In a big step for Women’s Cycling, Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team announced yesterday their plans to help move the sport and their team forward. Here’s what’s in store for 2015:
Over the past three seasons Epic Cycles and Scott Sports have been the two main sponsors for the successful Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team. Going into 2015 we will see one or two changes in sponsorship, but with the same team management and owners. A new team name will also be announced soon.
One feature of the team over the past three years has been its evolving terms of reference – in years one and two the emphasis was very much on the development of junior riders, while in year three the focus has been on bringing together a balanced and talented group of senior riders with the aim of riding together as a cohesive team, rather than as a collection of individuals.
This evolution will continue in year four, with renewed focus on rider development and a primary aim to act as a path into the professional ranks and/or competing in UCI races for those with ambitions to do so.
To support this aim we are working closely with the newly announced Matrix-Vulpine UCI Team. Our joint expectation is that a number of our riders will have the opportunity through this relationship to ride with the Matrix team as stagiaires in UCI races during the 2015 season, offering them the chance both to race in the pro peloton and to demonstrate what they could offer to a UCI pro team.
We also aim to build on our successes in the area of team work, and will be targeting key events in the UK domestic road racing scene, with a view to building on our list of 2014 victories and podium places.
The team will, as in 2014, be managed in a professional manner and we hope to further contribute to raising the standard of women’s race team management in the UK.
- To provide team environment and structure in which riders can develop and progress, either to riding at a higher level within the UK scene or to a career as a professional cyclist.
- To build on the number of podium places achieved in key UK races during 2014.
- To provide opportunities to take part in UCI races and gain exposure within the pro peloton.
- To raise the profile of our riders, team, and sponsors.
While we anticipate that some of this year’s line-up will be moving on to new teams, we are hoping to retain a number of our existing riders for 2015.
In signing new riders we are aiming, as in 2014, to assemble a strong and ambitious team who have complementary strengths and skills, so that we are able to enter races with different leaders and tactics according to the nature and timing of each race.
As in previous years, the team will not been built around a single star rider or to specialise in a particular type of race. Instead, we will aim to perform consistently well in all types of road racing, throughout the entire season.
Our planned team size of around 10 riders should provide sufficient cover for key events, while maximising the opportunity for individual riders to participate in a full programme of races without too many occasions where we have more riders than places available.
Our preference is for the team to be made up of a mix of over and under 23 seniors, but we do not have a rigid age or experience profile in mind. It is anticipated that most/all will be in some form of employment or education – full time availability to race is not a requirement.
A track record of participation and progression in road racing is essential. Previous race success (in terms of podium spots) is secondary to a positive attitude and a commitment to team work.
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!
All images ©chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
Round Eight in the Women’s Road Race Series – Ryedale Grand Prix incorporating the BC Junior Women’s National Road Race Championship.
Round Eight of the Women’s Road Series is the Ryedale Grand Prix, based around the Ampleforth Abbey Grounds, in North Yorkshire. The course has been used over the years for the National Championships and consists of two loops that pass through the grounds of the Sport College and the Start/ Finish area, allowing the spectators to follow the progression of the race as it develops.
This year’s edition incorporates the British Cycling Junior Women’s Road Race Championships with-in the senior race, and covers around thirty-nine miles.
A nine-thirty start on a muggy, misty and slightly damp course saw the girls away safely up the switch-back climb in-front of the Abbey and onto the main road. A two kilometre neutralised zone got the girls through the town of Ampleforth where they swung left and onto the main climb across the Yearsley Moor to start the race. A high pace up the first ascent saw four or five girls dropped straight away. The course then turned to the right before Yearsley, and the girls headed out towards Oulston for the first of two large circuits.
It wasn’t long before a couple of minor falls split the peloton, and as the pace was kept high, the peloton once again fragmented.
Heading left at Gilling East and back through to the Sports Grounds at the Abbey for the first circuit, Series Leader Nicola Juniper made a small attack and gained four or five seconds lead. The peloton had strung-out on the approach to the Rugby Fields, but at the right, then left-hand pinch point, the slippery surface brought panic to the chasing girls as several slid across the surface and brought the group to an almost stand-still.
Chains un-tangled, and a quick brush-down, it was going to be a hard chase for the peloton to catch Juniper, who had ridden up through the start/ finish area un-aware of the hold-up behind her and to a lead of around sixty-seconds.
Looking back, further around the course, Juniper had realised that no-one was there, and decided to dig-in and time trial the rest of the race.
The peloton chased hard, but Juniper’s lead grew, and in the end, she rode to a solo victory.
Eyes were then on the sprint to the line and more importantly the first three Juniors, vying for the National Championships Jersey. It was no surprise to see Bethany Haywood, Matrix Fitness Vulpine glued to the wheels of Laura Massey, Epic Cycles who lead the bunch in for second place. Emma Grant rode in to forth, Elizabeth Holden in to fifth and Silver for the juniors. Amy Gornall, RST Racing rode in to eighth place to secure her Bronze Medal.
- Nicola Juniper – Team Echelon Rotor
- Laura Massey – Epic Cycles Scott WRT
- Bethany Haywood – Matrix Fitness Vulpine (J)
- Emma Grant – Tibco To The Top
- Elizabeth Holden – RST Racing (J)
- Rebecca Womersley – Wyndymilla Reynolds
- Rebecca Rimmington – Merlin Cycles
- Amy Gornall – RST Racing (J)
- Jane Barr – Velocity 44 Stirling
- Jennifer Hudson – VC ST Raphael
- Elizabeth Malins – Fusion Development RT
- Ellie Campbell – Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science
- Alexie Shaw – Epic Cycles Scott WRT
- Gabriella Nordin – Pedal Power RT
- Sophie Falkner – Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science(J)
- Eve Dixon – Team 22
- Abigail Dentus – Team De Ver (J)
- Natalie Grinczer – Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science
- Rebecca Nixon – Dundee Thistle CC
- Abby Mae Parkinson – RST Racing (J)
- Vanessa Whitfield – VC ST Raphael
- Karen Poole – GB Cycles
- Chloe Fraser – Deeside Thistle CC
- Cassie McGoldrick – Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science
- Louise Burnie – Loughborough Students CC
- Maisie Duckworth – Wolverhampton Wheelers (J)
- Lauren Obrien – RST Racing (J)
- Iona Sewell – GB Cycles
- Nicola Soden – GB Cycles
- Helen McKay – Look Mum No Hands!
- Ashleigh Fraser – Deeside Thistle CC (J)
- Emily Middleditch – Deeside Thistle CC
- Clover Murray – Braintree Velo Cycle Racing Club
- Lucy Harper – Bike Pure LeMond Aspire (J)
- Alexandra Sheehan – Merlin Cycles (J)
British Cycling Junior Women’s National Road Race Championships
Gold: Bethany HaywoodMatrix Fitness Vulpine
Silver: Elizabeth HoldenRST Racing Team
Bronze: Amy GornallRST Racing Team
Women’s Road Race Standings after Round Eight
1 Nicola Juniper – 274 – Team Echelon
2 Gabriella Shaw – 140 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
3 Katie Archibald – 135 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
4 Dame Sarah Storey – 110 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
5 Laura Trott – 101 – Wiggle Honda
6 Molly Weaver – 96 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
7 Laura Massey – 93 – Epic Cycles – Scot WRT
8 Hannah Walker – 77 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
9 Bethany Hayward – 76 – Matrix Fitness Vulpine
10 Danielle King – 64 – Wiggle Honda
11 Gillian Taylor – 62 – Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science
11 Rebecca Womersley – 62 – Wyndymilla Reynolds
13 Grace Garner – 58 – RST Racing Team
14 Alexie Shaw – 57 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
15 Elinor Barker – 55 – Wiggle Honda
15 Rebecca Rimmington – 55 – Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
17 Lydia Boylan – 50 – Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
17 Jessie Walker – 50 – Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
19 Elizabeth Holden – 48 – RST Racing Team
20 Abigail Dentus – 46 – Team de Ver
Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon) is the 2014 Women’s Road Race Series Champion.
Results by British Cycling
The final race in the current season is the Stafford GP and Kermesse, on Friday 1st – Saturday 2nd August.
I’ve been listening to a lot of chatter on the internet lately about the do’s and don’t’s of Track Sprinting training and racing, so here is my advice as a coach.
1. Just because someone faster than you is doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you (or even them!). Some riders are just plain more talented than others and can still be quicker than you even training badly. At the Olympics, World champs, World Cups etc that I’ve been at I’ve seen riders with frankly ridiculous warm up protocols, poor technique in starts and horrible bike set ups, and every one of them is faster than me…. but they could be so much quicker if they were doing it better.
This goes for coaches too, it’s irrelevant how quick your coach is as a rider if they can’t understand how to relate that training to you and your needs. Often the riders that aren’t as naturally gifted make better coaches because they have had to analyze themselves more carefully to compete with their more naturally gifted counterparts.
2. Gearing is the biggest misnomer right now, firstly cadence is where you should be focussing, the gear choice being a byproduct of that. Emulate the elite guys cadences not gearing. For a variety or reasons gearing in training is different from gearing in races, and is usually a fair bit smaller (except over geared training efforts), think about this when designing your training program, again go back to cadences, you will find 94″ on a cold windy outdoor track is a very different gear to 94″ on double discs and tires at 220psi on a wooden indoor track, train at the cadence you want to race at not the gear you want to use.
3. The current trend for super big gears is a little misleading for most non elite riders (by elite I am talking 10.5 and under) for the less well trained and efficient athletes whacking the gear up can have a short term speed gain, it doesn’t mean it’s helping your long term development, and then we come to racing itself……
4. I know its fun to brag sometimes about things like peak power/max squats/chainring sizes etc, however it often becomes a focus and leads you away from the real aim which should be to win races! Too many people focus too narrowly on small areas and not seeing the whole picture. The 200m is just the entry ticket to the races, if your training is constantly about the “right” gear/cadence to do a good 200m there is a good chance you won’t be able to race as well as you could.
The Elite riders I know can do the same 200m time on gearing between 102 and 120 but you won’t catch them racing on 120! most will race on between 4-8″ less than they qualify and are pedalling at way higher rpms in a race than almost everyone who hopes to emulate this success.
The gear you choose to race in needs to be able to cope with a variety of tactics and scenarios, having an “overspeed” buffer where you can still be effective over a wide range of cadences is a big advantage, especially when rushing the slipstream on an opponent. Bear in mind the steeper the banking and the tighter the radius of the turn the more your rpms will go up in the bends, it can make quite a few rpms difference between the outdoor track/road you train on and the indoor one for your major comp.
5. There is no magic formula, no silver bullet, no perfect answer. Real progress is made by a combination of lots of factors, with the gear you use for your flying 200m just being one small part. Do you get enough quality rest? Is your diet conducive to excellent recovery? Are you working on all the aspects of your sprint? Starts, accelerations, top end speed, speed endurance, form, aerodynamics, recovery between efforts, tapering, roadblocks, rest breaks, mental prep, practicing tactics-observation, injury prevention, supplementation?
Some of these things are quite personal too, what works for Bob might not always work for John and vice versa. Although there are a lot of things that will work for the majority of people if applied at the right level for them and not just copied ad hoc from the elites.
6. Gym work.
In my experience with the athletes I have worked with and the ones I see racing and hear about, gym work is a vital part of MOST sprinters training. It’s the most effective way to build muscle mass (if you need more which isn’t always the case..) and can also be very effective at teaching better fibre/neural requirement.
What you do in the gym though can make a big difference, the training these days is quite different to the more body building programs of the 80-90’s and early 00’s. Todays sprinters are leaner yet stronger. Numbers are totally personal, just because you can back squat 250 and the other guy can do 400 doesn’t mean he will be quicker (Theo Bos couldn’t back squat more than 150kg apparently, he seemed to do alright…), what is relevant is progression, USUALLY an increase in gym strength for a rider will correlate with faster times on the track although there can be occasional exceptions to this.
Gym is quite rev specific with most of the gym gains relating to roughly 0-75rpms on a bike, anything much over 100rpms is very difficult to train with gym work. Other factors are the age of the athlete and also how their body handles weight training, some athletes can cope with it really well and others get broken by it. Again the guys that make it at elite level are usually the ones that can cope with big workloads and big poundages. They are just more gifted than us at training, but what works for them now might be having some long term negative payoffs for later life. There comes a point where training at elite level goes past what is truly healthy for some people, worth considering when racing a bike is your hobby not your job… find what works for you, if your lower back can’t take squatting/deadlifting at a weight that’s useful try leg press or single leg squats instead. Don’t risk your long term health. Again find out what works for you and be prepared to change it when it stops being effective or causes you problems.
Finally… yes you can become elite/fast without weights, they are just a useful tool if you can handle them. ALWAYS put form 1st, remember you are using weights/resistance training to go faster on a bike, not to be the strongest guy or girl in the gym, little and steady improvements here are the way forward.
The difference between high quality tires and clinchers/training tires is as much if not more of a time benefit than between spokes and aero wheels/discs. Frontal area matters, aerodynamics is a very complicated arena, a simple rule of thumb for most of us though is if you make your frontal area smaller you will go faster for the same given power output, this goes for weight too, with 3-4kg’s being roughly a 10th of a second over a flying 200m, and more like 2-300th’s over a standing lap. Think about that when buying expensive wheels, laying off the cake could have a bigger gain 1st…
I think that’s enough from me for today ;)
Performance Cycle Coaching
The Tickhill Grand Prix on 24th August has joined up with new Electrical giant YESSS ELECTRICAL who will be their title sponsor for at least the next 3 years.
The Tickhill Grand Prix is a closed road cycle race through the streets of Tickhill, near Doncaster, (DN11 9PT) and is hot on the heels of the Tour de France. Boasting 8 races, free admission, close to the action spectating, this is a great day for all the family.
YESSS Electrical have stepped in to support the event and see this as a major national promotion as the Race will be attracting professional Riders and Teams from all over the country as well as supporting grassroots Youth Racing.
Shaun Myers, Head of Design & Marketing at YESSS said, “the Tickhill Grand Prix is an amazing event. We were impressed by the effort and dedication that the organising team at Tickhill Velo Club put into their first event in 2013 and realized the huge potential of this great day”
“The Tickhill Grand Prix has a similar story to ours, success and growth that has come purely from the efforts and service put in by excellent staff and we had no hesitation in supporting them.”
Shaun Myers – Yesss Electrical – Head of Design & Marketing
Andy Birdsall – Tickhill Velo Club – Chairman
Andy Singleton – Yesss Group Europe – General Manager
“Rapid” Rich Stoodley – Tickhill Grand Prix – Organiser
Richard Stoodley from Tickhill Grand Prix said “It is amazing to have attracted such a dynamic, high profile company such as YESSS Electrical. It may look like a little village but the Tickhill Grand Prix is set to be one of the biggest town centre ‘crit’ style races in the UK, and it is the support of YESSS that has allowed us to fulfill our ambitions.”
He continued, “We are thrilled to be associated with YESSS and look forward to putting on a great event”
The Tickhill Grand Prix hosts 8 races from 13.00 till 19.45 and these include Professional Elite – both Men & Women – Penny Farthing Race and a host of Amateur & Youth Races.
With Big screens, free admission, free programme, after event presentation and plenty to do and see, the Tickhill Grand Prix is a must for your diary.
Richard went on to say “British Cycling, Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Police have been very supportive in helping us stage this important event and we are working closely with them to put on a safe event for both Riders and spectators.”
But its not just about Racing and promotion, the Tickhill Grand Prix has also agreed a 3 year official partnership with Yorkshire Air Ambulance and will see collections and a sponsorship profit share donated to this much needed Charity.
Mary Perry from Yorkshire Air Ambulance commented “We were delighted when the Tickhill Grand Prix approached us to become a partner. Cycling is a huge, fast growing sport and with all eyes being on the Tour de France this year, fantastic events like Tickhill Grand Prix will gain Yorkshire Air Ambulance much needed exposure and funds”.
Although YESSS are the title sponsor, sponsorship and fundraising opportunities are still available and the organisers can be contacted on [email protected] or visit www.tickhillgp.com
The YESSS Tickhill Grand Prix is set to be the success story of 2014, mainly because of the efforts and vision from YESSS Electrical.
Today we can announce that the legendary cycling event The Milk Race is to return again in 2014 after a triumphant comeback last year.
The event, which was brought back in 2013 by The Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum after a 20 year hiatus, will take place for the second year running in Nottingham on Sunday 25 May as a major city centre race.
For 2014, The Milk Race will once again be a key event in the British sporting calendar and will constitute both an elite women’s race and an elite men’s race on the same day, alongside a full day’s festival of cycling for all the family.
Last year, 60,000 spectators saw Olympic gold medalist Dani King and Rapha Condor JLT’s Felix English join The Milk Race’s Hall of Fame by becoming victorious in the women’s and men’s elite events.
Already confirmed for this year’s race is multi gold medal Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, along with her team The Madison Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Team. On taking part in 2014, Dame Sarah said: “I am very excited to see The Milk Race return to Nottingham for 2014. It was a superb event in 2013 recapturing the excitement of the event from its previous format. This year I am excited to be riding with my new road team and I look forward to seeing the amazing crowds that watched the event in 2013. A huge thanks to everyone who has worked to bring us this superb event again.”
Also confirmed for 2014 is last year’s Milk Race men’s elite champion, Felix English. On returning again this year, Felix said: “As the current men’s Milk Race champion, it’s brilliant that the event is returning again in May. The atmosphere last year in Nottingham was fantastic so I can’t wait to race the circuit once again.”
The 2014 elite races will once again be directed by former world champion Tony Doyle MBE, who was also a founder of the Tour of Britain in 1994 and was President of the British Cycling Federation in 1996.
On his involvement with this year’s Milk Race, Tony said: “I am delighted to be involved in 2014’s event. Last year was a great success and a brilliant addition to the cycling calendar. It’s a very exciting time for cycling and with the heritage of The Milk Race, combined with its new city centre format, I’m sure it’ll once again prove to be a big hit with cyclists and supporters alike.”
Nottingham was chosen as the location of The Milk Race for the second year running as it played a huge part in the success of last year’s event. The city also has a long standing heritage in cycling – it houses the headquarters of leading brand Raleigh – and maintains an outstanding commitment to community cycling.
Further information about the 2014 Milk Race can be found at www.themilkrace.com and additional details of the event will be unveiled over the coming weeks. Registration for family and advanced rides will open mid March.
The History of The Milk Race
- Between 1958 and 1993, The Milk Race was the most prestigious cycling event in the British calendar, and the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board’s sponsorship remains the longest association that the sport has ever had.
- The multistage race of old was conducted over a number of day races – across a number of locations – and was contested by some of the most successful ever road cyclists.
- Previous Milk Race winners include Shane Sutton – a current part of British Cycling’s coaching set-up – and Malcolm Elliott, the team manager of the Node4-Giordana professional team.
- In 2013, The Milk Race returned after 20 years and was held in Nottingham city centre – attended by over 60,000 people. Dani King and Felix English won the women’s elite race and the men’s elite race respectively.
Back in July, British Cycling announced their initiative to inspire one million more women to get on their bikes. The Rider Development Sessions for Women and Girls from Go-Ride, aim to build confidence and teach new cycling techniques in a relaxed and informal setting, in closed road venues. Sessions include track, CX, BMX, and road. And over the past 2 weekends I’ve had the opportunity to attend 2 of them….
Last Sunday, the weather a little stormy, I headed over to Burgess Park BMX Track in London, with 10 other fearless ladies for an afternoon of BMXing. As a teen, I had no interest in my brother’s BMX bike, but it seems I wasn’t the only one who’d found a new want to try something different. And different it was!
The session, aimed at women familiar to cycling (most of us road and track cyclists), started with an introduction to ‘what’ a BMX bike is, the difference in handling to our typical 700c bikes and an hour of getting used to being on our toes and using our bodies to control these small rental bikes. Even before we’d put on the smelly helmets, we were all itching to get on the pump-track; and it wasn’t long before we were let loose on sections, slowly building our confidence, speed and pumping action to complete full runs of the track, including use of the start gate and mini races of 3 riders towards the end. We went from being complete novices to race-ready in 2 hours. Not bad going I say!
Today, 50 lady cyclists of different ages and abilities gathered for the first of 4, 4-hour road specific development sessions in the South region. Rather different to an introduction to something completely new, today’s session was with the aim of growing bike handling skills for road cyclists and the main goal of racing; with a Go-Ride race in the final session in December.
Riding round a rather soggy and windy track at Kempton Park, we progressed from group riding, chain-ganging, speedy cornering to finishing with an elimination race, or survival of those with speed and good bike handling skills! (Yes, you read that right. And you’re guessing right too – a questionable decision for road racing with a group of ladies only just getting used to the idea of being bumped and squeezed in a group!). It was great to see so many eager ladies keen to learn and determined not to let the weather ruin it. For me, it wasn’t as fun or exciting as giving something new a go (cycling around a 1 mile course 40 times gets a little tiring), but with intention of racing next season, I hope to build on some skills and if anything, check out what I’m up against.
Having spent the past 2 weekends at two very different events, I can highly recommend giving it a go – whether it’s something completely new, or something you wish to build on. Well done British Cycling for investing the time and money – I’ll be sure to renew my membership next year.
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!