New Home for SCCU Good Friday Meeting

HerneHillIt’s with a heavy heart that Cycling Shorts brings you this sad, sad news about the SCCU Good Friday Meeting (Southern Counties Cycling Union), I won’t drop the other Cycling Shorts writers in it, but a few of us have been having the same collective grumble about this all morning.

I wanted to call this article “Herne Hill abandoned for shiny new venue with no soul”, but I’m resisting.

Personally I feel the event will lose a lot of it’s core supporters who have stood by the event no matter the weather, in fact the weather is part of the charm of the Good Friday Meet (and other Good Friday races around the country)… people will still go out in mucky weather to watch or take part in cycling in the UK. At least at an outdoor track the riders pass the spectators repeatedly keeping the audience gripped, the same can not always be said of road racing, it whizzes past you once… reach for your flask of coffee and hobnob (other biscuits are available) and the photo opportunity is gone! Isn’t part of the point of these races to get outdoors and enjoy what spring throws at us?! Herne Hill will be remembered with more fondness than Lee Valley ever could be. It seems it’s yet another event cashing in on the new and sacrificing the old. In my mind this isn’t a move of location, it’s a total change of event.

I want to see grass roots venues being treated with the respect they deserve, if the cycling bubble we are currently riding in does burst (fingers crossed it won’t) you need venues like Herne Hill to help keep cycling going in the bad times, don’t snub it in the good times, why can’t these venues continue to host these sorts of races?… so what if demand outstrips supply of tickets, it becomes a more exclusive event.

The international pro riders I know who ride the GFM year in year out always tell me they love going to Herne Hill, they say it feels like you’re in the heart of a community.

I won’t be able to make it down this year to Lee Valley, I know I grumble, but I know it will still be a great day of racing and I’m sad I can’t go this year, it’s always well organised and quirky… if you haven’t been to the Good Friday Meet before and don’t like British weather then you have no excuse this time, get down to Lee Valley for an action packed day of cycling!

I’ll give it a go next year…. maybe.

Disappointed of the weather beaten (but hardy) North.

 

So after much rumour…here are the details of the relocation we received this afternoon.

On 18th April 2014 The SCCU Good Friday Meeting will be departing one historic Olympic Venue for another as it makes a move from Herne Hill to Lee Valley Velopark to help celebrate the opening year of the park and the cycling legacy of London 2012.

Lee Valley Velopark

Lee Valley Velopark

We know that many of our supporters at Herne Hill will be disappointed that they will not be making their annual pilgrimage to Burbage Road ‐ and it will certainly be a very strange feeling for us to not be unlocking the gates at 6 o’clock in the morning – but after 110 years of forecast watching we will not be at the mercy of the British weather this year!

This decision has not been taken lightly. We’ve spent several months weighing up all of the options whilst constantly aiming to bring the best afternoon’s racing we can to our loyal supporters.

Herne Hill is a much‐loved and highly respected venue and work to renovate and evolve into a multi‐use facility is ongoing, taking it from strength to strength and elevating it far above it’s Victorian peers. Whilst the Good Friday meeting is undoubtedly a part of the velodrome’s history we are aware that track racing has moved on over the years and the event also needs to evolve to meet the expectations of the new generation of enthusiasts and supporters.

With this in mind, we felt that it was appropriate to bring the meeting to an indoor venue.

Rest assured, Herne Hill will continue to be a home of world‐class events and we fully intend to expand the number of outdoor‐specific and continental‐style events we promote at the venue, returning to the traditions and racing styles which the venue has hosted for over a century.

To our traditional supporters we say come with us, and to our new supporters we say welcome to some great racing!

Event website: http://www.bristowevents.co.uk/GoodFriday.html

Watch Live Stream – Amsterdam Six Day 21st-26th Oct 2013

 

 

Dates: October 21-26, 2013
On Air: Approx. 19:20 CET to 23:00 PM CET

 

With 26 world-ranked Six Day riders forming 13 teams Cycling Shorts brings you a spectaculair cycling event the legendary 6 Daagse from Amsterdam, a lively week of cycling thrills and spills.

The field of Six Day riders for Amsterdam is complete. After world champions, Olympic champions, specialists and super young talent, the latest names added to the existing list of stars is impressive, it includes defending champion Pim Ligthart.

The evening starts with a 90-lap Madison with nine sprint points, each one after ten laps. The couple with the most points wins. The Elimination race works almost the same as the Madison, but now the team that arrives latest at the finish after the bell, has to leave the track. During the derny race, riders have to do 66 laps behind a motor-paced vehicle. In Team Time Trial both riders of the team barrel down after a few warm-up laps high up on the track and do two full speed laps. Halfway, the first rider gives the second rider a hand-swing after which the latter completes the race. Super sprint is a special kind of elimination race with a sprint every 4 laps.

Amsterdam Six Day line-up:

1. Pim Ligthart ( NED ) / Marcel Kalz ( GER )
2. Aaron Gate ( NZL ) / Luke Roberts ( AUS )
3. Jens Mouris ( NED ) / Wim Stroetinga ( NED )
4. Kenny De Ketele ( BEL ) / Gijs Van Hoeke ( BEL )
5 . Nick Stöpler ( NED ) / Yoeri Havik ( NED )
6. Leif Lampater ( GER ) / Raymond Kreder ( NED )
7. Barry Markus ( NED ) / Robert Bartko ( GER )
8. Tristan Marguet ( SUI ) / Marc Hester ( DEN )
9. Melvin Boskamp ( NED ) / Jesper Asselman ( NED )
10. Wesley Kreder ( NED ) / Nolan Hoffmann ( RSA )
11. Guy East (USA ) / Daniel Holloway (USA )
12. Jiri Hochmann / Vojtech Hacecky ( CZE )
13. Didier Caspers ( NED ) / Melvin van Zijl ( NED )

 

For full biographies of all the riders visit the Six Day Racing website here: www.sixdayracing.com/Cyclists

To buy tickets to the event or general 6 Day Racing info click here.

The event will be held at the Velodrome in Amsterdam at Sloterweg 1045, 1066 CD, the Netherlands.

Full Programme:

Monday 21 October 2013 till Thursday 24 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualification Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP Drukkerij Koopmans
22:55  |  Ceremony leaders Six Days of Amsterdam
23:00  |  End
Friday 25 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualification Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Show (no broadcast)
22:30  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP Drukkerij Koopmans
22:55  |  Ceremony leaders Six Days of Amsterdam
23:00  |  End
Saturday 26 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualifications Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Honouring Peter Schep | Presentation & Derny
22:30  |  Madison Masters | Finale Madison Masters Six Days of Amsterdam
23:35  |  Ceremony winners Madison Masters, Keirin Masters & Sprint Masters

Scottish Cycling Women’s Track School

Scottish Cycling Women’s Track School in association with Filles a Velo – July/August 2013

Scottish Cycling Women’s Track School in association with Filles a Velo
July/August 2013

The Scottish Cycling Women’s Track School in association with Filles a Velo is a series of coaching sessions that will lead up to a Go-Race (fun) Track Meet at the end of the program.

All sessions (including the track meet) will take place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow. Coaching sessions are on the 7, 14, 21 July with the track meet on the 4 August 2013.

The Track School is for compete novice to beginner/intermediate riders aged 16 and over, those already racing need not apply. However, riders that have just completed accreditation but are lacking confidence or skill are welcome.

Riders will be split into ability groups and will be coached at their appropriate level. There will be 3 coaching sessions and it is preferred that riders attend all or as many as possible to take advantage of this opportunity.

Bike hire will be available for all the coaching sessions and the track meet. This will be provided through Glasgow Life and is arranged on the day at the velodrome.

This summer school offers ideal female rider and coach development and with the addition of a track meet opens an opportunity for continued development of female race officials.

 

Entry can be made via the British Cycling online entry system for all the coaching sessions and the track meet. Click the links below to be taken to the British Cycling event pages to sign up.

Women’s Track School 1 – 7 July 2013 
Women’s Track School 2 – 14 July 2013 
Women’s Track School 3 – 21 July 2013 
Women’s Go-Race Track Meet – 4 Aug 2013 
 

To enable us to offer more sessions like this on both the track and the road in the future, we really need ladies to show their support by entering the above sessions.

 

Image ©John Hewat

A League of Lessons

Track Cycling Reading Velodrome Swarbrick_RTL_20100719_01It’s no secret that one of my goals this year is to start track racing. I bought my #pocketrocket at the beginning of the year and joined Reading Velodrome on a Thursday evening for structured training and accreditation from British Cycling coaches.

Four weeks later, after cycling in circles in some very questionable weather (think snow, ice and -2 wind chills), I was officially ready to race at Reading Track league and officially had my first BC race license in my hand riding under Rollapaluza CC (who else would I become a member of but the kings of spin!!)

This is the moment I’d been waiting for. But I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous. I’d been able to witness the ‘pros’ (well, that’s what I call them given they’ve been riding and racing for a while) at the structured sessions and had the opportunity to practice with them on a couple of occasions when the coaches clearly wanted to see what I was made of. I was also aware about the lack of women that participate in league, which means the races are limited to a final rather than heats; or if against the men, rather tough.

I’d already identified that my main limitation was of tactical knowledge in each of the different races and if anything this is what was going to hold me back, even down to knowing what was actually required in a Devil v a Keirin! And so, I dragged my Dad along for support, not that he objected given his love for the sport.

The key to racing, as Heather has very rightly written in her previous posts about racing, is preparation. This is where I failed on a number of counts.

Firstly, I managed to pack what I thought was everything I needed. I even did a run down before I left the house – shoes, check! Socks, check! Bibs, check!… But somehow, even though it hangs above the front door, I forgot my helmet. Just as well Dad was with me, on hand to lend me his.

Lesson number 1 – write a pre-race check list and place it somewhere I can check and double check it before leaving.

Second failure of the evening was the warm up. New to the sport, I haven’t yet invested in a set of rollers, let alone tried a pair, nervous that my housemate is likely to come home to find me wedged between a wall and a kitchen cabinet. Aware that I needed to be warm, I did what laps I could on the inner circuit of the track trying to raise my heart rate to a decent race equivalent, but it clearly wasn’t enough. End of the first race and all I can taste is metal and I’m wheezing like a Grampus. Not a great sign! And so, I seek out a set of rollers before the next race and low and behold manage to sit comfortable and spin.

Lesson number 2 – warm up properly!

My #pocketrocket & borrowed helmet

My #pocketrocket & borrowed helmet

I may have already learnt two key lessons, but if anything my evening was a success. The first race was a mixed Omnium. With a nasty headwind on the far straight, the bunch stayed together for the majority of the ride, and I managed to hang on in the middle for most of the race. I got caught on the front of a split half way through the 20 laps, but it soon came back together and I managed to keep my legs spinning, avoid a few close wheel touches to find the extra energy to push through the finish line… and I wasn’t last! Result! The second and final race for me that evening was the ladies Keirin. 3 of the 5 riders have been competing since they were juniors. I stood no chance. My first experience of sprinting off the line for the derny. I had no other objectives but to watch and learn. I now know what I need to do next time round.

Someone had given me wise advice that league is the best place to learn tactics and get to proper grips with racing, and they weren’t wrong. I can’t wait to get back to league next week and build on these lessons. This time with my helmet packed on a set of rollers to hand.

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

British Cycling Members to Lead Out Great Manchester Cycle

FM_Image_Great_Manchester_Cycle_3

FM_Great_Manchester_Cycle_Logo

British Cycling members can look forward to getting off to a great start at the Great Manchester Cycle, with an exclusive start zone ahead of other riders.
Following on from the resounding success of last year’s sell-out event, which saw 7,000 riders take to the city’s closed roads, The Great Manchester Cycle is set to return on Sunday 30th June 2013: bigger and better than before.
The initiative will be in effect across all distances and will mean that members will carry the British Cycling logo on their event number and be guaranteed the best start possible on the day. With Manchester’s National Cycling Centre being the organisation’s headquarters, the event will truly be taking place on home turf and is the perfect chance for British Cycling to thank their members.
“The Great Manchester Cycle was a brilliant event last year and it was fantastic to see so many cyclists lining up ready to go – and just a stone’s throw from our offices!” said Gavin Finch, Head of Marketing at British Cycling. “We’re incredibly grateful to our members and wanted to give those taking part the best event experience on the day, offering a unique opportunity to lead out the thousands of riders with nothing but clear roads ahead.”
The 13-mile lap starts and finishes at the Etihad Campus (home of Manchester City FC) and includes a stretch along the iconic Mancunian Way. This part of the route will offer cyclists a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride on the motorway that on any other day is out of bounds.
As in 2012 riders will have the choice of three distances, designed to cater for all abilities from club cyclists through to families wanting to take on the challenge together. There’s ‘A Great Day Out’ over 13 miles, ‘Rule the Roads’ over 26 miles, or, for the more established riders, ‘Break Away from the Pack’ over 52 miles.
Lizzie Amitstead, who brought home Britain’s first medal of the Olympic Games last summer in the cycling road race, took part in the Great Manchester Cycle in 2012 and described the event as “a fantastic day out”.
Entry for each route will cost just £20 for adults and £5 for kids. Children aged 3-7 can take part in the 13-mile route for free, but will need to use either a tag-a-long bike or children’s bike trailer/seat.
For further information on the route, event details and how to enter please visit: www.greatcycle.org
FM_Great-Manchester-Cycle_2013_Course

Get On Track Girls!

Last September I threw myself on a track bike and round (and round) one of the steepest indoor tracks in the Netherlands for the first time. And I loved it! There was no going back. The idea of riding a bike that has no brakes at speed still unsettles me a little today (mainly at a fear of not unclipping as I come to a halt and making a fool of myself!), but the more I do it, the more addicted I get. When I left Amsterdam earlier this year, I was quite gutted to leave behind a fantastic indoor velodrome and a brilliant team of coaches who not only took an interest in me on the track, but on the road and my cycling club too. I had to right a wrong and immediately got in touch with Reading Velodrome. 

Hayley's Dolan Track Bike with SRAM, Dura Ace, Mavic

Don’t be surprised to find me tucked up in bed with this beauty!

Now, Reading is certainly not indoors and it certainly isn’t steep. In fact… it’s concrete, outdoors and really long in comparison! Which of course, if you’re fairly new to cycling or a little nervous about giving it a go – it’s perfect. Unlike an indoor track; outdoor, flatter courses give you the opportunity to really get to know your fixed-speed bike and learn some handling skills, something I’m still not quite as aquatinted with as I would like, especially as I only built my first track bike last week, but it sure is a beauty – do you have bike envy yet?.

Put it this way – there’s a lot less to think about. Getting used to a constant cadence, no brakes,  a very steep wooden track, 10 other cyclists around you in the same learning experience and the need to be travelling at 35kmph+ to get round in one piece, all in your first session isn’t the easiest. I’m not saying that indoor track training isn’t a fantastic experience because I loved every moment of it, but it’s definitely more daunting in comparison. And if you’ve ever been to an indoor track event, I’m sure you can understand where I’m coming from.

On arrival to my first session on Thursday, I had already introduced myself to the trainers over email to make sure I’d be welcomed to the sessions (due to an influx of interest post Olympics, their website states they can no longer accept new interest) and that my capabilities were ok. I needn’t have feared. As soon as they knew I’d ridden boards before, they wanted me in with the pro-group. NO WAY! This girl needs to get used to being on the bike again before sitting up on the fence with 15 boys. And I’m not exaggerating. The trainers made it pretty clear from the start that they need more girls (hence there was no problem with me joining an over-subscribed session!).

Of course, training with the boys isn’t an issue, I’ve always been a fan of this in any sport I’ve done; however when it comes to competition…well, basically there isn’t any. Most track races typically have heats… not in the girls track league as there aren’t enough girls. Straight into the finals. And so, besides training with the boys, it turns out that I’ll actually be racing them come the start of the league season in three weeks. The only difference being that I’ll have a ‘pink number’ (yes, my heart sank a little at the sound of those words). So girls, although a little reluctant to do this for obvious reasons (I want to win!) I’m making this a call to give it a go.. at least consider it.

Most UK tracks have hire bikes (but make sure you contact them in advance to reserve one), or if you’re really keen, Dolan frame sets start from £199. And, all tracks run beginner British Cycling accreditation sessions. So why not check out your local track and give it a go? 

Reading: Track training sessions run on a Thursday evening, league nights on a Monday.

Hearne Hill: The girls from Mule Bar Girl run a girls’ only session a Sunday afternoon.

Calshot & Newport & Manchester: Indoor tracks – contact them for info on beginner sessions

 

Forstemann v Mitchell - Good Friday Meet @ Hearne Hill Velodrome

Forstemann v Skinner – Good Friday Meet @ Hearne Hill Velodrome

 

And if you’re still a little unsure, get yourself down to a local track meet. The Good Friday Meet at Hearne Hill on Friday was absolutely fantastic. Rubbing shoulders (or thighs) with some of the world’s greatest track cyclists including Cycling Short’s contributor Jody Cundy and thigh-tastic Robert Forstemann was a brilliant experience and has certainly got my motivational juices flowing.

See you on the start line!

 

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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