Sunday 28th March. A record field of around 40 riders took the start line at the Surrey League @ Goodwood races for our opening round of the League.
Various levels of rider raced the 13 laps and 28 miles of the historic motor circuit.
While the novice riders were chaperoned around the course, the experienced racers battled it out at the sharp end of the bunch. The front group of racers from Pearson Cycles, Twickenham CC, Kingston Wheelers and others set a high pace which quickly fragmented the field into various chunks. Several women attempted to attack, in particular Rebecca Slack (London Dynamo) Lise Soerensen and Emily Bagnall (both Kingston Wheelers) but the windy conditions wouldn’t allow any successful breakaway.
Coming into the final lap, the front group, now whittled down to around 10 riders still had everything to play for. With help from her Pearson Cycles clubmate Mathilde Pauls, Elise Sherwell was able to launch an intense sprint for the finish line, which proved too strong for Hannah Bowers (Team MuleBar Girls) who had been marking the ex-rower during the race. Pauls completed the podium, while Astrid Wingler (London Phoenix) who finished in fifth place, was the highest placed 4th category racer. It was a bumper day for Elise who not only donned the leaders jersey, but she also won both of the primes (intermediate sprint race).
Reactions: Matt Harper (Look Mum No Hands!): "It was fantastic to see so many girls out racing. Elise was a worthy winner and Look Mum No Hands is proud to be involved."
Elise Sherwell: (Pearson Cycles) "I thoroughly enjoyed my first race of the season. Although the wind was blowing, the rain was not falling, so it was a great day to have a bike race. Lots of people were working hard on the front trying to make breaks happen, but because of the wind and various other reasons these were never really successful. In the end it came down to a sprint and I dug deep to stay ahead! The next London Women's League race will have all categories so I expect some tougher competition, but I am pretty happy with winning the first ever London Women's League race."
Rebecca Slack (London Dynamo): “It was a massive day for women's cycle racing. I'd particularly like to thank the chaperones today who provided such an important role to the rookie riders. The three London Dynamo racing virgins who took part absolutely loved it.”
The Surrey League organisers and the promoting club, Dulwich Paragon were delighted with how the race went and were very impressed with the quality of the racing.
photos by Gavin Percy www.gavpercy.co.uk
1 Elise Sherwell Pearson Cycles
2 Hannah Bowers Team MuleBar Girls
3 Mathilde Pauls Pearson Cycles
4 Emily Bagnall Kingston Wheelers
5 Astrid Wingler London Phoenix
6 Lise Soerensen Kingston Wheelers
7 Lauren Whitmore London Dynamo
8 Rebecca Slack London Dynamo
9 Tina Reid Twickenham CC
10 Vikki Filsell VC de Londres
11 Jayne Rendall Hannan Twickenham CC
12 Donna Le Blancq Velo Sport Jersey
13 Sabine Homrighausen Kingston Wheelers
14 Edie Bassy Abergavenney RC
15 Clare Chambers Twickenham CC
16 Sol Findley Twickenham CC
17 Alexandra Marzec London Phoenix
18 Tamar Vanderhaas Brighton Mitre
19 Claire Summers Dulwich Paragon CC
20 Melissa Brand Pearson Cycles
21 Kyle Lindsey London Dynamo
22 Charlotte Roberge Dulwich Paragon CC
23 Charmaine Brown Pearson Cycles
24 Anna Glowinski Team MuleBar Girls
25 Jessica Mitchell London Dynamo
26 Amy Jacobs VC Jubilee
27 Helen Keaton Pearson Cycles
28 Ann Marshall South Western RC
29 Antonia de Barton Watson London Dynamo
30 Liz Rice London Phoenix
31 Lisa Deefholts Redhill CC
32 Bridget Malarkey Addiscombe CC
33 Nancy Gibson Rollapaluza CC
34 Maria Balbi Redhill CC
35 Francesca Farran-Lee Twickenham CC
36 Joanna Le Cocq Velo Sport Jersey
37 Lydia Boylan London Dynamo
dnf Danielle Archer A3CRG