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Race Report: High Wycombe CC’s Lesley Cole Memorial TT on 30th March 18 – H10/22

LWR TT sec Kathryn Innes gives us her write up of our first TT.

For many, myself included, this was the first TT of 2018 and so the 5am wake up and pre-race nerves made for some apprehensive faces at HQ on Good Friday morning. The nerves started to settle as old friends caught up and new riders were welcomed; some ladies from Bella Velo (BV) and Kingston Wheelers were doing their first ever TT so tips were shared on warmup and last-minute kit choices!

The H10/22 was a flat-ish out and back course and the road surface was excellent, the rain held off until everyone was safely back. This superbly run event attracts a very strong field; there are equal prizes for both women & men up to 6th place; our LWR members took 4th, 5th & 6th place overall giving us a great presence on the podium.

Dulwich Paragon’s Jacintha H’ton-Love has been promoted this year into our Aero 1 category and claimed the win on borrowed shoes with a time of 23:10; she won 4th place overall in the women’s competition. J-Lo was closely followed by Jennifer Millmore from Islington CC with a time of 23:35, Jen came 6th overall. Both riders began last season on their road bikes and now have fast new TT machines; there are exciting competitions ahead in our top category!

Aero 2 was also won by LWR newcomer Toni Wilkes; a junior rider who knocked two minutes off her ten mile PB with a time of 23:27. This placed her 5th overall in the women’s event. I came in 2nd with 24:19, closely followed by Nicole Oh from Les Filles. Les Filles took the event’s team prize, with four strong riders crossing disciplines from their usual focus on road racing & crits and team mate Karla Boddy taking 2nd place in the event overall. Chapeau!

Laura Vipond of Islington CC was promoted to the Aero 3 category with aero extensions now added to her bike; she smashed her 10 mile PB by 37s coming in at 25:52.

Our road bike category was won by Helen Sharp of Twickenham CC with an impressive time of 24:48; to achieve this on a road bike takes power and great pacing. 2nd & 3rd place were hotly contested by our two LWR committee members; Helen Bridgeman of Kingston Wheelers who runs our RR/Crit series pipped Debra Ogden of London Baroudeurs by 8s, coming in at 26:29! Debs has joined myself and Julie in running the TT league having taken up TT last year!

Our Road bike Vet category was the largest yet; with 7 ladies competing. Last year’s series winner Caroline Reuter of London Phoenix CC achieved an awesome 24:41, a fantastic start to the season. I even heard Caroline pondering about getting a TT bike….(yes!). Second place was won by Fiona Inskip of Boot Out Breast Cancer CC with 26:24 who’s returned to TT and together with Helen Sharp has been hugely supportive to our newcomers from BV. BV are already in the rankings; Nicola Wittock took 3rd place with 26:57.

Our team competition which runs throughout the series has already begun; there’s everything to play for with last year’s winners Dulwich Paragon closely followed by Twickenham & Islington. Top three riders for each club add points to the total each race.

Huge thanks to Nigel from High Wycombe CC for his support to LWR and for making this event 50% women so everyone could get a place. Time to sign up for the next races in the league; 22nd April: 25 mile variation on the standard A24 course, 29th April: 50 miles on the Bentley course (great course to try a 50 miler) and 7th May: 18.6 miles on a more sporting course with excellent cake!