Queen of the Mountains

QoTM

….Well maybe Queen of Richmond Park!

Today I rode out with the lovely Alicia Bamford, founder of Queen of the Mountains, a new women’s performance cycling brand launching via Kickstarter.

Queen of the Mountains is building a strong community of female cyclists, with regular rides on Tuesdays in Regents Park, Thursdays in Richmond Park and a variety of Sunday rides with brunch!

QoTM2This morning’s ride was super social, with everyone chatting and enjoying the winter sun. The ethos of the rides is to welcome all women (and men), of all abilities. No one is left behind and the chat continues over coffee post ride.

Information about the rides can be found on the website where you can sign up for the newsletter for regular ride updates. A longer ride is planned for Mothers Day from Giro Cafe in Esher; what a perfect way for mums to get some me time!

Alicia told me they have adventurous plans for future cycling events to inspire women to challenge themselves.

“We want to inspire women to ride and to climb their own mountain, to set their own challenge and feel that sense of achievement on the way up, as well as at the summit. We’re introducing more women to the beauty, freedom and sense of achievement that comes with cycling.”

QoTM1I got a sneak preview of the Spring/Summer collection, inspired by Mont Ventoux, which is available for pre-order on the Queen of the Mountains Kickstarter page. There is only 7 days left, so act swiftly if you are keen to be one of the first to wear this stunning kit.

The first range includes beautiful, technical jerseys, shorts, gilets, socks and more, all designed for women. Manufactured in Italy, using performance technical wicking fabrics, the kit is cut specifically for the female body shape in the riding position. It has well thought out features such as a waterproof zipped jersey pocket for your smart phone and no scratchy labels!

We are hoping to get some kit to try out on a ride soon so watch this space……

You can also find Queen of the Mountains on Facebook and Twitter

Final Report from the 2015 Aviva Womens Tour

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

Lisa Brennauer clinched the overall victory in the Aviva Women’s Tour, surviving an attacking final day of racing through the Chiltern Hills from Marlow to Hemel Hempstead, won by Hannah Barnes.

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling rider sprinted to victory in the Premier Inn Best British Rider Jersey as the peloton once again caught the day’s break of Claudia Lichtenberg and Audrey Cordon inside the final kilometre.

The duo were finally reeled in by a fast charging peloton on the arrow straight final 500-metres, setting up an exciting finish with Barnes coming through to claim her biggest victory to date, along with both the Premier Inn Best British Rider and SweetSpot Best Young Rider prizes by virtue of her fifth overall.

Behind Barnes Stage Two winner Jolien D’hoore took second with Simona Frapporti third, while General Classification Contenders Brennauer, Majerus and Johansson took fourth, fifth and seventh respectively.

The World Time Trial Champion’s consistent finishing of top six places on all five stages earned her the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey to pair with her Aviva Yellow Jersey, finishing with a six second advantage over D’hoore with Majerus a further second back.

Interview – Lisa Brennauer 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour Winner by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks after her dominant performance and taking the overall win in GC in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour. A well deserved Yellow jersey win!

“This Tour is one of the biggest events on the women’s calendar, so this victory means a lot to me. It was a great victory for me, but also for the whole team – big thanks to all my team mates,” said the Velocio SRAM rider afterwards

“I have to thank my team mates, it wasn’t easy today – a tough stage with all the hills and a lot of hard attacks.

“I worked hard yesterday to get the jersey back. I missed some of the intermediate sprints. I wanted to get to the point where I could give back to my team-mates for all their hard work.”

Having started amidst the biggest crowds of the week in Marlow in Buckinghamshire, riders headed into the Chiltern Hills for a stage of attacking racing. A lead group of four riders, including eventual YodelDirect Combativity Winner Gracie Elvin, formed early on but were caught by the top of the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb of Cryers Hill as the General Classification contenders fought for bonus seconds at the first Chain Reaction Cycles Sprint at Prestwood, which came almost immediately afterwards.

Lichtenberg then attacked on one of the day’s, many, unclassified climbs with many riders trying to cross to her, but Wiggle Honda’s Cordon was the only one to make the junction with thirteen kilometres remaining.

Yet again though in the Aviva Women’s Tour the escape would not prevail, setting up Barnes for a highly popular win in Hemel Hempstead

Hannah Barnes Stage 5 Winner – Women’s Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Hannah Barnes of Team UnitedHealthcare talks to the media after taking the U23 and Best British Rider Jerseys in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour and topping it all off with the final stage win!

“This was the biggest aim of the year, so I’m happy to have pulled it off.

“I knew it would be hard in the Chilterns and what to expect. The sprint was crazy, very difficult. I got boxed at 100m to go but thankfully got free. The team are normally used to the American peloton & wide roads,” continued Barnes, before praising teammate Alexis Ryan for protecting her in “the Alexis bubble”.

With breakaway riders sweeping up the big points at both Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs Orica AIS rider Melissa Hoskins extended her lead by a point to keep hold of the orange polka dot jersey ahead of Elise Delzenne.

The Boels Dolmans team added the Aviva Team Classification to their two stage wins with Elisa Longo Borghini claimed the Overall YodelDirect Combativity Award having been at the front of the action on several stages.

An excellent Women’s Tour bring on 2016!

Highlights of Stage Five will be shown by ITV4 at 8pm on Sunday 21 June with a repeat at 11.15am on Monday 22 June and available on demand via the ITV Player for 30-days after broadcast.

Stage 5 Resultsstage 5

Final GC Podium for the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour

Overall GC WT2015

U23: Hannah Barnes

Best British: Hannah Barnes

Points: Lisa Brennauer

Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins

Team: Boels Dolmans Cycling Team

For full results and final overall standings please click here.

Aviva Women’s Tour 2015 – Stage 1

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

 

The start of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 got off to a ‘smashing’ start for Lizzie Armitstead and members of the media, not quite the finish everyone was anticipating.

 

With the profile of the 110km stage it looked like it would end in a bunch sprint but with QoM’s points to contest just before the finish there could be an upset.
Some of the big name riders in the hunt for a win were Bronzini and Armitstead, with their teams Wiggle Honda and Boels Dolman respectively keeping the pace high.

Aviva Women's Tour 2015 | Stage OneKatie Archibald, Pearl Izumi, “I think this race has been designed with the TV in mind with possible bunch sprint finishes. Stage 4 has a really technical finish but we hope to have everyone fighting it out to the end. My role in the team will be to sprint with the other Katie [Curtis], we will be looking for that kick at the end, Sarah Storey and Ciara Horne will be our main climbers.”

Archibald hit the deck approaching the first QoM (Queen of the Mountains) but Joanna Rowsell hung back to help her Pearl Izumi sprinter back into the pack, once she’d been seen by the race doctor. Armitstead looked to control the pace heading towards the QoM with Sharon Laws (last years QoM winner). Susanna Zorzi of Lotto Soudal unfortunately got a flat at the bottom of the climb.
6 pojnts went to Melissa Hoskins of Orica with Anouska Koster hot on her heels for the 5 points.

Lizzie Armitstead, “My form is good, I had a mini season break in May came back with two wins, I won the Tour of Qatar, I’ll take that confidence into the sprints but a much more lumpy race would really suit me.”

Orica AIS rider Emma Johansson, “ I’ve just come out of a tour in Spain that was really successful for me, I came away with 3 wins, I don’t feel like there is any pressure on me, I’m just gonna enjoy every day.”

The first sprint points were contested by a group of four riders but Coryn Rivera (UHC) won the sprint gaining the first 3 points of the tour followed by Marta Tagliaferro (2 points) and Elinor Barker (1 point).

Hannah Barnes UHC, “ I’m mostly looking at stage wins this Tour, last year was good with two top fours, Coryn and I are on form so the team is hoping to have a really good week.”

USA’s Heather Fischer took a nasty fall in the race for the second sprint, Tagliaferro took maximum points followed by Barker and Rivera.

Laura Trott, Matrix Fitness, “It went well at the Tour Series and the Milk Race for me, these stages are a bit longer than an hour race, two of the stages are 140km which isn’t what we train for, as long as I can get to the finish I think I can do ok.”

A five rider breakaway was established as the second QoM loomed ahead, the group consisted of the previous sprint contest riders, they were joined by Katie Archibald, and Coryn Rivera’s UHC team mate Katie Hall who was sitting on the back wheel waiting to pounce. The peloton chase was being led by Wiggle Honda with a 3 minute gap to the leaders at one point. Another gap developed as Katie Archibald struggled with the climb and was distanced from her breakaway companions. The UHC riders took the top two points available as the QoM summit (Katie Hall 6pts and Coryn Rivera 5pts). Archibald was last over the line for the breakaway taking 2 points as she started to slip slowly backwards, eventually when the peloton arrived at the QoM’s Sharon Laws mopped up the remaining point uncontested.

Giorgia Bronzini, Wiggle Honda, “For me and my team this race is a big goal, we are here with good riders and we are prepared for every solution that can be in the race.”

The leading group was down to four riders with 10km’s to go. Orica snd Wiggle had raised the pace on the front of the peloton and the lead groups advantage of 2 minutes 45 was eroded to 55 seconds.

Lisa Brennauer of Velcro SRAM“I think there are more possibilities for a sprinter than just the bunch sprint this tour, I hope it’s going to be exciting and not predictable as to who’s going to win.”

With 5km’s to go the lead group were dangling like a carrot in front of the hungry peloton.

With 2km to go the race became exposed to the crosswinds of the coast with those hiding in the peloton at an advantage.

Aviva Women's Tour 2015 | Stage OneUnder the Flame rouge and the breakaway was hanging in by a thread. They were quickly absorbed into the peloton. The sprinters came to the front and immediately Armitstead, Frapporti, Brennauer and Johansson showed their form. Crossing the line first was Lizzie Armitstead with Lisa Brennauer 2nd, and Emma Johansson 3rd.

The days spills didn’t end there, moments after the win Lizzie appeared to swerve to her left and in doing so hit a number of the press photographers, CyclingShorts.cc Chris Maher was one of them, they fell like a pack of cards. The photographers were in their correct position along with race organisers. Currently nothing is known about why Lizzie lost control of her bike but she went down very hard. She was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken femur, she was released later luckily with nothing more serious than bruises. Lizzie thanked everyone for their concern and also thanked the NHS staff who treated her.

Armitstead has a 4 second lead after stage one with a time of 2h39’43”. We wish Lizzie well and hope she’s able to defend her jersey tomorrow.

Stage One | Bury St Edmonds to Alderburgh

Stage1Results

 

U23 – Coryn Rivera

Best British – Lizzie Armitstead

Points – Lizzie Armitstead

Queen of the Mountains – Katie Hall

Team – UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling

 

Useful Links…

Twitter www.twitter.com/thewomenstour    Event Hashtag #AvivaWT2015

Facebook www.facebook.com/thewomenstour

Instagram www.instagram.com/thetourcycling

YouTube www.youtube.com/thetourcycling

Aviva Women’s Tour Women’s Tour

 

Thursday 18th June 2015 | Stage Two | Braintree to Clacton

AvivaWT_Stage2_Map-1

Words by Anna, Images by Chris Maher

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