Aviva Women’s Tour – Stage 2

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

Jolien d’Hoore sprinted to victory in Clacton to move within one second of the race leader, Lisa Brennauer, as the fancied general classification riders began to flex their muscles.

“I feel good, I’m getting stronger but I also have a good team around me and that makes a difference. You can never win a race alone. I don’t know about GC but I did want to win a stage. I have that now and I can stay relaxed. Let’s see how I go.”

The reigning Belgian national road race champion of Wiggle Honda showing her liking for tough uphill sprints with a fine win on Marine Parade in Clacton.

Aviva Yellow jersey Brennauer also looked in ominously good form sprinting to second place while Christine Majerus of the Boels Dolmans team was in third place with another big overall contender Emma Johansson in close attendance in fourth place.

With the peloton catching the break four kilometres from the finish in Clacton, the multi-talented d’Hoore, a former World Junior Champion on the road, positioned herself perfectly coming up the long drag into the Essex seaside resort to win by a wheel to record her latest win in an increasingly impressive season.

Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Womens Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Interview by Cycling Shorts

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

“It was pretty close in the end,”admitted d’Hoore.“I went form the last corner but it was uphill and into the wind so I didn’t know if I could make it. I was hoping GIorgia Bronzini was in my wheel, in fact the original plan was for me to lead her out but she wasn’t there. She told me to go from the corner and she would try and stay in the wheel so I just gave everything until the finish.

“I feel good, I’m getting stronger but I also have a good team around me and that makes a difference. You can never win a race alone. I don’t know about GC but I did want to win a stage. I have that now and I can stay relaxed. Let’s see how I go.

“I had two weeks complete off the bike and then I had a five week training period which was pretty tough. It’s a little bit of a risk when you rest like that but I was confident that my form was good. I am happy.”

D’Hoore has all sort of options ahead of her and objectively she must be a contender for the World Road Race Championship in Richmond, Virginia which she has seen and describes as a very up and down “Belgian style” course with a few comforting cobbles for good measure.

But Rio 2016 is possibly and even bigger focus and in particular the Omnium on the track where she could yet prove the strongest rival to the triumvirate of Laura Trott, Annette Edmondson and Sarah Hammer who have dominated the event in recent years. D’Hoore finished fifth at London 2012 but was an outstanding winner at the World Cup at the Lee Valley Velodrome last year.

“For Rio I am going 100% for the track and my road season next year will be short to plan for that,” insists d’Hoore. My goal is the Omnium for sure”  

Meanwhile Brennauer, the World Time Trial champion, is revealing an unexpected talent for sprint finishes with her second runners up spot in two days confirming her in the Aviva Yellow Jersey that she wore today in place of the absent Armitstead, who, as she had announced the previous night, decided not to continue after her nasty crash after her stage win in Aldeburgh.

Lisa Brennauer Interview Stage 2 – Aviva Womens Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of team Velcro SRAM talks post Stage 2 of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 as she tops the GC podium.

“It felt quite weird for me to be wearing the yellow jersey today. I feel really sorry for what happened to Lizzie yesterday, it’s never nice when somebody gets hurt in a crash

“I’m not really concentrating on my sprinting despite the two second places. I think perhaps I am just getting a better athlete. I’m not a pure sprinter and probably never will be but I can be fast especially when I get a nice lead out and the finishes on the last two days have suited me.

“It was pretty hectic today with a lot of teams trying to set their sprinters up, my team did a really great job setting me up around the last left hand corner when we hit the coast. The sprint opened up and I just did my best. I want to fight or this yellow jersey but the GC is close, so much can happen.”

Brennauer also retains her lead in the Chain Reactions Cycles Points competition, with second overall d’Hoore wearing that jersey for Friday’s stage in Nothamptonshire, while Melissa Hoskins of Orica AIS leads the Strava Queen of the Mountains competition having picked up points on both classified climbs.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling kept hold of the SweetSpot Best Young Rider jersey with Coryn Rivera while Elinor Barker of Matrix Fitness, currently in ninth position overall, wears the Premier Inn Best British Rider Jersey.

After her starring role in the day’s breakaway, and repeated attempts to escape, Bigla Pro Cycling’s Vera Koedooder took the day’s YodelDirect Combativity Award while the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team also lead the Aviva Team Classification.

Stage 2 Results

Stage2

 

GC after Stage 2

Stage2GC

U23:  Coryn Rivera

Best British: Elinor Barker

Points: Lisa Brennauer

Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins

Team: UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling

Highlights of Stage Two are on ITV4 at 8pm on Thursday 18 June, with a repeat at 11.05am on Friday morning.

 

AvivaWT_Stage3_Map-1

Stage Three sees the race return to Oundle, the Grand Depart town for last year’s inaugural Women’s Tour, which this year acts as the start for a demanding 139.2km run to Kettering through the Northamptonshire countryside. With the most demanding terrain so far and a stage length just 800m short of the maximum allowed by the UCI, this should be where the Aviva General Classification race kicks off in earnest, especially off the back of a long and hard ridden Stage Two in Suffolk and Essex.

Interview: Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Stage 2 Womens Tour 2015

 

Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Womens Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Interview by Cycling Shorts

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

Read the full stage 2 report, results and view the race gallery here.

Cheshire Classic 2015 Gallery

 

Cheshire Classic 2015 – British Cycling Women’s Road Series Round 2.

Cheshire Classic Results, 2015:
1 Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 02:36:55
2 Laura Trott Matrix Fitness at 34 seconds
3 Alice Barnes Betch.NL-Superior-Brentjens MTB Racing Team at 36 seconds
4 Emily Kay Team USN
5 Katie Curtis Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl
6 Louise Mahe IKON – Mazda
7 Charline Joiner Team WNT
8 Laura Greenhalgh Les Filles Racing Team
9 Henrietta Colborne Bonito Squadra Corse
10 Emily Nelson Team USN
11 Nicola Juniper Team Giordana- Triton
12 Eve Dixon Team 22
13 Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl
14 Jennifer George Les Filles Racing Team
15 Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science
16 Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team
17 Rose Osbourne Team WNT
18 Anna Christian Wiggle Honda
19 Susan Freeburn PMR@Toachim House
20 Ellie Campbell Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science all at same time

RideLondon 2013

RideLondon 2013

If you were to tell me last Sunday saw 16,500 cyclists enjoying 100 miles of closed roads stretching from the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, weaving through the city and out west into Surrey, I’d think you were crazy. But this was certainly no tall story.

 

 

 

 

The Prudential RideLondon Festival of Cycling hit the capital last weekend seeing more than 65,000 cycling enthusiasts enjoy everything about the bike. A free-cycle through the city soaking in the sites, a Bike Show and the Women’s Elite Crit Race on the Saturday. And on Sunday, the RideLondon 100 followed by the Men’s Pro Race, both taking in a circuit similar to that of the Olympics.

Back in April when I found out I’d won a place to ride with #TeamSkoda, one of the key sponsors of the event, I was not only excited to be part of the UK’s largest celebration of the bike, but pretty nervous too. I’d not long moved back from Amsterdam with the goal of becoming a grimpeuse (climber), or at least a better one than I was. RideLondon was the perfect event to give me the motivational kick to get my slow-twitch muscles working and build the stamina to complete my longest ride yet.

Training
I’d struggled at the beginning of the year to feel the love for the bike. Winter seemed to drag on and as an asthmatic; cold, damp conditions are the worst! I was struggling to enjoy club rides, knowing everyone else had to wait for me at the top of every hill. I decided the only way to deal with this was focus.

I invested in some turbo-training DVDs and started to get into the routine of coming home to a warm, dark house, shutting myself away in the attic for 90 mins. I was also attending weekly track training sessions – riding a fixed gear with intensive interval training was helping to build additional muscle and fitness. By the time I got back out on the road at the Amstel Gold Race in April, I could already see the difference in my power, completing the 125km route (including all the climbs) in just over 5 hours and with energy left over to party that evening. My longest ride yet.

Sussing out the Surrey Hills with Ben

Sussing out the Surrey Hills with Ben

Come the beginning of May, I was ready to head off to the Alps. Cycling for me has always been about social riding; particularly in windy Amsterdam. But for once I was on my own. By tackling the cols alone, I really got to know not only my physical capability, but my inner chimp. I not only came back a different cyclist, but ready to better my performance. I was finally in love with the bike again.

With lighter evenings kicking in, I was now back on the bike 3 – 4 times a week – mixing it up with long weekend rides and some challenging Cat 3 & 4 climbs in the Chilterns, track-training on a Thursday, and some fast, short interval based rides mid week.

Another week in the Alps at the end of June, and I could really see the difference. This time I wasn’t alone. But I not only felt comfortable, I knew how to pace myself and not succumb to the pressure of those that were faster around me. I came back broken, having never cycled or climbed so much in one week before, but I now knew I was capable of more.

Although I’d aimed to become a grimpeuse by the end of the 2013 season, I can happily say I’d already beaten my goal, if not bettered it. Of course, I still have plenty to improve on, but compare me to the cyclist of last year, and you wouldn’t recognise me. I don’t recognise me!

Race Day
The week before RideLondon I was struck down with a chest infection and fever; my lungs collapsing on me and a course of antibiotics prescribed. My worst nightmare and one I seem to live every time I have a big cycle event coming up. Feeling particularly rubbish, all of my enthusiasm had washed out the window, more a fear that I wouldn’t be able to start, let alone complete the full 100 miles comfortably. It was only 2 days before “race day” that I decided I would start and see how I got on. And aren’t I glad I did!

My alarm rung loud at 5am on Sunday morning. I stumbled out of bed into the lycra I’d already laid out the night before, and clambered into the already loaded car trying to eat some form of breakfast – in this instance a banana, 2 boiled eggs prepared the night before and a cup of tea. Entering London on eearily empty roads, I hadn’t really anticipated the eery empty roads I would soon by cycling on.

Arriving at the Olympic park, I was shocked at the sheer number of cyclists in their pens, like patient cattle waiting for the farmer to open the gate. There were hundreds, if not thousands, and I was only seeing an 8th, maybe even a 9th of the total number of cyclists that would pass through the start line that day.

Riding for Skoda, we were welcomed into the VIP tent, brekkie thrown in. Still half asleep, I only batted half an eyelid at Laura Trott and Dani King of Wiggle-Honda Pro team sat at the table tucking into their bacon rolls.

Me and the Matrix Fitness Girls

Taking advantage of the open roads

After a quick discussion with the rest of Team Skoda about our target times, the 6 of us were directed into our wave ready to start at a very prompt 7.50am, along with other Skoda cyclists and the girls from Matrix Fitness RA.

The start was strange. Not only were we swarmed by thousands of other cyclists, all with the same intention, but we were on completely closed roads, ignoring traffic lights and riding straight through junctions. For the first 5 – 10km, the majority were keeping to the left of the road, obviously feeling out of their comfort zone encroaching ‘the other side’. Soon losing the other Team Skoda members, I stuck with the Matrix Fitness girls, Hannah Walker, Jessie Walker and Emma Grant, as we weaved our way through the cyclists, out of the city and into the countryside of Surrey.

The 4 of us had concerns that the ‘swarm’ would continue into the hills, making it difficult to complete the course in a time of our choosing. But come Newlands Corner (not long after a little crash I had as a result of a stopping peloton on a narrowing road), the masses had started to thin.

Apart from ‘lethal’ Leith Hill, the last 25km had to be the toughest. I’d lost the girls following a medic stop at 50 miles and the motivating cheers of ‘you need to beat Boris, he’s ahead of you‘ were a distant memory. Everything was hurting, I couldn’t find a wheel I felt comfortable to sit on, and I just wanted to finish. Pulling onto the Mall, the crowds roaring with support, I was able to use the last of what energy I had to pick up my speed and cross the line with a smile on my face.

6 hours and 24 minutes after starting (including the 30 minute medic stop to clean my wounds), I had finished, lungs in tact! I was particularly happy to roll up to the second Skoda tent of the day, park my bike and enjoy indulging in some proper food, a shower and the Men’s Pro Race.

2014?
If you fancy giving RideLondon 2014 a go, the ballot opens this Monday, 12th August. Good luck!

 

With Thanks:

A massive thank you has to be passed on to the following people and companies:

Skoda & Cycling Plus for providing me the opportunity to take part in a fantastic event, with a big part of that thank you to Jonathan Durling for the support throughout the past few months, and the grandstand tickets!

Matrix Fitness Racing Academy, Helen and Stef Wyman for all of their support at Skoda training events, with particular mention to Hannah, Jessie and Emma for their support on the day.

Team Skoda – without the banter, training rides and comparison of notes over the past few months, the event wouldn’t have been the same without them. Well done all!

Boris Johnson, Prudential, the event marshals and St Johns Ambulance for laying on a fantastic event normally unimaginable for London and very much reminiscent of the Netherlands.

The spectators – a lot more than I was expecting – but awesome, every one of them!

And of course, my wonderful friends and family for all their support and for putting up with my moaning!

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

Meet #TeamSkoda for RideLondon

#TeamSkoda for RideLondonWhen I saw the bombardment of tweets about those that had been lucky enough to get a place in this year’s RideLondon, I realised I was missing out on something. At the time, I was living in Amsterdam. I didn’t know where I was going to be come August 2013, and I hadn’t really grasped just what RideLondon was at the point of the application deadline back in August 2012.

As more and more friends around me started to brag about their place, I was secretly plotting to turn up and ride the course not wanting to miss out, although I wouldn’t have the medal and official finish time to brag about at the end.

And then, I just happen to see this:

“Calling all female readers – this competition has been extended as we are looking for some female entrants to… fb.me/I2dhuqpJ

Meet #TeamSkoda

Meet #TeamSkoda

Hmmmm…. This sounds interesting! Thinking nothing of it, I wrote a short profile about my cycling experience and my goals for the year – to start track racing and become a competent hill climber – added a couple of photos and sent it off to CyclingPlus and Bike Radar. Expecting there to be many stronger riders than myself applying, I was rather in shock to open my email one morning the following week to this: “Congratulations! You’ve been picked as 1 of 6 to ride for Team Skoda!” ARGH!! I was stunned. Me? They picked ME?!

Prudential RideLondon is an annual world-class festival of cycling developed by the Mayor of London, London & Partners and Transport for London in partnership with Surrey County Council. Held over the weekend of 3rd and 4th August, Skoda are supporting the weekend as the Official Car Supplier with over 30 support cars provided for the event.

The weekend features a series of events for amateur, club and world elite cyclists, the 100 mile road race will take place on closed-roads through London and Surrey and is expected to attract up to 200,000 visitors and 70,000 cyclists including an eight-mile family-fun ride featuring London’s most iconic landmarks.  It’s quite possibly the largest event of it’s kind in the UK, and continuing the legacy of last year’s London Olympics is expected to be a fantastic weekend on two wheels.

Not only do I get to wear Team Skoda kit as I train over the coming months (eagerly sat waiting the postman for delivery) but we also get the privilege of training with Rapha-Condor JLT and Matrix Fitness. This is an unbelievable experience.

On April 17th, I set off to the Welsh town of Pontipridd. Set up on the forecourt of the Skoda garage were the event trailers of Skoda Cycling and the Rapha-Condor JLT and Matrix Fitness support cars, complete with team members. Ed Clancy and James McCallum representing the force of Rapha, and Helen Wyman and Harriet Owen of Matrix Fitness; the latter whom I had the pleasure of spending 60km of challenging Welsh terrain with.

Harriet Owen & Helen Wyman of Matrix Fitness

Harriet Owen & Helen Wyman of Matrix Fitness

One of the best experiences of the day was having the Matrix Fitness support car with Stefan Wyman up along side me for majority of the ride, who thankfully, provided some much needed motivation and words of advice on the 12% sharp climbs and 5 mile “mini Alpe d’Huez” of the Blwych. In the car with Stefan was our camera man for the day – recording every moment of my ride. Trying to look comfortable (and keep the language clean) on those tough climbs was not easy, especially as all I wanted to do was hold on to the car and let it do the hard work for me – couldn’t have that on camera though! After all, I have 100 miles of tough cycling ahead of me in August.

Getting to ride up, close and personal with pros is a priceless experience – seeing just how they handle certain ride situations, their power output on climbs in comparison to the flats, and receiving general advice from those that know best. And, there was no need for any star-struck moments, they were typically happy to share their passion for the bike with us.

For once, Wales stayed dry and fairly warm apart from a decent headwind which only helped as a natural break reaching 70kmph on the decent from the top of the Blwych. Wales, which will feature highly in this year’s Tour of Britain, can be best described as the ‘Alps on our doorstep’. Fantastic challenging climbs perfect for a long-weekend without the long travel time. And, the boys from Ajax Cycling Club who lead us out that day, would be more than happy to lead you out on a Sunday too!

 

For more information about RideLondon visit: http://www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk

You can also track our progress in Cycling Plus magazine over the coming months, or following #teamskoda.

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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