Women’s Tour de Yorkshire 2016

ChTHltTWgAEPmsBWords by Anna Magrath Images by Chris Maher

 

Record Crowds for Spectacular Day 2 of Tour de Yorkshire

Over one million spectators came out to cheer on the riders for the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, as the county celebrated a ground breaking day for women’s cycling.
Glorious sunshine started the day in Otley for the hotly anticipated Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race where World Champion Lizzie Armitstead led the peloton out of her hometown.
Crowds bigger than those who witnessed the Grand Départ in Otley cheered on as 100 of the world’s best female riders took part including Rio hopeful Emma Pooley; Dani King and Lucy Garner from British squad Wiggle High5, Hitec Products brought one of the world’s strongest sprinters Kirsten Wild and Dame Sarah Storey took part – Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian in history.
Speaking before the start Lizzie Armitstead, racing in her World Champions jersey for the first time in the UK, paid tribute to her home town of Otley and the immense support she was receiving.
The 136km race was a game changer for women’s cycling in the UK as it took the same route as the men’s and offered over £50,000 (€63,623) – currently the biggest prize pot in women’s cycling.
The winner of the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire was Kirsten Wild from Team Hitec Products who crossed the finish line in Doncaster before thousands of cheering fans.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said:

“Today has been an historic day for women’s cycling and it’s been a spectacular day of racing. The crowds were once again phenomenal and to see how the people of Yorkshire have taken this event to their hearts is just overwhelming. There was so much spirit and positivity in Yorkshire today it was magnificent to see. Clearly the one thing we would have changed if we could was the fact we had intermittent live TV coverage but I must stress that safety is paramount. Unfortunately there was a serious technical fault with the plane relaying the TV signal, the plane had to be grounded and the TV coverage could not continue for this reason.

“Fans and communities have continued their spectacular support for the Tour de Yorkshire not just from the routes but also digitally by sharing images, footage and updates to keep the public informed. Please keep tweeting and following @letouryorkshire and we will be putting highlights online tonight.
“We are now focussed on the day ahead tomorrow from Middlesbrough to Scarborough which promises to be an exhilarating race!”

ChTEvB2UoAADB7-Kirsten Wild:  The plan was to let a little group go with one of us in the break, unfortunately that didn’t work out, the girls did a good chase and we caught them in the final, it was really good work. The sprint was hard, I started a bit too early, and I thought maybe not, there was a really strong headwind, so I let one girl pass and I could follow her and then pass her in the final again. There were a lot of people on the roadside it was really nice to have that support. It’s good to win here in Doncaster.

Lucy Garner: “I couldn’t quite get around Kirsten for the sprint, everyone know she’s an awesome sprinter, she’s definitely the one to beat here today in a sprint, actually for me I’ve not been 100% healthy coming into this race so I couldn’t have asked for more today, especially from my team Wiggle High-5, they did an awesome job to bring the three that were away back. It would have been great if we had a rider up in the break, so we did have to work hard to bring them back but there were other teams working with us who also wanted a sprint finish. We caught the back [of the train] with 4km to go and then it was just a case of focusing on the sprint finish. We knew we had to look out for Lizzie [Armitstead] she’s on great form this season and has won so many races, it’s just lucky for us her breakaway didn’t stay away.”

Lizzie Armitstead: “I wanted to put on an aggressive race and a bit of a show, it’s what it’s all about cycling, it’s a bit of an entertainment show at the end of the day. I wanted to be able to get stuck in and have a go. There were a couple of moments where I thought we could stay away [from the peloton] we were holding them at about a minute and the team car came up and they told us the organisation in the chase is not very good so just keep plugging away, but when we tried towards Doncaster and it was just a block headwind we weren’t getting above 45km per hour I thought, right they are going to be closing that gap pretty quickly. 

By the time we were caught I’d burnt all my matches, I tried to get stuck in and help some of the younger girls on my team but actually they didn’t need it, they were quicker than me, so i was really proud of the way GB rode today, there are some young girls in the team and I think they have very bright futures. The course lived up to my expectations, in fact it was better, stating in Otley it was a goose pimple moment. All along the course there were people shouting so thank you to everyone who turned out.”

 

Jersey winners:

Overall, the winner of the blue Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire jersey was Kirsten Wild; her Hitech teammate Lauren Kitchen took the navy jersey of the Aunt Bessie’s sprint; Rossella Ratto of Cyclance Pro Cycling won the pink Mug Shot Queen of the Mountain jersey; the Howden’s Joinery/RNLI white jersey for best young newcomer went to Lucy Garner and the purple best team classification was awarded by Doncaster Sheffield Airport/Flybe to the Great Britain team.

 

 

More images and interviews from the race to come so watch this space!

Pre Tour de Yorkshire Press Conference

 

L-R: Christian Prudhomme, Lucy Garner, Caleb Ewan, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Dani King & Sir Gary Verity.

L-R: Christian Prudhomme, Lucy Garner, Caleb Ewan, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Dani King & Sir Gary Verity.

 

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Saturday the Men’s and Women’s Stages of Champions take place.

Pre Race Press Conference for the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire

28 April 2016

Anthony McCrossan welcomes the press on the eve of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 at the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington, before introducing Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O. Director of Cycling Christian Prudhomme.

Joining them on stage, last years defending champion, winning from start to finish, Lars-Petter Nordhaug of Team Sky and Orica Green-EDGE’s sensational young sprinter Caleb Ewan, making his debut, Olympic Champion, World Champion and European Champion Wiggle High5’s Dani King, and twice Junior World Champion Lucy Garner as the Tour readies itself for the second edition, 29th April to 01st May.

Pre Race Press Conference for the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire

28 April 2016

Anthony McCrossan welcomes the press on the eve of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 at the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington, before introducing Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O. Director of Cycling Christian Prudhomme.

Joining them on stage, last years defending champion, winning from start to finish, Lars-Petter Nordhaug of Team Sky and Orica Green-EDGE’s sensational young sprinter Caleb Ewan, making his debut, Olympic Champion, World Champion and European Champion Wiggle High5’s Dani King, and twice Junior World Champion Lucy Garner as the Tour readies itself for the second edition, 29th April to 01st May.

Anthony McCrossan: “This evening the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour Down Under will sign an agreement to promote each other races across each others territories.”

Sir Gary Verity: The significance of stage two. “Linking Otley, near Leeds, home to our latest world champion Lizzie Armitstead with Doncaster where we pass through Harworth, just to the south, the home of Tom Simpson, our first world Champion.”

“One of the big changes from this year to last is the revolution in women’s cycling.”

 

 

Christian Prudhomme applauds 2015 Winner, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Team Sky.

Christian Prudhomme applauds 2015 Winner, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Team Sky.

Christian Prudhomme: “The passion that people from Yorkshire have for cycling is just unbelievable. Huge crowds we saw for the Tour de France! One year after, we thought impossible to have the same for the first edition of the Tour de Yorkshire. But yes, huge crowds again.”

“The second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire is one step forward again. On Saturday we have women and men the same distance, the same media coverage. We don’t know today what Saturday will mean for the future of cycling.”   

Lars-Petter Nordhaug: “We hope to win. We are the biggest team here. We really want to make the race.”

Sir Gary Verity welcomes Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEDGE) to the Tour de Yorkshire.

Sir Gary Verity welcomes Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEDGE) to the Tour de Yorkshire.

Caleb Ewan: “I don’t really know how my form is now.” Coming out of a block of training. “I’ve not raced for six weeks.” Calab is hoping to improve towards the end of the race. Although the first stage is billed as a sprinters stage. “It’s not a straight forward sprint as I thought it would be”. Referring to the un-categorised climb on the Settle finish loop!

Dani King: Saturday’s Asda Women’s Race. “I’m really excited to ride here in Yorkshire, we did a reccy today and there were school kids on the side of the road screaming to cheer us.” “I feel proud that Britain is leading the way with the same media coverage.” “It’s amazing the step forward for women’s cycling and I think it’s only going to go further after this race.”

Lucy Garner: Billed also as a sprint finish for the women’s race. “It’s not flat! It’s definitely rolling. I think the weathers going to play a roll in the race, setting off early in the morning”.

 

 

 

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.

 

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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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