A race report from the fifth LWR 2017 crit/RR league crit race, hosted by Southborough & District Wheelers as part of the Crits in the Park programme of Saturday races at Cyclopark, in Gravesend. Report and pics from Hannah Nicklin. League standings will be up ASAP on the crit/rr results page. You can also check out photos, via the LWR facebook page.


Line up at the start line, still a bit of water on the road, but it dried off quickly.

Sunshine and showers welcomed the women who arrived at Cyclopark on Saturday 20th May for the fifth race in the LWR 2017 Crit/RR series, hosted by the lovely Southborough & District Wheelers. And while downpours dogged the sign on and warm up periods, the skies cleared just in time, as riders rolled up to the start line under burgeoning sunshine. A proper spring day! The startline boasted a strong field of 3/4s, featuring a few juniors who are regulars at Huw William’s Wednesday Night Race Training, and are therefore very familiar with the twists and turns of Cyclopark’s varied crit circuit. This


Rosie Wallace of Liv AWOL, leading the pack through the hairpin

meant that the pace around the first technical section, the hairpin, and the dog leg at the bottom of the circuit, was kept hard, and right from go, the group of around 25 began to lose riders.


Around about lap 3, as riders got more tired, the bunch began to stretch out, and as riders began to lose contact, 20 minutes in saw a group of around 18 riders forming at the front of the race. Junior Development team Liv AWOL and Kent Velogirls were seen driving the pace at the front, and slight gaps were occasionally formed by riders pushing to see if an attack might be effective, but in increasingly strong crosswinds, most judged the bunch as the safest place to be, as riders continued to be shed from the back of the group (though all put in determined ITT/2-up TT efforts, which is, of course, exactly what you should do if dropped!).


The reduced peloton.

The bell came at 1 lap to go and 14 riders had survived to contest the sprint. Unfortunately one ride slightly overcooked the final corner into the straight and came down, but only with a grazed knee. The sprint went from about halfway up the finishing straight and Emily Ashwood of Cycle Team OnForm immediately created a very definitive gap between her and the chasing riders. Finishing with time to straighten her jersey and raise her hands in victory. Kitty Pemberton Platt of Rapha CC clinched second place, just followed by Hannah Graveney of Liv AWOL in third place. Provisional top 10 (not official until they go up on BC) as follows:

  1. Emily Ashwood – Cycle Team OnForm
  2. Kitty Pemberton Platt – Rapha CC
  3. Hannah Graveney – Liv AWOL
  4. Pip Jenkins – Southborough & District Wheelers
  5. Anna Marie Hughes – Vertex-Biemme RT
  6. Anna Harborow – Brixton Cycles Club
  7. Carolyn Swan – Kent Velo Girls CC
  8. Katrina Murphy – Dulwich Paragon CC
  9. Elisabeth Anderson – CC London

  10. Danielle Forshaw – WyndyMilla


A triumphant Emily Ashwood of Cycle Team OnForm

And the rain stayed off the whole race!


Congrats to all who came along. There are only two Crit/RR League races left, and there will still be all to play for in the league standings, so sign up now, and make your next race count! Velopark on the 27th of May is another great opportunity to try crit racing in London, this time in the great 2012 facilities of the Lee Valley Velopark, incredibly easy to get to on public transport (see our guide here!) and with a flat circuit, without any particularly technical elements, it always offers fast, fun racing. Then there’s our finale, a perfect beginner road race, taking place on the 18th of June.

See you soon!

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