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.

Feeling like you need a little more structure to your training?

Why not read this super guide – Training For Results by Huw Williams. It will take you through the components of fitness, principles of conditioning, training intensity and core principles – with a handy check list at the end to ensure you are ready to race!

For more information on our LWR Training Days click here, and when you are feeling ready race click here for some of our top racing tips!

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…continue reading by downloading Huw’s full guide here – Training For Results.

RACE 02 | 19th March 2016 | Full Gas: March Hare Classic | Cyclopark

LWR race number two of the season saw again an unprecedented number of entrants, a total of 31 bracing the icy winds for the women’s E1234 race at the Cyclopark in Gravesend on Saturday.

The bunch was mixed with a good handful of cat 2’s and then mainly 3’s and 4’s. Right from what seemed like the first hairpin, 5th Floor rider Aoife Doherty took the lead and broke away from the bunch, hammering out a blistering pace her fellow competitors were unable to match, soloing her way to the win.

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A super solo win for Aoife! | Dave Hayward

Aoife confirmed afterwards this had been the teams plan—first lap go hard, and it worked. The chase bunch soon became the chase bunches, the first of about 8 riders, of which two her team-mates.

At points it felt like the seconds were being clawed back as the chase group started to work together, but soon riders were spat out the back to be scooped up by the second chase group.

With one point up for the taking for the second bunch it seemed there was inner-conflict between working together to chase and holding out for a bunch sprint. The riders holding out for the bunch sprint won out as the gap wasn’t made and a few with the freshest legs sprinted for the point. Resulting in a resounding frustration amongst the racers who had put in the work and performed chase duty. I can only imagine Huw Williams would not have approved, as part of the LWR race training session, huge focus is on working together.

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Chasing group | Dave Hayward

Of the 31 racers, twenty of them had attended the LWR race training session a few weeks prior. Adeline O’Moreau attended the training session commented ‘I felt like I was surrounded by people who were very confident in their riding, which made me feel much better about my riding.’ As a technical circuit with lots of corners this was a prime opportunity to put into practice learnings taken from the race training day.

The race saw a real mix between seasoned racers and complete first timers, the infectious adrenaline of Tina Winzer, in her post race analysis, having never raced before was great to see. Big tip from her ‘if the first lap feels incredibly high paced, don’t panic, it pulls back.’

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Full Gas: March Hare Classic | Dave Hayward

Charmaine Rees, LWR chair, is happy with the number of women racing in the league so far. This women’s race saw a higher number of pre-race sign ups than the equivalent men’s held on the same day. Chapeau to that.

Hannah Troop

Results | Full Gas: March Hare Classic

1st Aoife Doherty The 5th Floor CC
2nd Rosie Lethbridge
3rd Catherine Gaskell VC Londres
4th Petra Dolgsova The 5th Floor CC
5th Shula Hagan CC London
6th Claire Fisk Welwyn Wheelers
7th Ruth Summerward Velopace
8th Charmaine Rees Full Gas RT
9th Adeline Moreau The 5th Floor CC
10th Lucinda Kerr London Phoenix

Find the full LWR Spring League rankings here.

More super photos of the day taken by Dave Hayward can be found here.