment for women’s cycling. This allows women to make one step up the ladder towards equality. I spend a lot of my free time trying to advance women’s cyclocross and I hope this will lead to a chain reaction of races who do the same, as I know the support is there from sponsors, supporters and riders. To be a part of this development for the sport is fantastic for me.” 

Kristopher Auer, manager of Twenty20 Cycling, is proud to connect the name of his company to the women’s race of the Koppenbergcross, stating “Twenty20 Cycling Co. is a small two-store bicycle shop located in Baltimore and Savage, Maryland in the United States. One of the things that makes our business unique is how it developed from a cyclocross background. Since before we opened our business I have been supporting the growth of cyclocross in America. I was promoting UCI cyclocross races in Baltimore nearly a decade ago when I met my future business partners. Growing the sport has always been on our agenda and I’ve always looked to ensure both women and men can race with equal opportunity.”  

To be part of this landmark event not only for Cyclocross but women’s cycling, make sure to mark your diaries for the GP Twenty20 Cycling women’s race on Saturday November 1st 2014. Who will take the first equal prize? We’ll just have to wait and see!

For more on Helen’s thoughts head over to her blog.

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

How to: Buy a Cyclo-Cross Bike with Deniz Erkan

Deniz_Erkan_cyclist_mag

Photo courtesy of ©DenizErkan

During the excitement of GB’s Helen Wyman taking Bronze at the CX World Championships this weekend, I caught up with Deniz Erkan of Hadron Cycles on his tips to buying a cyclo-cross bike. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, and get muddy!

First things first, set a budget, and stick to it.
You can buy a very good quality bike anywhere from £600 upwards. Between £800 and £1500 gets you a fantastic aluminum frame with high quality components, whilst upwards of £1500 can get a nice carbon frame and top end components. Decide how much you want to spend and get the best bike you can for the money.

Pick a frame material
Carbon is light, stiff and can be moulded into some very interesting shapes. However, it is more fragile, meaning an awkward crash into something hard can mean a new frame is required.

Aluminum technology has moved a long way since the earliest frames. These days you can get some really space age aluminum for very little money. It’s lighter than steel, and a lot stiffer too. It can also take a bit of punishment, so the odd crash is unlikely to destroy your pride and joy.

Steel frames are wonderfully resilient, forgiving to ride but a touch on the heavy side. There are some newer (more expensive) options like stainless steel which ride very well and are closing in on the weight of aluminum bikes, but generally good quality steel frames are heavier than other counterparts.

Titanium frames are expensive. It’s a difficult material to work with. However, they are wonderfully light, responsive and undeniably beautiful. They don’t need to be painted, and are very, very strong, meaning all but the worst of crashes are unlikely to even leave a scratch on your frame.

Component choice
Disc or cantilever? As a general rule, correctly set-up cantilever brakes are going to work just as well as poorly set up cable-actuated disc brakes. For modest budgets, don’t be afraid to go for cantilever brakes, as their stopping power is immense. If you are looking for disc brakes, then where possible, stretch to hydraulic models as these provide the full benefits of disc brake systems (minimal servicing, excellent modulation, unparalleled stopping power.) Cable driven disc systems still need cables replaced every now and then (more frequently on cross bikes) and carry the risk of cables snapping or snagging, rendering the brake useless. Some models are very good, such as the Avid BB7, however, given the choice I’d recommend an upgrade to hydraulics.

Tyres
Most new bikes sadly come with rubbish tyres. Factor in the intended use of your new cyclocross bike and set aside a budget for some good quality, puncture resistant and suitably constructed (size, tread depth, compound) tyres.

The Eastway CX2.0 in action. Photo courtesy of ©DenizErkan

The Eastway CX2.0 in action. Photo courtesy of ©DenizErkan

Groupset
A very personal thing, choose groupset based on ergonomics and usability. Shimano offers shims to adjust lever reach for small hands, whilst SRAMs levers are all independently reach adjustable, making exact, fine-tuned set up. Campagnolo offers something similar, but the ergonomics of having to use your thumb can be off putting for some people. Try each of them out and decide what you like using the most. It’s only really at the shifters where you’ll notice a discernible difference in each of the three brands. The rest is aesthetics and specification. SRAM is usually lighter for the money, whilst Campagnolo is almost always more expensive, and difficult to get hold of. Shimano is ubiquitous, priced in the middle and performs there too.

Pedals
Whilst its entirely possible to ride off road, on road pedals, if you want to get serious about the sport, you’ll need to invest in some MTB style pedals. The difference here is that the cleat (the part of the pedal system attached to your shoe) is a lot smaller than a typical road cleat, allowing it to fit in a recessed part of your shoe. This means the shoe can have plenty of tread and walking surface to get you through the mud safely, with the cleat free of the debris.

Shimano leads the way here with the best value for money in its SPD range of pedals. Alternatives include LOOK, TIME, Crankbrothers. Pick one based on price, weight and aesthetic. They all function in a very similar way.

Accesories
What else do you need to have fun on a cross bike?

Bright lights to light up the trail, spare tubes and a pump are a must, but CO2 inflators are a big bonus when you are cold, wet and just want to get home. Take a tyre boot too (piece of old tyre cut into 1-2 inch strip) for emergency tyre repairs, or buy a set of tyre boots like the Park TB-2. It’s always surprising how much an errant branch can damage even the finest rubber. Other than that, get out there and have fun!

 

Hadron CyclesHadron Cycles is a local bike shop based in Islington who aim to cater for all types of cyclists and run regular weekly rides. Contact them for help in buying you CX bike.

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

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