Well done to Maryka Sennema (Kingston Wheelers) for winning the individual award and London Phoenix CC for the winning the team award.
Prizes will be awarded as soon as possible, hopefully at a meeting to discuss the league's future. Anyone in the top 20 who raced 5 or more races will get a prize but there will also be prizes for best new rider, most improved rider, best 3rd Cat, Lanterne Rouge (for lowest placed rider there on the night). A list of prize winners will be posted soon.
Regarding the league in 2015, please read below for a personal letter from me, Tabitha Rendall:
Dear League Racers and Supporters,
I have had a key role in the running of the league for the last two years but for various personal reasons feel that it may be best served by my stepping down and handing over the reins to others. I am more than happy to help in any way I can and to work with others in 2015 to help run a successful league.
In 2014 I feel the LWCR league suffered from a variety of different issues including lack of time on my part, a lack of variety in the races that were being run that could be part of the league and changes in the women's racing scene.
The London Women's Cycle Racing league was established in 2010 with the aim of helping to introduce London based women to racing and helping them develop their racing skills, while getting involved in healthy local competition.
The league filled a hole in the racing scene and became so successful that it attracted women from all around London and the surrounding counties. Many riders that saw success in the league have gone on to race for pro and amateur teams and there is now a healthy and vibrant women's racing scene.
However, this success has brought its own problems. Despite growth in the number of women only races being run, the number of women being called on to ride these races is still small, particularly in comparison to the number of men racing regularly. This results in calendar clashes which mean that some races are not well supported and often also results in relatively inexperienced racers racing against others that may be 1st Cat or Elite riders.
This issue is being addressed by initiatives such as 3rd/4th Cat only leagues at individual circuits to help inexperienced racers develop their racing skills. However, there is now a widening gap between these 3/4 Cat races and the women's team series, for example, which is leaving a number of 2nd Cat riders with a dwindling choice of races.
Until now the league's position with regard to categories has been to use races that were open to all categories and not to use a circuit (road or closed) more than twice but in 2014 we struggled to find races that could be used by the league which were open to all without using the same circuits over and over again.
It is perhaps time for a rethink of the league in terms of what its purpose is in a quite different environment to 2010 and what this then means for how it is run.
Maybe it should become a closed circuit only league, maybe it should refocus on London, maybe it should become 2/3/4 cat only, maybe it has had its time.
I sincerely hope the last of these is not the case but in order to make the league a success in 2015 I am asking for your help.
I would be happy to be part of a working group to try to find a way forwards for the league and to help anyone else that would like to be involved to understand what they would be undertaking.
Please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Once I have details of a few interested parties, I will propose a date for a meeting to discuss the league's future at which we will also do the prize giving.
Many thanks for your support of the league this year and here's hoping we can work out a way of keeping the league going.
With best wishes,