Race report: Crit/RR race 1 Hog Hill

a woman on a bike corners sharply to the left

A race report from the first LWR 2017 crit/RR league crit race, from Hannah Nicklin (who also raced!) All images in this post courtesy of Tom J Powell. Thanks to CC London for hosting, and also check out WERL, for whom it was also a league race.

Crit 1: Hog with the occasional hill – 1st April 2017

A huge field of just over 40 riders took to the bottom of the Hog Hill (Redbridge) circuit 12:30 this Saturday 1st April, to kick off the LWR crit/RR league on the hog hill circuit with an anti-clockwise ‘hog with the occasional hill’ format. This meant 45 mins plus 5 laps, riding the bottom part of the circuit, and every 12 minutes or so, an airhorn signalled the riders to ascend the Hoggenberg. The usual left turn at the foot of the hill was replaced with a much sharper turn but with level camber.

4 riders begin to pull away from the bunch on a hill

THE HOGGENBERG – the break forms

The pace was fast from the start, bearing in mind the super-sharp new corner, the front of the race attempted to string out the bunch, then on the first ascent of the Hoggenberg, there was a strong attack from the confident climbers in the group: as Delia from Les Filles put it “A big group on that dodgy bottom corner needed splitting up so first time up the hill… We split it up!” A couple managed to jump onto the break, and a strong effort from CCL’s own Liz Hughes saw her bridge shortly after. A minor crash just before the climb then meant that the 40-strong bunch was strung into a break, a chase group, and many solo riders.

8 women who are the chase group

The chase group.

The chase group of around 8-10 riders worked hard over the next 10-15 minutes, at some points gaining on them, but as they ascended the Hoggenberg for the second time, the break had solidified their lead.

Then, in the closing laps, a solo attack out of the break saw Hannah Larbalestier of SunSport Velo drive home a compelling victory, even lapping the chase group! The break’s sprint finish saw Caroline Reuter of London Phoenix in 2nd place, Lucy Harper of Team OnForm in 3rd, Liz Hughes of CCL in 4th and Delia Beddis of Les Filles Queen of the Mountains in 5th. Some confusion on whether it was the second to last or last lap for the chase group led to a haphazard sprint, but with so many riders strung out around the course, the organisers managed as best they could.

8 women form the main break in the race

The break, at the bottom of the course.

Full results can be found here. Photos (including these featured) by Tom J Powell can be seen here. It was a fast and tough race, particularly as it featured a number of 2nd cat riders, but as only cat 3 and 4 riders count towards the league, do check out the all-important league standings here: RESULTS PAGE.

Sign up to the next race in the league right now! Saturday 22nd April, at Hillingdon, hosted by Westerley CC. Thankfully without hills whatsoever, a field of cat 3/4s only, and with the luxuriously late start time of 15:30, should mean that it will be a great opportunity to get more points for the league.

Three women, in their cycling kits, stand arm in arm as the podium

1st: Hannah Larbalestier SunSport Velo, 2nd: Caroline Reuter London Phoenix, 3rd: Lucy Harper Team OnForm

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