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Monday, 26 November 2012

2012 Wrap-up and 2013 Planning Meeting

Just a quick newsletter to wrap up 2012 and let you know about plans for 2013.

Awards Night

The awards night held at the Rapha cafe was a great success.  Thanks to all for coming out, and thanks to all who raced this season!  You can read about who won what here.  Thanks to Sarah Carey for the write-up!

IMPORTANT:  2013 Meeting Planned for Friday November 30

Please come to this if you can. or at the very least send a rep from your team.  This is where you can have your say, participate in how the league runs, and volunteer to help out next year.  Remember, the LWCR is all of you so don't be shy.  Without your help and input, the league doesn't happen.

When:  Fri 30 Nov from 7pm
Where:  Westminster School Boathouse, Embankment, Putney, SW15 1LB

RSVP via hello@londonwomenscycleracing.com or via the Facebook page or to Tabitha personally.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Awards Night 2012

It’s been another great, year for the LWCR league, sponsored by Rapha and Motion Junkies in 2012.

Rapha hosted the League Awards party last Friday at their new Rapha Cycle Club in Soho, with lots of pink, and black goodies handed out.   

 Lydia Boylan from Look Mum No Hands! RT  finished first individual for the second year running, having maintained her position at the head of the league from start to finish. Second and third places went to Emily Bagnall of Wyndymilla UK Youth and Astrid Wingler of London Phoenix, who both put up a good fight throughout the season.  

The team prize was won by Look Mum No Hands! RT for the second year in a row, withWyndyMilla UK Youth and Pearson CC in second and third, respectively.

Other 2012 awards:

- Most Improved Rider -- Alexie Shaw, Dulwich Paragon

- Best New Rider -- Jasmijn Muller, Kingston Wheelers

- Rapha Award: Most Tenacious Rider of the Season -- Charlie Easton, Look Mum No Hands! RT

- Best 3rd cat – Helen Ralson, Pearson CC

- Lanterne Rouge (lowest placed rider who is present on the night) – Sarah Strong,  Dulwich Paragon

Lydia commented, “I honestly didn't think I'd win the league again this year. The talent in ladies racing in London is growing year on year. I knew this year the competition would be tough and that's exactly how it was. The girls are really showing more tactical knowledge and racing as a team which is giving really exciting racing that always gives a deserving winner at the end. It ended up being a really close match between me and Emily which meant every race in the league mattered to improve on overall points. I'm really looking forward to another exciting league next year.”

Sarah Cary of Corvida Allpress, a novice racer in 2012, said “I really enjoyed learning how to race this year. After many years of club riding, sportives and a trial circuit or two last summer, this year was a fun challenge.  The start line and the first 10 minutes are always nerve-racking, but the as the season went on I got better at reading the race and started feeling confident enough to join in breaks and enjoy the competition.  Everyone’s been friendly and supportive.”   

The 2012 league consisted of 11 race and time trial events in London and the South East between April and August, with prizes up for grabs for both individuals and teams.  With over 75 riders competing from 18 teams in 11 races from March to September, there was a big field to learn from and make friends with. The league is open to everyone, from novices to elites.

More pictures:  http://josephinehartfiel.viewbook.com/   


Thanks to Sarah Cary for the write-up.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

2012 Awards Party set for Friday October 19th

The LWCR league has now finished for 2012 with Lydia Boylan from Look Mum No Hands! RT winning for the second year running, having maintained her position at the head of the league from start to finish. Second and third places went to Emily Bagnall of Wyndymilla UK Youth and Astrid Wingler of London Phoenix, who both put up a good fight throughout the season.  We had a total of 77 riders competing from 18 teams in 11 races from March to September.  Many thanks to all our race organisers, there would not be a league without you.

The team prize was won by Look Mum No Hands! RT for the second year in a row, with WyndyMilla UK Youth and Pearson CC in second and third, respectively.  The top 20 individuals are as follows, with full rankings are available on our website.


Rank

Rider

Club

Points

1

Lydia Boylan

Look Mum No Hands! RT

220

2

Emily Bagnall

Wyndymilla UK Youth

212

3

Astrid Wingler

London Phoenix

170

4

Anna Grundy

Look Mum No Hands! RT

166

5

Elise Sherwell

Look Mum No Hands! RT

162

6

Karla Boddy

High Wycombe CC

160

7

Elinor Winter

Corvida Allpress

126

8

Helen McKay

Look Mum No Hands! RT

124

9

Helen Ralston

Pearson CC

114

10

Joanne McRae

Look Mum No Hands! RT

108

11

Nicole Oh

Pearson CC

108

12

Rachel Przybylski

Wyndymilla UK Youth

108

13

Alexie Shaw

Dulwich Paragon

97

14

Julie Granshaw

Wyndymilla UK Youth

96

15

Coralie Glaunes

Pearson CC

95

16

Natalie Creswick

Mulebar Girls

90

17

Jasmijn Muller

Kingston Wheelers

89

18

Maryka Sennema

Kingston Wheelers

82

19

Vikki Filsell

Pearson CC

79

20

Siobhan McNamara

Look Mum No Hands! RT

78

Awards Party, Friday October 19th

A prize giving ceremony is being held at the Rapha Cycle Club at 85 Brewer Street, London W1F 9ZN on Friday 19th October. Doors will open at 7.30pm for an 8 o'clock ceremony. Prizes will be awarded to the top 20 riders, top 3 teams, most improved rider, best new rider, most committed rider, highest ranking 3rd Cat, most tenacious rider, and to the lanterne rouge (lowest-ranked rider who attends the party).
The event will have a guest list for entry so please let us know if you are going to attend so we can put your name down. 

2013 Season

Thanks to all those who raced and helped over the season. We hope you enjoyed it and are fired up for next year's league. A meeting to discuss the future of the league will be held in November. Once a date has been set futher information will be sent out.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Round 11 -- Seale (actually Cutmill) race

Sunday 2nd September was the last race of the LWCR League. The winning individual rider and team for 2012 had already been decided; however there was still time for everyone else to add to their totals.

Riders were expecting a reasonably rolling course around the Surrey lanes but were forced to use a the much hillier Cutmill circuit after some unexpected road works on the course. Much to the delight of some, but the dismay of others, the finish was on a selective climb which was likely to break things up before the final laps.


The group is together up the finish hill on lap 1 though the effort is already starting to show for many (thanks to Colin Addison for the pic).

There was strong presence from the WyndyMilla girls who were keen to seal Emily Bagnall's second place in the league. As well, the consistent force of the Pearson CC crew were welcoming back Helen Rolston after a nasty accident she suffered in training earlier in the summer.

The race was six and three-quarter laps of a seven mile circuit and the final climb started at a gentle 2-3% but quickly took itself to 8-9% before levelling out over the finish line then kicking back up. Apart from this climb the course was fast, where strong, powerful and assertive riders could make their mark. Early on the first climb, the pace was set by the likes of Alexie Shaw (Dulwich), Maryka Sennema, Jasmijn Muller (both Kingston Wheelers), Julie Granshaw (WyndyMilla) and Clemence Copie (High Wycombe CC). It was no surprise that in lap one the race stayed together with riders feeling fresh but into lap two Karla Boddy from HWCC put in a dig to chase down Jasmijn who had distanced herself from the bunch in the rolling section. Her strong effort kept Jasmijn away for a couple of miles and she became part of a few riders who drove the pace hard over the climb with Anna Grundy (LMNH) taking a lead in setting this.

This move initially saw the peloton break from its 26 riders into a group of four including Anna Grundy, Maryka Sennema, Karla Boddy and Emily Bagnall. But the quartet were quickly followed by at least half a dozen other riders and it looked like this group may get some distance.

However, the remainder of the bunch worked together and bought it all back to neutral as they headed out of the first three laps.

Maryka Sennema took control of the pace on the hills with Alexie Shaw and Anna Grundy never far away, this pace setting was enough to leave only 13 riders going into the final lap at which point WyndyMilla stepped up and drove the pace over the final rolling sections.

Taking a sweeping left into the steady gradient of the finishing climb it was Anna Grundy who first took some bike lengths out the finishing group about 400m before the line. As the gears kicked down and the gradient kicked up the field broke up and Emily Bagnall saw her opportunity and drove hard over the steepest part of the climb. Karla Boddy followed late but managed to bridge across and take 1st on the line from Emily with Anna in third.


Race winner Karla Boddy (far left in blue and yellow), 2nd place Emily Bagnall (behind in pink) and 3rd place Anna Grundy (light blue) navigate possibly the sharpest most potholed corner in all of Surrey (picture courtesy of Craig Fletcher).

Speaking with Karla after she said "I feel a touch awkward winning in this situation, after lap two I was suffering but not in the usual way. Feeling unwell I thought about withdrawing but carried on. I even had 3 caffeine gels which I only have in my pocket as back-up and never use that many in a race! I couldn't contribute at all after the early laps knowing it would likely finish me off before I got to the line but I managed to nip round in the finish. I would have liked to contribute more and win knowing I helped the dynamics of the race but its not always possible. As always the usual suspects rode really well, credit to Jasmijn and Alexie who injected most the pace on the front along with Julie from WyndyMilla. And thanks to LWCR and WyndyMilla for organising a safe and enjoyable event."


Race winner Karla Boddy of High Wycombe CC in her Wyndymilla prize hat.

With that, the race rankings are finalised with Lydia Boylan of Look Mum No Hands! RT winning the overall individual by 8 points from Emily Bagnall, and the LMNH team winning the team rankings. Third place individual was Astrid Wingler of London Phoenix with Wyndymilla UK Youth team finishing second, ahead of Pearson CC. Stay tuned for news of our awards night to be held at the Rapha cafe in London.

Round 11 full results:

1 Miss Karla Boddy High Wycombe Cycling Club
2 Miss Emily Bagnall WyndyMilla UK Youth
3 Miss Anna Grundy Look Mum No Hands
4 Ms Maryka Sennema Kingston Whls CC
5 Mrs Julie Granshaw WyndyMilla UK Youth
6 Ms Wiebke Rietz 1st Chard Whls
7 Miss Alexie Shaw Dulwich Paragon CC
8 Miss Jasmijn Muller Kingston Whls CC
9 Miss Tanya Griffiths Ipswich BC
10 Miss Rachel Przybylski WyndyMilla UK Youth
11 Mrs Catherine Hills WyndyMilla UK Youth
12 Ms Astrid Wingler London Phoenix CC
13 Miss Nicole Oh Pearson Cycling Club
14 Miss Coralie Glaunes Pearson Cycling Club
15 Ms Anna Korbacz London Dynamo
16 Miss Iona Sewell GB Cycles.co.uk
17 Miss Helen Ralston Pearson Cycling Club
18 Miss Vikki Filsell Pearson Cycling Club
19 Miss Monica Da Polenza WyndyMilla UK Youth

Monday, 6 August 2012

Guildford Town Centre race report

The Guildford Town Centre races this year (LWCR league round 8) included a women's race for the first time. Organiser Jon Lewis said "It was fantastic to see the women of the LWCR entertaining the crowds with a fine race. I think many cyclists dread cobbles and corners in races but what differentiates the Guildford circuit it that the cobbles are only on the uphill section of the course. This leads to very safe racing conditions as the race breaks up very quickly and each rider can ride as hard as they dare without fear of the bumps from other riders that can mar other events. It usually only takes a lap or two for riders to realise this and then the best part is when the apprehension has been dispelled and the riders come back into the moment and realised that they will be carried around the circuit by a large and enthusiastic cheering crowd. Thanks to the support of the LWCR the event was a success and I hope to make the womens race a regular feature in coming years.

Emily Bagnall from Wyndymilla UK Youth has written a report from a rider's point of view:

The setting, Guildford Town Centre. The terrain, a Criterium with Pave! Twenty minutes plus ten laps of the half mile circuit on the closed streets of the city centre. Twists, corners, climbs, descents, cobbles and great crowd support.

Cobbles hold a special place in the history of cycling, any cycle fan will argue their are few cyclists greater than the winner of a classics race, they require guts, pure physical strength and the skill and tenacity to cope with miles and miles of farm track and pave aka cobbles.

Guildford's own cobbled event is rapidly becoming a classic, it's been growing year on year under the watchful eyes of Eddy Lewis, this year see's the inclusion of a women's race and it's a welcome addition to the season.

The race starts and within a couple of laps the peloton is stretched out. 'Hitting the cobbles the first time is an eye opener, in practice you don't take them at that speed, they literally shake the bones, but it adds to the whole atmosphere'. Bikes rattle, teeth rattle, bones rattle. The shouts and cheers from the crowd lift the competitors over the cobbles and onwards.

Its a fantastic race, an intense 'eye balls out' half hour, with no time for any respite if positions are to be held onto. The harder the leader drives to retain their lead, the harder you have to follow, there is no resting in, no hiding, this is why some crits feel epic, and the crowd knows it, they roar support and delight with every lap.

The bell laps sing like angels in the ears of the competitors. The lead group has been reduced to three strong riders Natalie Creswick of Mulebar Girls, Corrine Hall of Node 4 Giordana and Jo McRae of Look Mum No hands. Natalie has been looking strong throughout and accelerates off the front, riding a solo break to claim first place. Jo and Corrine battle for 2nd and 3rd with Corrine taking it on the line. A short pause and then more riders follow, sprinting for the line, pushing all the way. A fantastic event with generous prizes for riders to tenth place.


The Podium: Corrine Hall, Natalie Creswick and Jo McRae.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Round 9 - Henfolds Race


Sunday 22 July. The riders of the Tour de France wind themselves through the country lanes and towns on their way to an exciting finale on the streets of paris and the Champs-Élysées. Moving comfortably in that group of cyclists is the yellow jersey. For the first time in the tours history a brit. In just under one weeks time, he'll be climbing the zig zags of box hill.

Just south of Box Hill, down in the country lanes of Leigh another group of riders meet for round 9 of the London Women's cycle racing league. The race is a Surrey League open road race put on by Team Corridori. Summer appears to have arrived and temperatures are on the rise, by the time of the briefing 1.30 the sun is strong enough to create those cycle tan's so loved and laughed at in the cycling fraternity.

2pm vehicles and teams roll out, a neutral drive onto the start and then the race commences. Just over four laps of the Henfold's course, but this time the finish line will be on Mill Road just short of the A24. The pace is being driven along by a few strong riders including London Phoenix rider Astrid Wingler, a few attacks make an attempt to go off the front, some of the most aggressive from Emma Craddock (Southdown Bikes) and Corvida Allpress rider Elinor Winter, but the peloton stretches out holding on and things regroup.

Drama ensues as Kate Fisher of Pearson Cycles is taken out by a severe pot hole in the road, sadly another rider is caught out with her and we hope both are recovering well, its been a tough few weeks for the Pearson's Team, despite this they continue to be one of the most reliable and skilled teams in these races. The crash splits the bunch, but they chase hard to get back on with Coralie of the Pearsons team managing to make contact on the final lap.

Back to Lap 2 and the bunch, minus those caught up in the crash, is still together, then as the group rides up the Henfolds Hill, Astrid Wingler moves forward and Elise Sherwell (Look Mum No Hands) see's her opportunity and attacks along with Natalie Creswick of Mulebar. Jo Mcrae (Look Mum No Hands) and Clem Copie (High Wycombe CC) follow making a fast group, the peloton stretches out with fierce speeds as other teams and riders attempt to join the break. Eventually Emily Bagnall of Wyndy Milla, Uk Youth, manages to join and the final group of five is formed.

Despite the hard efforts and fatigue of the breakaway a moment of cheers is shared as they pass team mate Charlotte Easton of Look Mum No Hands, who in turns shouts back delighted encouragement.

Delia Beddis leads the chasing peloton and does her best to get the chase formed and focused. But the breakaway works together to keep their distance, all the riders are careful to ensure work is being done evenly until the final lap and the turn onto Mill road the finish drag. The breakaway slows down, aware they have a two minute gap to play with, tactics are recognisable to track cycling...slow speeds, eyes watching each other. Then, Natalie goes, Elise follows, hot on their heels Emily, they make it a 1,2,3 with Jo, shouting encouragement to her team mate and Clem coming in 4th and 5th.

A brief wait and the peloton comes steaming up to the finish line, Anna Grundy (Look Mum No Hands) and Elinor Winter (Corvida Allpress) battle to take the sprint for 6th, it was so tight results are pending. Emily roars delight to see team mate Kate Hewett coming in 9th. An exciting and fast race, chapeau to all those who rode and who did not get a mention in this report.

A huge thanks to the organisers who put on a great race and gave out generous prizes to the delighted top five. One for the diaries next year!

Kirdford Race Report: 15th July


Sunday July 15 another early morning, another race, but a good day...the sun has come out and the conditions are mostly good on the Kirdford Circuit.

In the car park all the familar faces that an LWCR race brings out and a few more beside, competitors start to warm up, chat and eat some of the calories that will be needed for the next two hours.

Brighton Mitre, the event organisers, have got their marshals ready, a briefing outlines the race, engines start up and move off, the peloton is driven in neutral onto the course...the lead car drops flag, moves off and the race starts. After days of rain, many riders realise they're not the only one in the peloton feeling cautious, but thanks to the calibre of the group pointing out hazards, the race soon gains confidence. Some riders not feeling a 100% hang at the back for a little while trying to get warm...as the race speeds up, a few riders including Maryka (Kingston Wheelers) and Astrid (London Phoenix) have started stretching things out. At this point some of the group make an effort to move forward in the hope they won't miss any breaks. 

Some will chase a break bringing it back into the peloton, this is seen as more negative riding, but often useful to anyone in the group not feeling strong enough to follow any breaks at that time. Some will allow a person to ride or attack off the front, then attempt to jump to them and form a break. The effect in an exciting race can be like leaping salmon.

Emma (Southdown Bikes) makes a successful attack and survives for the best part of the second lap, but no one is successful in jumping to her and with two laps to go she is reeled back in. 

Then Helen of LMNH goes...just like Emma she makes good ground and moves fast up the road, within no time she's a small figure in the distance. Wyndy Milla riders Ray and Catherine move forward, and team mate Emily keeping a low profile, rides off the front. Behind her Catherine and Ray riding calmly allow her to move into the distance whilst the rest of the peloton is either unaware or hoping someone else will make the chase.

The break of two takes almost a lap to form, but when it comes together its strong enough to hold off the main field. With two teams LMNH and WM uninterested in chasing, the loss of half the Pearsons team and the Kingston Wheelers due to crashes and mechanicals, the small break now has a very good chance of survival.

Many races are down to the last few secs but a breakaway can enjoy and suffer at length the hope that they may ride to the end of a race, an exciting and romantic feeling. Any cyclists that has found themselves in a breakaway is likely to try and try again to join one in future races, even at the loss of their potential energy reserves for the sprint finish.

The hill is in sight for the lead two, around the corner lies the finish line...Emily crests the hill first and finishes with arms in the air, Helen takes second, both riders hug and congratulate each other. Silence and calm for just over one minute...Then, the peloton comes streaming up the hill, powering towards the line, Lightning Lydia is unstoppable and takes third.  

Thursday, 19 July 2012

July News and Updates

Crystal Palace, RESCHEDULED for July 31

July 31 is our rescheduled Crystal Palace race date -- weather permitting. Should it be rained out, we will postpone til August 7, and if that's rained out we'll go with August 14 which is the final race at Palace for this season. Apologies that it will be in the middle of the Olympics (something we had hoped to avoid) but we think you'll agree that July is pretty full with races as it is, so we wanted to put it as close to August as possible. And given this summer's weather, we thought it would be best to pick a date that left us with some extra rainout dates.

Surrey League Road Races, July 22 and September 2

With a great turnout for our first road race of the season at the Southeast Regional Champs, the second road race with only 19 entries and the third with only 23 entries were somewhat disappointing. We're hoping to see a lot more of you at the final two road races and please be aware, low turnouts mean these races risk not being run next season. The Surrey League is happy to promote and support women's racing, but only if women promote and support -- and enter -- the races in return. Entries need to be higher to warrant the effort and money spent on organising them. So please show your support and sign up for the road races in advance on our calendar.

League Admin

Thanks to those who volunteered and marshalled at Crystal Palace on July 17, your effort is much appreciated!

League rankings are now up to date!

Next season year the LWCR will need some more help behind the scenes if the league is to continue running as it has -- Maryka will be stepping down, so it's time for some new faces to step up and take over. If you are thinking about getting more involved, let us know.

The LWCR team

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Crystal Palace league race postponed

As the repairs at Crystal Palace circuit are still not complete, we have had to postpone our league round there (was supposed to be June 12).

The likely date will be July 31. Hopefully by then racing will have been happening for a few weeks, giving racers a chance to get (re)acquainted with the circuit before the league race. It also leaves us with a few August dates as replacements should July 31 be rained out.

We will confirm as soon as we know when the circuit is re-opening. Keep an eye on the website, twitter, Facebook and your email inbox for the announcement.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Round 5 Henfold Hill Road Race

Winner Emily Bagnall of Wyndymilla UK Youth was ecstatic and wrote up a report to share the story of her first ever win. Congrats Emily!

"Initially I had intended to cycle down the London Phoenix road race and 5th round of LWCR, held on the Henfolds Hill circuit, but as with the previous few days the sun beat down so fiercely that I choose the easy option, the van.

It was a race I’d been looking forward to, I recognised the names of many of the other riders on the start sheet and knew it would be a fast and exciting race and it was another league race and a chance to gain points for the individual and team standings.

The race started after being led by escort over the A24 and onto the race course. In the heat I wondered if I would be cowering at the back worried about dehydration, but as the soon we got going I found my legs and went for an early attack. Hoping that others might get caught napping and miss the move until it was up the road, but no such luck. Attacks went pretty much continuously for the next two laps of the 6 lap race. Increasingly attacks were being jumped to by riders hoping to ride away with a break, attacks by LMNH riders Anna and Helen looked like potential winners, but all attempts were reeled back in.

After the third lap I decided to rest in and drink as much as I could, grabbing a fresh bottle from team hand Graham. At this point London Phoenix rider Astrid took up the mantel to drive the race as hard as she could, along with a succession of attacks coming from Kingston Wheelers Jasmijn and Maryka.

The circuit is named after a rather cruel hill just in the Henfolds area, teasingly just after the Henfolds tea stop a small climb, then as you turn the second bend the Henfolds Hill climb kicks in. The sudden change in pace finds riders at the mercy of a wheel coming back towards them or a weaving competitor regretting their choice of gear. Whatever the case it’s a good chance to attack as you mount the climb, the top is deceptive and what looks flat still has a gradient, it hurts all the more if you try to recover at this point, just a little to early. On the four lap noting a small gap over the hill and thinking it could be a good chance to put the hammer down, I shouted up to the riders in front of me, but the following riders were far to observant to allow this to get away and it came back together before the decent was done.

In the tremendous heat, the final lap at first seemed a lifetime away, but then it was upon us. Despite the building heat and competitive tension in the peloton everyone remained focused. With the final corner nearing, a few of us including the Pearson team and myself moved up. As we came round the corner and the 1KM to go sign, I was relieved to find myself near the top of the bunch, in a good position and wasting little effort to keep close to the front. At this point the pace on the front eased worryingly off with riders unsure of making such an early commitment, then a sudden charge from Maryka brought everything back to life. The group stretched out, each bend in the road seemed to go faster and faster. As we turned the last corner, the chequered flag came into my view. I decided to try and go. With no one in my way and feeling good, my hands on the drops and head as low as possible, I sprinted.

One thing in my head, ‘don’t stop till you’ve crossed the line, whatever you do…’ and then the line and no one had come past me, surprise then jubilation. A fantastic day. Back at HQ a chance to chat, congratulate each other and enjoy a cold drink."


Emily in the middle flanked on the left by 2nd place Astrid Wingler (London Phoenix) and 3rd place Sarah Brook (Mulebar Girls).

1st 5 Emily Bagnall Wyndymilla 2 2.03.00
2nd 2 Astrid Wingler London Phoenix 2 s.t.
3rd 15 Sarah Brook Mule Bar Girls 2 s.t.
4th 13 Nicole Oh Pearson CC 3 s.t.
5th 1 Anna Grundy Look Mum No Hands 1 s.t.
6th 18 Sarah Maidment GB Cycles.co.uk 3 s.t.
7th 21 Claire Leonard Brighton Mitre 2 s.t.
8th 8 Helen Ralston Pearson CC 3 s.t.
9th 11 Lauren Whitmore London Dynamo 2 s.t.
10th 6 Emma Craddock Southdown Bikes 2 s.t.
11th 19 Pan Pan Fan Look Mum No Hands 3 s.t.
12th 17 Helen McKay Look Mum No Hands 2 s.t.
13th 3 Catherine Hills Wyndymilla 2 s.t.
14th 16 Vikki Filsell Pearson CC 2 s.t.
15th 12 Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 2 s.t.
16th 9 Jasmin Muller Kingston Wheelers 4 @ 22 secs
17th 4 Coralie Glaunes Pearson CC 3 @ 1 lap
18th 20 Elinor Winter Corvida Allpress 4 @ 1 lap

With five rounds completed, Lydia Boylan of Look Mum No Hands! RT remains in the lead followed by Karla Boddy of High Wycombe CC. Wyndymilla UK Youth's Emily Bagnall's win in round 5 pushes her into third place.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Round 4, the SE Divisional Road Race Championships

Results as per the Round 4 report on LCS.

Full gallery thanks to "Digi" Dave Hayward.


Needed the photo finish for this one!

Karla Boddy of High Wycombe CC wins a very close finish from Lydia Boylan of Look Mum No Hands! RT, with Lydia's teammate Louise Moriarty in third place. Lydia clinches the SE RR champs jersey for the second year in a row.

After four rounds, Lydia also remains league leader and her team remains on top of the rankings handily.

EW/1W/2W/3W/4W - 42 miles
1 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC 2W
2 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands! 1W - BC SE Champion
3 Louise Moriarty Look Mum No Hands! 2W
4 Emily Bagnall WyndyMilla/UK Youth 2W
5 Corrine Hall Node4-Giordana Racing 1W - BC SE Silver medal
6 Siobhán McNamara Inverse/Cyclaim RT 3W - BC SE Bronze medal
7 Louise Mahe MuleBar Girls 2W
8 Estelle Rogers Corvida Allpress 2W
9 Elise Sherwell Look Mum No Hands! 3W
10 Nicole Oh Pearson Cycles 3W
11 Kimberley Ashton Abergavenny RC 2W
12 Julie Granshaw WyndyMilla/UK Youth 3W
13 Emily Barnes Condor Cycles 2JW
14 Lydia Rodney Kingston Wheelers 4W
15 Emma Craddock South Downs Bikes 2W
16 Sarah Brook MuleBar Girls 2W
17 Eryn Nolan Corvida Allpress 3W
18 Elizabeth Chittenden Corvida Allpress 2W
19 Coralie Glaunes Pearson Cycles 3VW
20 Astrid Wingler London Phoenix 2VW
21 Katherine Fisher Pearson Cycles 4W
22 Alexie Shaw Dulwich Paragon CC 4W
23 Natalie Creswick MuleBar Girls 2W
24 Jo McRae Look Mum No Hands! 2W
25 Claire Leonard Brighton Mitre 2VW
26 Elinor Winter Corvida Allpress 4W
27 Nicola Englebach Pearson Cycles 4W
28 Jasmijn Muller Kingston Wheelers 3W
29 Anna McNuff Sky Velo 4W
30 Deborah Mallinson Pearson Cycles 4W
31 Tabitha Rendall Club Cyclopark 3W
32 Charlotte Roberge Dulwich Paragon CC 3W
33 Collyn Ahart Corvida Allpress 3W
34 Claire Allen Velo Shils – Interbike RT 3W
35 Gina McGeever Brighton Mitre 2VW
36 Vanda Jefferys Corvida Allpress 4W
37 Sarah Cary Corvida Allpress 4W
38 Katerina Avramides Brighton Mitre 4W
39 Lisa Deefholts Redhill CC 4VW
40 Sara Gent VO2 Cycling Development 3JW
41 Sarah Strong Dulwich Paragon CC 4W
dnf Delia Beddis Vivelo Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim 2W
dnf Kate Hewett Addiscombe CC 2W
dnf Lesley Pinder Dulwich Paragon CC 4W
dnf Lisa Gunn WyndyMilla/UK Youth 3W
dnf Rachel Przybylski WyndyMilla/UK Youth 2W
dnf Ruth Hamilton-Barr Colchester Rovers 4W
dnf Susan Freeburn InGear Quickvit Trainsharp 4W

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Round 3 at Cyclopark

Round 3 report and pics on LCS.

Results (* denotes non-league rider)
1 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC 11
2 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands RT 30
3 Nicola Juniper Corvida Allpress 2
4 Clemence Copie High Wycombe CC 24
5 Elise Sherwell Look Mum No Hands RT 39
6 Laura Massey Inverse Racing Team 37
7 Emily Bagnall Wyndymilla UK Youth 33
8 Helen Ralston Pearson CC 23
9 Jasmijn Muller Kingston Wheelers 13
10 Delia Beddis Inverse Racing Team 5
11 Emily Barnes Corvida Allpress 9
12 Jane McInnes London Dynamo 97
13 Pan Pan Fan Look Mum No Hands RT 19
14 Elinor Winter Corvida Allpress 77
15 Nikki Engelbach Pearson CC 76
16 Elizabethe Chittenden Corvida Allpress 3
17 Siobhan McNamara Inverse Racing Team 40
18 Kate Hewett Addiscombe CC 10 *
19 Coralie Glaunes Pearson CC 27
20 Deborah Coyle Greenwich Tritons 44
21 Lisa Gunn Wyndymilla UK Youth 72
22 Jane Hunt High Wycombe CC 42
23 Nicole Oh Pearson Cycles 78
24 Catherine Hills Wyndymilla UK Youth 26
25 Katerina Avramides Brighton Mitre 28 *
26 Karen Chisnall Team MK 35 *
27 Nichola Roberts Dulwich Paragon 43
28 Francesca Morgan-Sadler Lee Valley Youth CC 86 *
29 Susan Freeburn In-Gear Quikvit Trainsharp 80 *
30 Collyn Ahart Corvida Allpress 75
31 Aimee Wright High Wycombe CC 62
32 Rachel Przybylski Wyndymilla UK Youth 29
33 Sarah Strong Dulwich Paragon 47
34 Sophia Joy VC Elan 48 *

DNF
Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 66
Marelize DeRocco Kingston Wheelers 87
Gina McKeever Brighton Mitre 84
Jessica Stoddart 41
Helen McKay Look Mum No Hands RT 31
Joanne Perry 65
Sarah Cary Corvida Allpress 4
Clare Gillott Dulwich Paragon 8
Kimberley English Welwyn Wheelers 61
Lesley 46

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Round 2 at Hillingdon



The start line, miraculously dry! (thanks to Rebecca Slack for the pic)



Persistent rain throughout the day did little to dampen the spirits of the 31 hardy ladies who took to the start line at Hillingdon for the second League race, promoted by Twickenham Cycling Club. A heavy downpour at 6pm saw most riders get a thorough soaking on their way out to the track, but the weather gods looked down favourably on West London at exactly 7pm and helpfully paused the rain for the entire duration of the race. Less helpfully, they failed to dry the track or raise the air temperature!



The classy field included three 1st cats, eight 2nd cats and a couple of juniors, so it promised to be an exciting and fast moving race from the start. The early laps saw a number of riders trying to stretch the elastic including the experienced Nikki Wheeler (Team Wiggle) and Karla Boddy (High Wycombe CC), but they could not escape the chasing bunch. Elinor Winter (Corvida Allpress) also made an impression up front in the early laps. Around the mid point a group of six riders, including three from LMNH! RT put a few lengths between them and the bunch, but again the break didn’t last.



The pace of the race was such that it was only with two laps to go that the veteran men lapped the ladies, which muddied the water after Nikki Wheeler looked like she could establish a break. Confusion then followed as the men’s pace eased back and the ladies’ was hotting up for the final sprint. The increasingly vocal ladies managed to squeeze their way back past the men with exactly a lap to go but this was only after two ladies had collided on the tight turn, which resulted in the bunch being reduced by six.



However, true to form, the final sprint saw Karla Boddy draw effortlessly clear for the win, with Lydia Boylan and Elise Sherwell making up the final podium places. Karla’s passage to the front was far from straightforward as she explained after the race: “coming into the penultimate lap a crash occurred on the bend; I was almost in it but somehow managed to take my speed out the corner and into the grass verge whilst trying to figure out if I was about to crash or if it was controllable! Fortunately it was controllable and I got back on the track with the bunch now up the mini-hill and beyond. I fought my way back on and by the last lap was towards the back of the bunch. I wrestled my way up on the inside of the last back straight and got a good position into the final turn. I went with about 220m to go and just got my head down and managed to hold my advantage until the line.”





Karla wins in the near darkness (thanks to Pauline English for the pic).



The atmosphere was buzzing in the clubhouse post race and all the ladies seemed to have enjoyed themselves despite the rather inclement weather. Tess Pugh (London Dynamo) said it was “fantastic to see more than 30 ladies turn up to race at Hillingdon on a pretty miserable Wednesday evening. The race was consistently fast with some very competent riding. I thoroughly enjoyed being back there for the first time this year and can't wait for the next race in two weeks time! Hopefully we'll see the same great standard of racing and the same numbers turn up throughout the season.”



Lydia Boylan, 2nd on the night, retains the league leader’s jersey after her win in the first round. She felt frustrated after the race though: “it was a shame that such a positive race was ruined in the last two laps. All the teams in the LWCR are definitely stepping up their game this year and we were all were very eager to set up our riders for a good sprint finish. However with the men's bunch so close to us there was clear confusion amongst the ladies about whether to sit up or push through and overtake the men's bunch. This confusion led to a crash in the bunch. Safety in races is paramount, and I feel the commissaire should have acted to keep the bunches separated and to have a fair finish for everyone.”





The podium: Lydia Boylan (left, 2nd place) and Elise Sherwell (right, 3rd place) flank winner Karla Boddy. Lydia retains the red leader's jersey. (thanks to LondonCycleSport for the pic.)



Many thanks to West Thames Promotions for putting on this series -- there are races every other Wednesday at Hillingdon circuit. As women's racing becomes more and more popular with bigger and stronger fields, organisers and commissaires will get used to the speed of the bunch and hopefully do better at keeping the finish fair and separate from the concurrent men's races.


1 Karla Boddy H.W.C.C.
2 Lydia Boylan L.M.N.H.
3 Elise Sherwell L.M.N.H.
4 Abbie Dentus Welwyn Whlrs.
5 Louise Mahe Mule Bar Girls *
6 Dyanne Holland Inverse/cyclaim
7 Tessa Pugh London Dynamo
8 Anna Grundy L.M.N.H.
9 Emily Bagnall WYNDYMILLA
10 Lisa Gunn WYNDYMILLA
11 Mary Evans H.W.C.C
12 Helen Ralston Pearson
13 Kimberley English welwyn Whlrs
14 Karen Chisnall TM. MK *
15 Jo. McRae L.M.N.H
16 Kate Fisher Pearson
17 Elinor Winter Corida/Allpress
18 clare Gillott Dulwych Paragon
19 Eleanor Francis SkyVelo *
20 Emma Towers Twickenham CC
21 Julie Granshaw Wyndymilla
22 Jane Hunt H.W.C.C
23 Aimee Wright H.W.C.C
24 Rachel Przybylski Wyndymilla
25 Anna Mcnuff SkyVelo *
26 Nicola Wheeler TM. Wiggle *
27 Stephanie Dreyer Pearsons CC
28 Nikki Englebach Pearsons CC
29 Louise Fellingham London Dynamo
30 Nicole Oh Pearsons CC
31 Selina Graham Twickenham CC

* denotes non-League riders

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

News: Richmond Park TT and Hillingdon circuit races confirmed!

Some of you were asking about a couple of our TBA races and we can happily say now that they've been confirmed. In fact, the entire calendar is now confirmed with the exception of the final race which we're hoping will be another closed circuit TT at the Cyclopark (but more details and final confirmation still to come -- luckily it's in September so a long ways off!)

Our next race is at Hillingdon on the evening of Wed. April 18. This race is ONLY entry on the line, so get there early to give yourself enough time to line up, pay, pin your number on, warm up and get ready to race! Race starts at 7pm sharp and will probably be a shortish one (less than an hour) due to the sun setting. Bring lights if you're riding home afterwards!

Also confirmed now is the Richmond Park Time Trial on Sun. June 17. This event MUST be entered in advance via the link above through Rider HQ. It's first-come first-served with 25 spaces reserved for women (more if we get there first!) so get entering! As well, this event MUST be ridden with a regular road bike only to count as a league race (choose "Lady Road" when entering). That means no TT bike, no clip-on aero bars, no aero helmets, no disk or deep section (deeper than 30mm) wheels. Skinsuits are allowed.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Round 1 at Hog Hill -- results, pics and report

(written by Pan Pan Fan of Look Mum No Hands! RT with additional words by Maryka Sennema. Photos courtesy of LondonCycleSport)


Lydia Boylan takes the first league win of 2012 and the leader's jersey

Forty-two riders representing approximately eighteen local teams were greeted with warm weather and sunshine for the opening race of the London Women’s Cycle League at Hog Hill this past Saturday, March 24th. The winds near the flat stretches of the one-mile circuit were heavy, ambitious to tire out the legs and lungs of potential break-away riders.

As the race began, the pack eased into a steady pace for the first few laps, keeping everyone together. An attack from the start by Lisa Gunn of Team Wynda Milla UK Youth shed a few riders as she soloed ahead, only to be disappointed by a puncture and crash soon after. Luckily, her speed and quick-thinking got her safely out of the way of the nearing riders. Undeterred, Gunn took a lap out and returned to the race. Charlotte Easton of Look Mum No Hands RT (“LMNH”) also put in an attack on the hill and stayed off the front for over half a lap before Nicola Juniper of Corvida Allpress RT bridged the group to her.

Approximately twenty minutes through the hour-long circuit and after the first prime won by Francesca Morgan Sadler of Lee Valley Youth CC, Juniper put in an aggressive attack on the windy flat stretch of the course, immediately putting time between her and the peloton. Jo McRae of LMNH RT immediately spotted Juniper’s speed and jumped with her, with Astrid Wingler of London Phoenix CC courageously bridging the gap to join them. The three break-away riders flew away from the main group, working efficiently with one another. The pack struggled with organisation as teammates of Juniper and Boylan were controlling the pace while a few riders were ambitious on catching the break, whose gap was diminishing slowly.

Exhausted from the efforts of the break, McRae felt herself losing the other two as the peloton neared them on the hill. It was stroke of strategic brilliance that saved LMNH. As McRae lost Juniper’s wheel in front of her, Lydia Boylan of LMNH (last year’s LWCR’s leader), surged to catch the break of Juniper and Wingler, swapping places with McRae. With fresh legs from conserving strategically prior, Boylan helped Juniper and Wingler increase the time gap from the closely chasing pack from ten seconds, to twenty, to well over thirty. However, the early break-away efforts and windy back-stretch had taken a toll on Juniper and Wingler. With each lap, Boylan led the pace up the hill, surging just enough to force Juniper and Wingler into the red zone. Five laps to go, Boylan took a risky move and attacked on the hill, knowing that she was fresher than the other two and that her team mates would be controlling the chase of the bunch. Despite a lap of valiant chasing, first by Wingler and then by Juniper, Boylan increased her lead to a solo flier off the front. The peloton, meanwhile, resigned to letting the break-away stick, several teams frustrated with their chasing efforts.

In the end, neither Wingler nor Juniper were able to catch Boylan, who soloed off to a first place finish. Their sprint, however, was closely contested, with Wingler edging out Juniper by a tyre width. The pack finished with Jane McInnes of London Dynamo Prologue winning the field sprint for 4th place, Anna Grundy of LMNH RT coming in close second for 5th place, and Emily Barnes of Corvida Allpress RT next in an overall 6th place. Special congratulations go to Siobhan McNamara of Inverse RT for coming in as the 1st cat3/4 and an overall 8th place finish.


The race for 2nd place was won by Astrid Wingler (right) of London Phoenix over Nicola Juniper of Corvida Allpress by a tyre width.

It was an exciting day for women’s racing, as the league saw a large number of starters and a dynamic race. We were all happy to leave with sore legs, participant badges, and a nice sun-tan for March.


The podium along with 3/4th cat winner Siobhan McNamara of Inverse-Cyclaim (left) and Lydia in her red Rapha league leader's jersey.



Race video shot by John Mullineaux of UKCyclesport

Results:
1 2 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands
2 23 Astrid Wingler London Phoenix
3 16 Nicola Juniper Corvida Allpress
4 34 Jane McInnes London Dynamo
5 12 Anna Grundy Look Mum No Hands
6 1 Emily Barnes Corvida Allpress
7 18 Bethany Hayward Welwyn Whlrs Youth A
8 41 Siobhan McNamara Inverse RT
9 27 Coralie Glaunes Pearson Cycles
10 8 Louise Fellingham London Dynamo
11 25 Jo McRae Look Mum No Hands
12 21 Helen Ralston Pearson Cycles
13 22 Fiona Stephenson PM
14 9 Vikki Filsell Pearson Cycles
15 19 Nicole Oh Pearson Cycles
16 24 Elinor Winter Corvida Alpress
17 4 Elizabeth Chittenden Eagle RC
18 30 Elise Sherwell Look Mum No Hands
19 37 Helen McKay Look Mum No Hands
20 11 Julie Granshaw Wynda Milla RT
21 13 Lisa Gunn Wynda Milla RT
22 40 Charlotte Easton Look Mum No Hands
23 5 Monica Da Polenza Wynda Milla RT
24 28 Deborah Coyle Greenwich Tritons
25 31 Charmaine Brown Pearson Cycles
26 17 Francesca Morgan Sadler Lee Valley Youth CC Youth A
27 7 Nikki Engelbach Pearson Cycles
28 15 Vanda Jeffreys Reading CC
29 32 Helen Keaton Pearson Cycles
30 42 Charlotte Roberge Dulwich Paragon
31 35 Aimee Wright High Wycombe
32 29 Sophia Joy Elan CC
33 33 Sarah Stewart Greenwich Triton
34 26 Clare Gillott Dulwich Paragon

First 3/4th cat - 41 Siobhan McNamara Inverse RT
Prime - 17 Francesca Morgan Sadler Lee Valley Youth CC

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Meet and Greet rides with local clubs

Are you new to racing or group riding? Are you considering joining the London Women's Cycle Racing league and want to know what it's like? Or are you a seasoned racer who would like to get to know some of your fellow racers better or fancies a coffee and a chat with some bike riding in between?

If so, then why not come along to one of our pre-season Meet and Greet rides?

Meet and Greet rides are open to sporty women of all profiles - from keen cyclists to rowers and triathletes with or without a club.

Come and join other women cyclists on the rides hosted by clubs in different parts of London and the South East, where you can find out more about women's cycling from experienced club cyclists.

Current dates are as follows:

Sunday 29th April: hosted by Cycling Club Hackney. Meet at Olympus Square, Hackney E5 8PL http://g.co/maps/r5n7g
About 45 miles out to Epping and the countryside beyond. Distance about 45 miles, average pace 14-15 mph. Mostly flat with a couple of hills. Relax with a cup of tea, cake and a chat at the High Beach tea hut before the return journey. Get back to Hackney before midday. Please let Isobel know if you are coming: 0773 828 1703.

Sunday 25th March: hosted by Twickenham CC. Meet from 9.15am for a departure at 9.30 from Twickenham CC Clubroom, All Hallows Church Hall, Erncroft Way, Twickenham, TW1 1EW.
We'll ride a 63 mile route to Seale and back. Tea stop at Manor Farm Cafe, Seale. Facebook Event here.

Sunday 18th March: ride from Richmond Park into the Surrey Hills hosted by Kingston Wheelers
Meet at 8.30am at the cafe car park near Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park. We will be riding out to Boxhill via Effingham. Around 45-50 miles, the route takes in several hills, including a cake stop at the top of Boxhill. This will take around 3-4 hours (depending on how long we spend chatting over our coffee!) with a view to be back for Mothering Sunday brunch. Avg speed will be around 15 mph. Please let Lisa know if you’re coming 07766696429.

Saturday 3rd March: ride from N. London or Potters Bar around Hertfordshire hills and lanes, hosted by Look Mum No Hands! Race team
First meet option: 8.30am at the corner of the A1000 and Totteridge Lane by Boots in Whetstone (1263-1275, High Rd, London N20 9HS) then riding out to second meeting point: Potters Bar train station at 9.00am. The ride will be a mix of flat and undulating hills around 3 hours long. There will be options for extending or cutting short the route depending on legs and weather. Please let Helen know if you're coming on 07738 011802.

Sunday 19th February: ride from East Sheen to Runnymead hosted by Pearson CC
Meet at 8.45am at the Pearson Performance shop in East Sheen (232 Upper Richmond Rd West, East Sheen SW14 8AG) for a 9.00am departure. The ride will be 14-15mph average speed on a mostly flat route and around 3 hours long. There will be a coffee stop at the National Trust cafe in Runnymede.

Also on the calendar every Sunday: Mule Bar Girl Track Sessions @ Herne Hill Velodrome (Starting Sunday 19th February, weather dependent)
Time: 1.30pm-4pm
Venue: Herne Hill Velodrome
Cost: £6
Contact: 07900684609 (V)

Learn and practice track riding for skills and fitness in a less testosterone-fuelled atmosphere! The sessions are suitable for complete novice riders through to more advanced track riders, we will split riders into groups to ensure everyone gets a good workout. The session will focus on speed, skill and fitness. Inductions and bike hire are available.

Additional Information
Bike hire available free of charge. Hire bikes come with flat pedals and straps so if you want to ride clipped in remember to bring your pedals and a pedal spanner. We will only be able to ride the track if the weather is dry.

IMPORTANT: Please keep an eye on the Mule Bar Girl's Facebook page to see whether the session is running.


Feel free to email us if you need more information about a ride and we'll pass your name along to the ride leaders.

If any other clubs would like to run a Meet and Greet ride, please let us know.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Affiliations for 2012 now open!

With our racing calendar nearly 100% confirmed and other events starting to be planned, we're now taking affiliations for the 2012 season. Both teams and individuals can affiliate via this page.

Please note that we ask each team to help out in some way with the league -- whether that's helping organisers with signing-on and results at one of our races, marshalling at another race, planning social events or skills training days, or something else. The league runs on volunteers, and without them, we can't function. Your support is appreciated!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

LWCR joins the Surrey League for 2012

We've always had a good relationship with the Surrey League as they are ardent supporters of women's racing, and we have in turn included several of their races in our league. But this year it's a bit more formal: we at the LWCR have joined the Surrey League for 2012, meaning that our members can get the discounted entry fee at their races. In return, we are promoting a day of racing at the Cyclopark in Kent, including a men's E/1/2/3 and men's 4th cat race.

This day is Saturday April 28, which just happens to be the date of our third league race of the season. For the first time, we are promoting our own race! We will need a hand with marshalling and managing the men's races that day, so stay tuned for info on how you can help.

Here's how it works:

If you're a member of a club that's already affiliated with the Surrey League for men's racing (generally the larger local teams like London Dynamo or Dulwich Paragon, but also some smaller teams -- check with your club's road racing rep) then you can join the Surrey League as an individual in your club's name. For those riders who aren't members of Surrey League-affiliated teams (in particular our women's-only teams, or teams outside of Southeast England) then you can affiliate as an individual with us. Just make sure you list "LWCR" as your team (though of course we know you will race for your real team!)

Individual affiliation for women costs £10, and over the course of the season you will collect Surrey League points based on your results (as long as you don't DNS or DNF a race, you are guaranteed at least one point per race!) which will be traded in for cash at the end of the year. As we have a total of five Surrey League races on our calendar, it makes sense to join. And affiliation gives you the discounted entry fee for any other Surrey League races you might want to do: men's, women's, TTs, handicaps, on circuits and on the open road -- check out the calendar here or on the Rider HQ site.

Affiliation is being done through Rider HQ this year which means you need to be approved by either your club (if a Surrey League-affiliated club) or us at LWCR (if joining through us). You can affiliate here: https://www.riderhq.com/groups/surreyleague/0/join. Then it's just a matter of entering races -- so get entering!

If you are a new racer this season, it's highly recommended that you do the Cyclopark Surrey League race on Sunday February 5. This one is for 3rd and 4th cat riders only, and will include some tips and practise on group riding and racing before the race begins. Enter here.

Some other useful links:
-- Surrey League rules and regulations
-- a list of Surrey League-affiliated clubs from 2011
-- our 2012 calendar (still in draft form with a few races to be confirmed)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Introducing LWCR's headline sponsor for 2012: Rapha Racing


Rapha Announces Headline Sponsorship of London Women’s Cycle Racing League

Rapha, creators of the finest cycling clothing and accessories in the world, are happy to announce that they will be headline sponsors of the London Women’s Cycle Racing League (LWCR) for 2012. Sponsorship of the London-based grassroots league is an important early component of Rapha’s wider strategy to support and become instrumental in the growth of women’s cycling worldwide.

Established by the women’s cycling community in 2010, the London Women’s Cycle Racing League is an annual series of races in London and the South East. The league caters for the growing number of women taking up cycling and becoming more competitive, and brings them together at designated races and time trial events, where they are introduced to racing, can develop their skills and get involved in healthy local competition. In 2010 Rapha launched its first collection for women, offering a selection of essential Rapha products. Technical fabrics have been combined with thoughtful details to create the ultimate training and racing apparel that is both stylish and functional.

Rapha will be providing the league with a wide level of support from leaders’ jerseys and the private-hire of circuits for women’s-only events, to end of season prizes across the league for top riders, special awards and teams. Additionally, Rapha are introducing a badging and awards system for each event participant, category winners and league leaders throughout the season. Using Rapha’s website and social media LWCR will be promoted with photography and writing by ambassadors, guest writers and interviews with local riders. Anyone participating in the London women’s league who would like to submit photography and articles for publishing throughout the season are encouraged to do so.

Simon Mottram, CEO of Rapha, said of the sponsorship: “Our aim is that women around London and the SE regions will see that all of their work throughout the season is recognised and appreciated not only on the same level as men’s grassroots racing, but setting a precedent for what can be accomplished with dedicated support from a cycling brand. For Rapha this is just the beginning of our involvement in women’s cycling. Road cycling is the most beautiful sport in the world and we want to help new riders build their confidence, grow their ambition and feel like cycling is an important social part of their lives as well.”

To further encourage the growth of women’s cycling, and following on from the women’s CX clinics led by Rapha ambassador Claire Beaumont in 2011, Rapha will run skill sessions to demonstrate some of the basics of safe road racing and bike handling for everyone from beginners to top riders who want a bit of extra practice.
Women’s cycling should be recognised globally for the incredible athletes who ride at every level of the sport. The LWCR league has already set the bar very high for what can be achieved through volunteer dedication and local club riders all coming together over the last two years. Rapha’s sponsorship aims to build on this and ensure the league organisers and riders can count on the support they need to make the 2012 season the best yet.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

League Meeting on Mon Jan 16 -- all welcome

Further to the previous post outlining plans for the 2012 season, we have set up a meeting about the league on Monday 16th January at 7pm at the Weatherspoons at Victoria Station.

http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-willow-walk

All are welcome. We will be discussing sponsorship, the league calendar, potential pre-league rides and anything else that comes up! AnaNichoola and Rapha will be represented at the meeting.

Please let us know if you hope to attend so we have an idea of numbers.