Report | LWR Spring League – Race 03 | Hannah Troop

RACE 03 | 26th March 2016 | Hackney CC: Primavera #1 | Velopark

From inside the bunch…

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start line | Huw Williams

So a slightly different take from last week’s race report, I bit the bullet and finally entered my first crit! With 27 entrants ready to roll on the start line, (again an impressive number that hopefully will continue to increase) there was jostling for position right from the start. With cat 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s entered – a break was inevitable and formed by the end of the first lap of the circuit, a group of 6 riders quickly pulling away.

The first laps saw a few fruitless attempts to bridge the gap, mine included, but it seemed set for the day. A mix of five riders did most of the work on the front, into gusts of winds hitting 40mph, with a couple of torrential downpours for good measure!

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chase group | Huw Williams

As with most races the pace ebbs and flows; positioning myself towards the front of the group gave a feeling of control and ability to react. The men’s cat 123 race took place on the course at the same time – hammering round past us at speed, the one thing I took away from the race was how important communication is. There’s no P’s & Q’s, this high octane environment doesn’t allow for it. Commands are forceful and sharp, not to be taken personally, if adhered to immediately – can be crash preventative. Safety is paramount.

A slightly de-moralising moment was being lapped by the breakaway group, which their fellow team-mates happily voiced as they over-took. Once passed, it was head back in the game and back onto ‘our’ race.

Another striking realisation was the level of concentration, every sense on full alert. Eyes – surveying for hazards. Ears – tuned into commands. Smell – adrenaline. Taste – lactic building. Feel – bike handling to the conditions.

Coming into the penultimate lap twitchiness started to build, people weighing up their best option. Make a break and risk being caught, energy depleted before the line or wait for a move, then calculate in a nano-second if you think it has a chance. The final lap saw attempts at both. In the last few hundred meters the circuit hits a bridge providing the perfect left-handed slingshot into the finishing straight. A Regents Park Rouleur made the leap, my nano-instinct – to follow. A move that saw us instantly gain ground away from the bunch. Tactically I sat on my fellow breakaway’s wheel, sprinting round at the very last moment. Points are points, right?

Hannah Troop

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first lap | Huw Williams

Provisional Results | 26th March 2016 | Hackney CC: Primavera #1

01 Tamara Davenne / Zappi’s RT

02 Keira McVitty / Team WNT

03 Kimberly Preston / Army Cycling Race Team

04 Delia Beddis / Les Fille RT (LWR)

05 Chanel Mason / Army Cycling Race Team

06 Molly Patch / CC London (LWR)

07 Hannah Troop / Pretorius (LWR)

08 Tatyana Rogozhina / Regents Park Rouleurs (LWR)

09 Corinne Price (LWR)

10 Victoria Strila / PMR@TH (LWR)

11 Sue McFarlane / Army Cycling Race Team

12 Chloe Weller / Army Cyling Race Team

13 Hannah Nicklin / Dulwich Paragon (LWR)

14 Claire Hammond / Twickenham CC (LWR)

15 Charlotte Roberge / Dulwich Paragon (LWR)

16 Michelle Arthurs-Brennan / Maison Du Velo (LWR)

17 Helen Stacey / VCL (LWR)

18 Anna Carter / LVYCC / Kinetic Cycles

19 Ali Peate / Panagua CC (LWR)

20 Vivienne Tomlin / CC London (LWR)

21 Nancy Staniland / London Pheonix (LWR)

22 Caroline Pulford / NLTCBMBC (LWR)

23 Lesley Courtney / Welwyn Wheelers (LWR)

24 Malgorzata Cyganowska / Southgate CC

Please send us an email at londonwomensracing@gmail.com if you have any comments on the results and check out the full LWR Spring League rankings here.

More super photos of the day taken by Huw Williams can be found here.