Smart Racing

Smart racing is safe racing! A few tips for our newer racers:

  • Try to hold your line. This means avoiding sudden movements, jerking to the side or harsh braking. Remember that everything you do affects the people directly behind and on either side of you. One bad move can have a domino effect and have consequences for many riders. Concentrate on what is happening around you so that you have time to react. Riding in an appropriate gear will also help you to keep your pedalling smooth.
  • Cornering is probably the trickiest part of racing. Keep a nice smooth line going into the corner, braking gently on the straight if you need to reduce speed. Try not to swing out dramatically unless the rider in front of you has taken a wide line too. Do not undercut or ‘divebomb’ on the inside when cornering, as riders will cut back in and you will most likely collide or have to take avoiding action. Try and corner on the drops to have more control and stability. Your bike will also be in a similar position to the others around it.
  • Be vocal. Call out hazards and directions if needed. Let people know where you are by saying “I’m on your right” or “on your left” for example. Call out dangerous riding if needed but try not to swear! Put your hand in the air, shout out and pull in to the left if you have a puncture so that others can pass you safely.
  • Sometimes, you might get dropped but keep riding! Most likely, you will not be the only person who gets dropped from the front group. Keep pushing on, try and join forces with other riders and form your own race within a race. Use it as a training session if nothing else. Try and keep close to the left hand side so that if you get lapped, the bunch can pass safely. Don’t give up, it takes a few races to get into the swing of things.

Most importantly, remember this is for fun. Yes, it’s a competition but speak to other racers – we don’t bite!🙂

South West Road Race Championships

This year, the South West Road Race Championships will be taking place on Saturday 4th June on a new course in North Cornwall. The women’s race will consist of two laps of a 21 mile rolling loop. It has been organised by Scott Tomkinson from Lanhydrock Wheelers with support from the SW Road Race Working Group. Although this race will not be part of the series being it’s own standalone event, we would like to really encourage as many entries as possible from the women’s racing community! It is open to ALL racers in the South West so please do get your entries in and show your support for a regional championships for women. Without the racers, there is no race.

Enter online here: SW Road Race Championships Entry

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Somerset RC Westpoint Race Report

For the next race in the SW series, the sun was shining and the wind was definitely blowing!

A last minute course change meant that we raced around the square circuit, rather than the alternative route across the middle. This gave us less corners to navigate, but more cross wind to battle with!

Straight from the off, Heidi Viles (SRC) and Alex Sheehan (Bikeshed-Bianchi) looked strong and kept the pace up. The group stayed together for the first few laps, with the riders trying to position themselves to get some shelter from the decent cross wind. The three Elite Velo girls were working together to try to spit the group with Hetty Summerhayes making bursts off the front but as there were a number of strong riders in the group, these attacks didn’t really come to anything.

As the race progressed, a few riders were dropped and the group got a little strung out as the stronger girls moved away. Heidi, Alex and Georgina Panchaud (cycleworks.co.uk) kept the race active with Hester Stembridge and Alice Staniford (Elite Velo) never far away.

As a newbie, I just wanted to stay sat in and watch the race unfold. Luckily, I was able to stick with the main group and when any attacks came I had enough “oomph” to react. With (I think) two laps to go, Heidi showed her strength and began to pull away and stayed away for a convincing win. Hester Stembridge took second and Alice Staniford chased me down for third. I was fourth and Nicki Carr (VC Equipe-Flix) was fifth after a strong ride back to the group in the middle of the race.

I’m not sure when it happened but there was an incident in the race and Jess Duffy (Bikeshed-Bianchi) had to take evasive action and came down heavily on the bottom corner. Thankfully she was able to walk away but with some painful looking road rash, a ripped skin suit, a poorly bike and what looked like a bad application of blusher! Fix quick Jess.

Somerset RC put on a great day of racing and the fact that they provided the sunshine, meant that my pasty white legs saw the sun for the first time this year… Just call me Casper!

Race report by Lucy Driver from Somerset RC

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Provisional Race Results:

1) Heidi Viles – Somerset RC

2) Hester Stembridge – Elite Velo

3) Alice Staniford – Elite Velo

4) Lucy Driver – Somerset RC

5) Nikki Carr – VC Equipe-Flix

6) Georgie Panchaud – cycleworks.co.uk

7) Lizzy Campbell – Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers

8) Alex Sheehan – Bikeshed-Bianchi

9) Zoe Betteridge – North Devon Wheelers-Southfork

10) Hetty Summerhayes – Elite Velo

Many thanks to Lucy for the race report and Nara Ishikawa of Lanhydrock Wheelers for the photographs. It’s brilliant to see so many new faces getting involved!

Sadly, the Women’s GP on the 8th May has had to be rescheduled due to proposed roadworks on the course so the next race in the SW Women’s Race Series will be the Colin Lewis Grand Prix on the 15th May. Enter online here: Colin Lewis Grand Prix Entry

 

Four Firs Hilly TT Results

Fifteen brave women arrived at the Clyst St George village hall on a very wet and stormy morning to take part in the Exeter Wheelers Four Firs Sporting Time Trial. Many swapped time trial bikes for road bikes and left the deep section wheels at home just in case and warm ups were cut short or done on the road to avoid getting too cold. Luckily, the wind wasn’t too bad – it was just the hills to worry about! It’s more of a rolling course; fourteen miles long with only one big hill to make your legs groan but when you’re going full gas everything feels that little bit harder. The race of truth is a great way to test your fitness and push yourself out of your comfort zone and many first time TTers gave it a go on Sunday. Everyone got round in one piece and once around the course, we dived back into HQ to get a nice hot cup of tea and huddle together. Many thanks to all the hardy marshals and volunteers who helped direct the riders and keep us safe!

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The eventual winner, speeding to victory! Photo by Ann Owens, more can found on FLickr.

1: Natalie Grinczer – Team WNT 37:52
2: Crystal Spearman- No Pinz 39:02
3: Emma Cockcroft – Bikeshed-Bianchi 39:20
4: Zoe Betteridge – North Devon Wheelers-Southfork 40:59
5: Bethan Stubbs – Bikeshed-Bianchi 41:47
6: Jess Duffy Bikeshed-Bianchi 41:52
7: Wiebke Rietz – 1st Chard Wheelers 43:37
8: Nicki Toomer – Exeter Wheelers 44:44
9: Alex Sheehan – Bikeshed-Bianchi 45:50
10: Jasmine Grey – Elite Velo Kalas RT 46:04 (junior)
11: Elena Bremer – Stavanger SK-Foreign 47:01
12: Lucy Monk – Exeter Wheelers 47:46 (junior)
13:Claire Guthrie – Exeter Wheelers 48:12
14: Nik Rorke – Exeter Wheelers 48:22
15: Jenny Bolsom – Revo Racing 51:19 (late penalty)

The next round of the SW Women’s Race Series will be the Somerset RC race at Westpoint on the 23rd April, enter here!

Modbury Spring Road Race Report

The first round of the 2016 KALAS South West Women’s Race Series was superbly organised by Cycle Sport South Hams on the infamously lumpy Modbury circuit. With last year’s top three finishers missing and defending SW Series Champion Emma Cockcroft of Bikeshed-Bianchi competing on the track, it was anyone’s guess to how the race would unfold. In previous years, it had seen one or two rider breaks succeed in staying away with attacks usually flying on the ‘Modbury Mur’.

However, this edition saw a front group of twenty riders form very quickly and stay together for the majority of the three 21km laps. Plymouth based Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT had the largest showing with eight riders on the start line and they controlled the pace of the bunch well by taking smooth turns on the front for the majority of the first lap. The second lap saw Performance Cycles and Bath University riders take the helm at the front, trying to up the pace and put little digs in but none of their attacks were enough to split the group.

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Both Jennifer Powell of Elite Velo and Lauren Dolan of Liv CC-Epic Coaching looked strong on each ascent of the Mur but again the group still stuck together. It was the final descent down the valley towards Ermington that saw the most convincing attacks launched, most notably from Hannah Larbalestier of Bath University and Alexandra Jenkins of Aprire-HSS Hire. However, Perfomance Cycles’ Kate Baker was committed to chasing these down and the group reformed going into the final few kilometres at the foot of the last climb.

A touch of wheels and shoulders saw several riders (including Alex Jenkins) caught on the inside get pushed into the hedgerow, which the rest of the group did well to avoid. Eventual winner Lauren Dolan was perfectly positioned rounding the last corner approaching the finishing straight and took a convincing win just ahead of a very tight sprint for second between Kate Baker and Heidi Viles from Somerset RC-The Bicycle Chain.

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Lucy Burgess of Radeon Bike Science RT, Jennifer Powell, Hannah Larabaliester, Lucy Scott of Bath Uni and Bethan Stubbs of Bikeshed-Bianchi rounded out the front group of finishers. A great win for young Lauren Dolan, building on her second place finish at last month’s Primavera Road Race. She now leads the SW Women’s Race Series!

Full results for all finishers:

1. Lauren Dolan (Junior) – Liv Cycling Club-Epic Coaching

2. Kate Baker – Performance Cycles

3. Heidi Viles – Somerset RC-The Bicycle Chain

4. Lucy Burgess – Radeon Bike Science RT

5. Jennifer Powell – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

6. Hannah Larabalestier – University of Bath Cycling Club

7. Lucy Scott – University of Bath Cycling Club

8. Bethan Stubbs – Bikeshed-Bianchi

9. Georgie Panchaud – Cycleworks.co.uk

10. Ellie Gilham – Primera -Team Jobs

11. Hester Stembridge – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

12. Fiona Reading – Radeon Bike Science RT

13. Joanne Jago – Performance Cycles

14. Zoe Betteridge – North Devon Wheelers-Southfork

15. Sophie Williams (Junior) – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

16. Jasmine Gray (Junior) – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

17. Rebecca Cornwell – Taw Velo

18. Alice Staniford – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

19. Alexandra Jenkins – Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire

20. Karen Wyle Smith – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

21. Agata Wiznicka – Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire

22. Hetty Summerhayes (Junior) – Elite Velo Kalas Sportswear CRT

23. Sue Williams – Revo Racing

Thanks to CCSH for a brilliant race and for the photos! Also, many thanks to Bethan Stubbs, Alex Jenkins and Lucy Burgess for their feedback after the race.

The next round of the SW Women’s Series will be the Four Firs Hilly TT run by Exeter Wheelers on the 27th March.

2016 Race Series Dates

The dates for the 2016 South West Women’s Race Series have been finalised. You can see the events on the right hand side any time you want to check a date and more details can be found on the Race Calendar page. We will try to add in British Cycling links when the race entries go live – some of them already have and our advice would be to enter as soon as possible to give race organisers an idea of numbers and to avoid cancellations wherever possible.

Please share the race calendar with anyone you think might be interested.

2016 Series Race Calendar:

13th March – CS South Hams Modbury Spring Road Race

Modbury Spring Road Races. A rolling 65km course, a map of which can be seen here. Details about entering can be found here.

 

27th March – Exeter Wheelers CC Four Firs 12 mile Sporting TT S7/17

Four Firs 12 mile Sporting Time Trial. Run on a 12 mile undulating course. All the roads are single carriageway so for those who are nervous about dual carriageways this is the perfect one for you. Entry closes on the (tbc) March and there is no entry on the line. To enter go to the CTT website, then go to the Events tab. Use the search filter with the district (South West) and month (March) to whittle down the list. In the list look for Exeter Whls CC on the 27th March. To enter click the ENTER link on the right of the list.

 

23rd April – Somerset RC Circuit Race Westpoint

Closed circuit race at Westpoint Driving Centre

 

8th May – South West Bike Academy Road Race

An 80km (50 miles) road race based in Somerton, Somerset

 

15th May – Colin Lewis Cycles GP Circuit Race

Colin Lewis Cycles GP Circuit Race at the Velopark in Paignton. Have a go at circuit racing at this purpose built, pan flat 1km loop. Slightly technical with a few sharp corners to keep you on your toes or wheels! Details and entry here.

 

19th June – Seaton Town Centre Circuit Race

Circuit race around Seaton Town Centre

 

26th June – Cycleogic 10 mile TT S6/10

10 mile time trial

 

17th July – North Devon Wheelers 25 mile TT

25 mile time trial

 

7th Aug – Mid Devon CC Paignton Regatta

Closed circuit race at Torbay Velopark

 

14th Aug –  Plymouth Corinthians Road Race

Road race on the Brentor course (more details tbc)

 

21st Aug – City Cycle Couriers 13 mile sporting TT

13 mile sporting time trial

 

4th Sept – Exeter Wheelers CC Road Race

End of season finale on a new road race course

 

Good luck and we’ll see you on the road SW women!

2015 Series Results

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The 2015 Series has now finished and the full results have been posted on the Results Page for you to check out. We had lots of new racers taking part and plenty of familiar faces too. Overall, it’s been a brilliant year for participation and we can only hope to take that to a new level next year. If you know anyone who might be interested, please direct them to the series!

Our deserving prize winners for the overall points competition were:

1st Place Emma Cockroft from BikeShed – UEX

2nd Place Zoe Betteridge from North Devon Wheelers – South Fork

3rd Place Heidi Viles from Somerset RC – The Bicycle Chain

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The 4th Cat competition was also won by Emma Cockroft after only starting racing this year and achieving some brilliant wins at circuit races. Congratulations Emma!

The Vet 40+ competition was won by Sarah Godwin from Team Tor 2000 (formerly Somerset RC) after a consistently good season. Congratulations Sarah!

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The Junior competition was won by Emily Attfield from Velosure-Starley Primal but sadly, she couldn’t be with us at the presentation. Congratulations Emily!

Finally, we’d like to say a massive big thank you to series sponsor Kalas who provided us with the trophies and winner’s jersey. They also sponsor several local women’s race teams and do a lot in the cycling community so make sure you support your local companies! Also, a HUGE thank you to all of the cycling clubs, commissaires, race organisers and volunteers who help make the events happen in the first place. Here’s to 2016!