Brentor Road Race

An update from Alice, who now lives in Devon;

E1234 | Brentor | 2nd August 2014

  • Weather: sunny, with a short burst of rain
  • Course: three sharp corners, long drag
  • Highlight: making the break!
  • Strava activity

The 7th event in the South West Women’s Racing League, the Brentor Road Race was held in the small village of Brentor, near Tavistock. The hamlet is famous for its iconic church, perched high above on the Tor.


Badger navigates across Dartmoor

Fortunately it doesn’t take too long to get across Dartmoor from Exeter so we were soon there (and we didn’t have to get up too early!).

The men’s 3/4 race (running concurrently with the women’s) was fully subscribed with almost 80 riders. This meant the tiny village was soon full to bursting with slightly nervous, lycra-clad men. The lanes were narrow and quickly congested with parked cars by the time we arrived.

There was mass upheaval when a tractor, and then a bus, had to get through.

Lead NEG bike. Complete with sheepskin seat cover.

Lead NEG bike. Complete with sheepskin seat cover.

After a short warm-up on the turbo, I rode up the (big!) hill to the start line to attend the rider briefing. The men’s race rolled off with their cars and outriders before our race followed suit five minutes later.

3/4 mens and ladies start line

3/4 mens and ladies start line

The ladies race was 40km which worked out at five laps of the triangular circuit.

After the neutralised section finished and the lead car pulled ahead there was no major increase in speed; the group stayed close together, eyeing each other up.

Mid-way through the second lap a couple of riders put on a burst of speed, coming past the bunch swiftly. About seven of us went with this and the pace was kept high.


The third side of the triangle featured a long drag, which lasted around 8 minutes. Even on the first lap this took some prisoners. On the second lap, with some pace being set, the race was strung out further but I managed to hang in.

Sadly, by the third lap I no longer could sustain the power and had to drop back where two other riders came up and formed a small poursuivant group.

Wiebke (who is a strong TTer) was part of this small group, and with her steady power provided much of the impetus.


This graph shows (along the top) the profile of the course. Highlighted is the ‘long drag’, and (below) my stats for this particular section. (Click on the picture to see it full size).

By the fourth climb I had run out of steam and ended up alone for a short while before forming a good partnership with Lucy. For much of the following lap we had Wiebke and Zoe in our sights and Lucy was determined to catch them.

At some point the men’s race caught us up and came rushing by – a much smaller group now the hilly laps had whittled them down.

The rain also came, lasting barely ten minutes, but long enough to make crossing white lines when cornering something to consider.


Coming into the final lap – the lead break has reduced in number

And then it was the last lap. Lucy got ahead of Wiebke and Zoe leaving me to survive into 10th.

Tactically I played the race well, getting into the break and holding a good position within the bunch, I credit my recent chaingangs for this improvement.

My main weakness was on the long drag hill – I could not sustain the relevant power for long enough and then recover quickly enough. I have set myself some exciting (!) turbo sessions to remedy this.


Although today’s ride shows an all-time improvement for my 5 min power, this was still my weakness and requires work.

This race was part of the South West league, so I am now 12th in the league table.

It doesn’t look like I will finally qualify for the league, as I am not going to be able to attend the required races. (A couple of events have been cancelled leaving only three events remaining,  one of which is the far side of Cornwall on a weekday evening – I just can’t get to it!)

Position Name Club name
1 Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Scienc…
2 Josephine Gilbert VC St Raphael
3 Heidi Viles Exeter Wheelers
4 Nicola Noble
5 Jessica Duffy Kinoko Cycles Racing
6 Lucy Walker Bristol South CC
7 Wiebke Rietz 1st Chard Whls
8 Zoe Betteridge North Devon Wheelers – South F…
9 Sophie Edmondson Kinoko Cycles Racing
10 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands!
11 Alison Hooper Mid Devon CC
12 Alexandra Sheehan Merlin Cycles
13 Sarah Croucher London Phoenix CC
14 Claire Elworthy Exeter Wheelers
15 Nichola Rorke Exeter Wheelers

The London Cross League – Round 13

An update from Alice and her cyclocross antics….

Round 13 | Bethlem | 5th January 2014

  • Weather: fresh
  • Course: Very muddy! Muddy fields, muddy wood, deep mud (up to my hubs/axles!) One tree log
  • Highlight: getting confident on mud

This was the most muddy! At one point I rode through a really deep section and the mud was right up to my wheel axles. I had to get off and push.

There has been a lot of rain recently and the course was water-logged. I got a steady sighting lap in before grouping at the start line ready for the go. There were quite a few girls (and people generally) here today – perhaps a mixture of no National Trophy races mixed with New Year resolutions. As a result there were at least four riders at the start line that I predicted would be fighting for the win in the women’s race. Therefore I decided that I would focus today’s race on having fun and getting better at riding in wet conditions. It was a social start line and I had a good chat with a couple of girls whilst we waited to start. We came to the decision that we would have fun and remember to let the front wheel lead through the deep mud/rutted sections.


Claire chasing down Anett. Photo by British Cycle Sport

Once the top men were gridded all the women were called forward with the remainder of the field behind us. The bell went and we were off. The course was straight and wide for the first few metres but then went into a 90 degree left hand turn that was already pretty muddy and slidey. I am a bit cautious of turning on mud at speed so I’ll admit I was half-hearted in my initial burst away from the line. I lost some valuable spaces but we were soon in a wooded section where the mud was deep and sandy. This type of mud really grabs at your wheels and it feels like you’ve suddenly put your brakes on hard – if you’re not ready for the sudden reduction in speed it can throw you off. A few turns and sharp dips/rises and we were back on a flat but muddy field.

Whilst a wet field is generally quite smooth and there are no sharp turns (unless the course has been designed to have zig-zags!) the surface is very loose and you can easily lose your front wheel if you don’t make your turns smoothly and with your weight balanced nicely. As the race progresses and the ground gets churned up ruts can develop which ‘catch’ your wheel and it is important to relax and let your bike go where it likes rather than trying to guide the bike yourself otherwise it is much harder.


The seniors coming in for the win. Photo by British Cycle Sport

A few sweeping turns of the field, through a glade of trees, a short stretch of pavement and then the course entered a boggy wood section. Deep puddles and thick mud made the going tough here although, by choosing your line carefully, it was possible to retain a reasonable impetus. (One lap I made a very bad choice and got completed bogged down in a deep section of mud losing a few seconds getting it all unstuck and remounting).

There was turn followed by a short dip coming up to a tree log barrier. I have not learnt to bunny hop more that a kerb so I have to dismount for this obstacle although some of the more experienced riders were able to ride straight over it.


How to take on a log. Photo by British Cycle Sport

A few more turns in the muddy wood led on to a prolongued field section. The top part of the field was very dug up and even in my very lowest gear it was an effort to pedal. I probably would have been quicker carrying the bike over this section.

The field then became a little easier although with the surface water/mud it was still important to find the firmest ground (normally in the middle) and maintain a steady pedaling motion to minimise losing grip. If you had any energy left after fighting the mud then this part was where you could speed up and gain back time.


The pave section
Photo by British Cycle Sport

After a few turns and a mire of a gateway the course passed through the final field and back into woods. There was a right turn through a deep puddle and then a quick section of ‘pave’ type pathway followed by a sharp couple of turns towards the grassy (now muddy) finish line.

Although I set out from the start to have a good time I actually found myself doing quite well and although I didn’t expect to catch the leading riders I gradually took back the riders in front of me until I was running in fifth place. Midway through I was very excited to overtake Sophia Joy but then later saw her walking back to the pits so I can’t really say that I genuinely overtook her as she was obviously having a mechanical difficulty or some such. However this put me in fourth place and I’m very pleased with how I did in this race as the top three places were taken by girls who ride the National Trophy.

Badger and Tom came down to the course to watch and Badger did some sterling work at digging a very deep hole. If you listen carefully in the video you will hear Tom cheering for me 🙂

Video by British Cycle Sport

Sadly the next two rounds of the league have been cancelled due to course conditions being swamped by the recent rain/too damaged by previous races to host another. So that means two weeks off until the final round in February before the Team Champs.

Pos Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5
1 Claire Beaumont Vicious Velo 50:19:00 8’14” 10:04 09:50 09:55 10:07 10:22
2 Louise Mahe Mule Bar Girls 51:47:00 10’02” 09:42 09:46 09:58 10:37 11:42
3 Anett Deli Cyclelabs 52:22:00 10’37” 10:03 09:47 10:03 10:45 11:41
4 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands 42:33:00 1 lap 11:13 10:05 10:17 10:58
5 Hannah Ormesher North Road CC 46:37:00 1 lap 10:47 11:58 12:05 11:46
6 Jane McInnes London Dynamo 47:00:00 1 lap 11:23 11:23 12:07 12:07
7 Rachel Brown Luna Chix 48:28:00 1 lap 11:45 11:24 12:15 13:03
8 Katie Burgess Oscar Bravo 49:51:00 1 lap 13:35 11:52 12:08 12:15
9 Charlotte Haywood Unattached 52:10:00 1 lap 13:06 12:18 13:11 13:34
10 Trischa McLatchie Unattached 47:07:00 2 laps 14:04 15:48 17:14
DNF Sophia Joy PMR @ Toachim 10:18 10:36

Alice at Rapha Supercross

Rapha Supercross | Alexandra Palace | 27th October 2013


I entered this race in the belief that I would get to race in fancy dress and do a ‘Tequila Shortcut’ to avoid the more challenging obstacles. Somehow I entered myself in the more serious race….

And I managed a good faceplant whilst retaining third in the Senior women. Sadly, in the belief that Juniors count as as Women, I thought I had come fourth and did not appear at the podium. Hopefully nobody minded…?

First Last Team Cat.
1 Tamina Oliver Team CTC Senior
2 Rachel Fenton Senior
3 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth Junior
4 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! Senior
5 Astrid Wingler Team CTC Veteran
6 Hannah Ormesher North Road CC Senior
7 Abigail Armstrong Hackney GT Veteran
8 Lisa Rowledge N/A
9 Sue McIntyre Veteran
10 Emma Towers Twickenham CC Senior
11 Maria David Dulwich Paragon CC Veteran
12 Kelly Clark
13 Alison Crutchley N/A
14 Louise Rodosthenous North Road CC N/A

6L9A0412For further CX updates from me (rather than spam the team blog with my CX endeavours) be sure to check out my blog


Alice has been getting cross

Round 4 – Hog Hill

Saturday 29th September At last a chance to test out my super new cross bike, lovingly built by Barna, formerly raced by Gabby Day (and also Jules). The week previous to the race I had a practice at learning to dismount/remount at speed whilst still moving and also had a tentative ride on the BMX pump track….this wasn’t quite as much practice as I would have liked before going straight into an off-road race but hey-ho its all fun. ed My start was cautious which put me behind a lot of the men (veterans, youth and women all race together) but as I gained confidence i also gained speed and slowly worked my way up the field. After surviving an entanglement with the plastic fence tape (I had a section of red and white tape trailing me for a lap or so) and a battle for position with Fran I managed to pull off third place. Here’s a video; Video by John

Pos Bib Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5
1 108 Abi Van Twisk VC Londres 59:39 8’27” 09:17 09:49 10:02 10:09 10:03 10:17
2 131 Sophia Joy PM Racing 1:00:58 9’46” 09:29 10:07 10:07 10:12 10:25 10:36
3 134 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! 51:41 1 lap 10:12 10:12 10:45 10:28 10:02
4 132 Francesca Morgan Slater Lee Valley Youth 52:11 1 lap 09:51 10:29 10:48 10:29 10:31
5 106 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth 52:12 1 lap 09:58 10:25 10:57 10:22 10:29
6 133 Abigail Armstrong Hackney GT 54:21 1 lap 10:30 10:54 10:59 11:05 10:52
7 135 Katie Burgess Oscar Bravo 1:01:07 1 lap 11:19 12:02 12:29 12:27 12:48

Round 5 – Herne Hill

Sunday 6th October The velodrome is literally just down hill from me so this was a very casual start for me as I only had to leave early enough to sign on and get a few practice laps in. The course was very loose and gravelly, better suited to an MTB than a cyclo-cross bike. Here’s a video; Video by John

Pos Bib Name Team Time Gap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8
1 132 Sophia Joy PM Racing 48:56:00 07:19 05:07 05:11 05:13 05:14 05:14 05:09 05:15 05:09
2 140 Anett Deli Cyclelabs 49:33 0’37” 07:38 05:06 05:10 05:11 05:13 05:14 05:14 05:28 05:15
3 141 Louise Mahe Sutton Cycling Club 49:39 0’43” 07:15 05:12 06:24 05:11 05:09 05:02 05:10 05:06 05:06
4 133 Melissa Brand MG Maxifuel 51:35 2’39” 08:08 05:29 05:26 05:26 05:32 05:21 05:20 05:21 05:27
5 138 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands! 51:58 3’02” 08:09 05:19 05:17 05:23 05:35 05:31 05:30 05:37 05:33
6 131 Holly MacMahon Team Darenth 52:46 3’50” 08:17 05:26 05:29 05:26 05:33 05:40 05:44 05:31 05:36
7 139 Sarah Connel Brixton CC 50:31 1 lap 08:51 06:04 05:50 06:04 05:53 05:55 05:57 05:53
8 134 Lesley Wilkinson Addiscombe CC 52:56 1 lap 09:19 06:09 06:16 06:01 06:04 06:12 06:00 06:51
9 136 Niki Dukes-Kovac Brixton CC 49:28 2 laps 09:16 06:15 06:44 07:10 07:07 06:33 06:20
10 135 Sarah Weir Brixton CC 53:20 2 laps 09:33 06:38 06:58 07:21 07:24 08:09 07:14
11 137 Julia Murphy-Buske Brixton CC 15:09 08:54 06:14

Alice gets her first podium position

The last time I did a  TT was BUCS last summer(!)

With the first riders off at 6am we had to get up at 4am to cycle over to Richmond Park to take part in the London Dynamo TT. Over a 10.4 mile sporting course I was there mostly just to enjoy the peace of early morning London and have something to do whilst Tom also raced.


On the outward leg. I’m attributing my success soley to my new Lake shoes.

IMG_1752 (1)

photo (6)

Here I am in my first ever podium finish, winning £25 in vouchers for Sigma Sport. Worth getting up for!

1 00:30:36 Bella Leach London Phoenix Lady Road
2 00:31:50 Jasmin Meier Lady Road
3 00:31:59 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands Lady Road
4 00:32:14 Claire Richardson London Dynamo Lady Road

And for those interested in comparing the times with the TT (aero) category – TT bikes, deep wheels and aero helmets allowed;

1 00:26:53 Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers Lady TT
2 00:27:26 Lauren Whitmore London Dynamo Lady TT
3 00:28:01 Sandra Blenkinsop Kingfisher Triathletes Lady TT
4 00:28:57 Tracy Corbett London Dynamo Lady TT
5 00:29:27 Sarah Brook MuleBar Sigma Sport Lady TT
6 00:30:13 Anna Korbacz London Dynamo Lady TT
7 00:30:15 Tessa Pugh London Dynamo Lady TT
8 00:31:18 Lisa Collins Chrystal Palace Triathletes Lady TT
9 00:33:04 Susanna Davies London Dynamo Lady TT

Alice at Beyond Spring

What better way to earn your Easter Egg than go out in the bitterly cold and race around a circuit somewhere in West London? Tom and I couldn’t think of anything to top this plan, so we hopped in the car and went to Hillingdon.

Neither of us had raced at Hillingdon before so we weren’t sure what to expect. We found that the course is pretty simple and the facilities excellent (along with a really good offering of cakes put on in the café!)

The weather was cold but neither too windy or wet. My race (Women’s E1234 went off at 2.15pm, staggered with the Men’s 4th cat. The first four or so laps went reasonably well for me, but then, after choosing the wrong wheel to follow, found myself off the back of the bunch and in a small chasing group.

A friendly rider from High Wycombe had also suffered the same fate as me and we spent the remainder of the race working together. We must have maintained a good pace as the main bunch didn’t get round to us until the very penultimate lap. At this point we jumped on the back of the bunch and we all finished together in the sprint (trying not to get in the way of those actually contesting for positions).

Although I fell off the back of the bunch pretty promptly I felt this race went really well for me and I am reassured I am going the right way. I can see my main weakness, apart from lacking fitness, is my confidence within the bunch and riding closer to the wheel in front. I mostly ride alone, or behind Tom who I trust, so this is a weakness I will have to work on.

We’ll be back at Hillingdon next week for Round 3 and Tom will be riding in the National Para Crit Series.

Alice takes a test

At this time of year most competitive cyclists are getting stuck into their training for the coming season.

In order to be able to train to your best potential it is important to know where you are – and even more importantly – your training zones.

Whilst there are formulas that can be used to make a fair guess at your heart rate zones the best way is to undertake a fitness test.

I visited Koolstof and put myself up for a twenty minute threshold test which would allow us to figure out my stats.

Midway through the twenty minute threshold test

Midway through the twenty minute threshold test

Spin Scan

Whilst I was doing the test JJ also ran a spin scan – which meant we could look at the efficiency of my pedalling. This was the most exciting part of the session to me and I had fun trying to make different shapes by changing my pedalling style.


A spin scan allows you to analyse the efficiency of your pedaling based on torque, the balance of power between left and right, and the balance of power between pushing and pulling on the pedal stroke.

The three main readings you can take from this are;

  1. Your overall spin scan number for both legs and your overall spin scan for each leg
    • This is the average torque you produce throughout the pedal stroke
    • If your numbers are between 60-70 you push more than you pull
    • Between 70-80 you push slightly more than you pull
    • Between 80-90 pat yourself on the back – you’re a pro
  2. Your average torque angle for each leg
    • This refers to the location in the pedal stroke where force is applied
    • Ideally your power would peak somewhere around 90-100 degrees from top dead centre
    • This means you can apply maximum force when it counts the most
  3. The power split between your left and right legs
    • This reading indicates any power imbalances and which leg is dominant
    • This can be a result of imbalances in strength or leg lengths, or an improper bike fit.

This information proves useful to confirm that a bike is properly fitted (or not), to identify imbalances in strength between legs, or to determine areas of weakness within the pedal stroke. Using this feedback you can work to maximize efficiency and force.

My SpinScan

I’m proud of my well-balanced peanut

Halfway through my fitness test my spin scan looked like this ↑ .

From looking at the peanut shape and the overall spin scan numbers you can see that I push more than I pull. I can work on this by practicing my pedalling technique and focusing on utilizing the entire pedal stroke.

The graph and table also show that I have a very good symmetry in my technique and both legs are very balanced. This indicates that I have a very good bike fit (thanks to CycleFit) which means I can utilize all of my muscles and body properly.

In summary of the spin scan: I have an excuse to buy a fixie! <- due to the fixed gear you are forced to practice good pedalling technique.

Back to the fitness test.

After the threshold test (where I quite simply rode a 20 minute time trial on the compu trainer) JJ got lots of numbers and watts and other unintelligable facts from the software. When I understand all the figures and what they mean I will write a bit more….all I can tell you is I thought I was going to be sick and my face went very red.

(I’ll write some more when I understand it a bit better)

In reality JJ will tell me what those numbers where and from there he will be able to tell me what zones I should be training in. Exciting!

A little picture Tom drew.

A little picture Tom drew.

With reference to this article by Maria Simone regarding spin scans

Alice at the Tour Series

[Here are my experiences of the JHTGP. The other girls could give you a very different account of the race, what with actually being at the front, taking sprints points and finishing in the top ten. You’ll have to ask Jo and Lydia what it’s like. Meanwhile, this is what it was like for me 🙂 ]

The over-ambitious fourth cat. strikes again! Race numbers 7 and 8

Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series

Round One – Tuesday 22nd May – Oxford
Round Two – Tuesday 29th May – Peterborough
Round Three – Thursday 7th June – Colchester
Round Four – Tuesday 12th June – Woking
Round Five – Thursday 14th June – Stoke-on-Trent


Photo: Larry Hickmott ( Circuit Race Champion Hannah Barnes, World Champion Lucy Garner and previous series winner Helen Wyman are presented to the crowd

So after a few weeks of no riding (focussing on getting my dissertation submitted and a couple of other essays sorted) it was time to have a go at this bike racing malarky again! Race number 7 = the first round of the Johnson Health Tech Series that is being run in conjunction with the men’s Halfords Tour Series.

The JHTGP series is a bit of a step up – high-speed, televised, inner-city crit. racing – the highlight of the year for most teams and a great opportunity to increase coverage for women’s cycling in Britain. I was very excited to be lining up at the start next to teams like Node4, Matrix Fitness-Prendas, ForViored, Scott Contessa (etc) and with competitors such as the world champion Lucy Garner, national champion Hannah Barnes and the previous series winner Helen Wyman. Even more importantly I got to meet some more of my team mates (I still havent met them all 😥 !). Lydia, Jo and Elise were in Oxford too and ready to show the the city (and the country) what we’re made of.

Photo: Larry Hickmott (, Elise and Jo looking keen to get the race under way

After a beautiful day wandering around Oxford with Tom it was eventually time to get lycra-d up and attend the pre-race briefing (during which I found I had stuck my transponder on the wrong fork of my bike duh!). The temperature was as high as 28 degrees so we werent keen on going over the top on our warm up and risking getting dehydrated before the fun and games even began, so after a few laps to check out the corners we were ready to start.

The course itself was very tight and technical, with four almost 360 degree turns which called for aggressive sprinting out of each corner. The race had a neutral start – the whole bunch followed the motorbike around the course for a sighting lap – and then everything got a lot faster. With such experienced riders in the peleton I was very unsure of my ability so I let myself slip back until things had settled down a bit and I knew where I stood. Of course this is never a good decision, and the concertina effect of the tight turns soon meant I was a long way away from the front of the race. The repetitive sprinting out of corners soon also took its toll on me and I was soon alone or with stragglers I’d either caught or who were catching me.

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

Because the Oxford course was so tight, wherever you were you could always hear the loudspeakers. This meant you could be entertained by the various musical choices of the organisers, but also you could get updates on the race as the commentators excitedly told the crowd when to bang on the boards for sprint primes and the like. I really enjoyed being able to know what was happening elsewhere in the race, because although I had by now been lapped it was still nice to feel involved and it was great to hear the names of my team mates being shouted through the tannoy as they sprinted for the primes and went of in the winning breakaway.

Photo: Mark Hopkins

Photo: Mark Hopkins

When it came to four laps to go and lapped riders were asked to pull off I felt a mixture of relief that it was over but also disappointment that I had to stop already. Tom was waiting in the pits having nabbed the team manager pit pass and sorted out a corner for me to die in whilst we waited for the main race to finish. I did jump up to watch the final sprint for the line and saw Annie Simpson of Matrix Fitness-Prendas take the win, closely followed by Jo McRae of Look Mum who took fifth! Along with Lydia’s finish at eleventh this secured our team position as third in the series so far.

Photo: Larry Hickmott ( )
Annie Simpson (Matrix Fitness-Prendas) wins Round One

Excitement post race

Round One Individual Result

1)    Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
2)    Hanna Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles
3)    Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael
4)    Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing
5)    Jo McRae, Look Mum No Hands!
6)    Lucy Garner, Node4 – Giordana Racing
7)    Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
8)    Tamina Oliver, Abergavenny Road Club
9)    Natalie Creswick, Mule Bar Girls
10)    Sarah Reynolds, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
11)    Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!
12)    Adele Carter, Team Hope Factory Racing
13)    Penny Rowson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
14)    Adel Tyson-Bloor, VC St Raphael
15)    Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic
16)    Harriet Owen, Node4 – Giordana Racing
17)    Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls
18)    Rachel Stokes, Zappi’s Cycling Club
19)    Alice Barnes, – Orbea
20)    Laura Massey, Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT

Round One Team Result

1)    Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 39pts
2)    Node4 – Giordana Racing, 37pts
3)    Look Mum No Hands!, 26pts
4)    VC St Raphael, 25pts
5)    Mule Bar Girls, 16pts
6)    Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
7)    Scott Contessa Epic, 6pts
8)    Zappi’s Cycling Club, 3pts
9)    Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT, 1pt

Overall Team Standings, post-Round One

1)    Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 39pts
2)    Node4 – Giordana Racing, 37pts
3)    Look Mum No Hands!, 26pts
4)    VC St Raphael, 25pts
5)    Mule Bar Girls, 16pts
6)    Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
7)    Scott Contessa Epic, 6pts
8)    Zappi’s Cycling Club, 3pts
9)    Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT, 1pt

Here’s a full report of the race on VeloUK ‘Clean Sweep for Annie’

More photos of Round One from Larry Hickmott

Back to the Top



A week later and its time for round two of the series. This time in Peterborough. Again the weather was lovely and warm and the slightly overcast sky cleared up in time for the race. After using the Peterborough Rugby club as changing facilities and having our race briefing it was time to get back into the city centre for a warm-up around the course before lining up for the start.

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

This time the Look Mum No Hands! team consisted of Jo, Lydia, Helen and myself. The Peterborough course was much faster with sweeping bends, allowing a lot of speed to be carried through each turn. There was a slight drag on the dual carriageway section back up to the roundabout but it was nothing major, if anything this was the fastest section. There was a bit of ‘bouncy’ paving just after the first corner which I didn’t like so much – I kept feeling my back wheel come up :s

After the sighting lap behind the moto the race was off. Quite quickly the winning break was made by series (and sprints) leader Annie Simpson (Matrix Fitness-Prendas), Node4 rider Harriet Owen and Hannah Barnes (Team Ibis) who went off the front and put a very sizable gap into the chasing bunch.

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

I was quickly defeated by the rapid pace being set at the front of the race but luckily got in a good group of girls to work with for the remainder of the race.

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

Photo: Larry Hickmott (

Despite some confusion as to when the final lap was and a nasty crash for Sarah Reynolds of Matrix-Prendas Lydia managed to stay upright (if you see the photos of the crash you’ll see it was a miracle) and came across the line in sixth. Look Mum retain third position in the team rankings!

Round Two Individual Result

1)    Harriet Owen, Node4 – Giordana Racing
2)    Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
3)    Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles
4)    Lucy Garner, Node4 – Giordana Racing
5)    Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic
6)    Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!
7)    Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls
8)    Emily Kay, Scott Contessa Epic
9)    Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
10)    Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing

Round Two Team Winners: Node4 – Giordana Racing

Overall Individual Standings, post Round Two

1)    Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 39pts
2)    Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles, 37pts
3)    Lucy Garner, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 32pts
4)    Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 28pts
5)    Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing, 26pts
6)    Harriet Owen, Node4 – Giordana, 25pts
7)    Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands, 25pts
8)    Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic, 22pts
9)    Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael, 18pts
10)    Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls, 18pts

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Two

1)    Node4 – Giordana Racing, 85pts
2)    Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 69pts
3)    Look Mum No Hands!, 41pts
4)    Scott Contessa Epic, 40pts
5)    VC St Raphael, 32pts
6)    Mule Bar Girls, 30pts
7)    Abergavenny Road Club, 15pts
8)    Vivelo Bikes/Inverse/Cyclaim RT, 11pts
9)    Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
10)    WyndyMilla UK Youth, 6pts

Here’s a full report of the race on VeloUK ‘ Harriet Owen conquers Peterborough

More photos of Round Two from Larry Hickmott

Photo: Richard Bennett
Harriet Owen takes the individual win in Peterborough for Node4-Giordana

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Unfortunately that is the end of the tour series for me as I have final exams next week and afterwards I’ll be going to France with Tom for a couple of weeks in the sunshine.

I really enjoyed the experience of racing in the tour series – having the crowds, cameras and noise makes it really exciting! Although I didn’t do particularly well in the races I feel they were great experience and also loads of fun. As only my 7th and 8th races I’m still only at the very start of learning racing and I’m proud of how well I did. I am even more proud of my team who are really showing the big women’s teams how good we can be, even just as an amateur team. Go Honey Badgers!!

Maybe if I stopped doing races containing World Champions I might be able to become a third cat…..

Photo: Mark Hopkins

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Tockwith Yorkshire Day at the Races

Saturday 28th April

Race: Yorkshire Day @ The Races

One last race before I really knuckle down with uni work and get this degree out of the way. I chose to enter the local(-ish) race at Tockwith Aerodrome with is about ten miles to the west of York. For me, about 1.5-2 hours by train, and with a student return only costing £12 I thought it was probably worth it.

As usual I had work in the morning, but I had almost an hour at home afterwards to have breakfast and get ready before I needed to be at the station for my 10.47 train.

CrossCountry Sheffield>York

It almost went all wrong from the start. All the trains to Newcastle (the route I needed) were all delayed by an hour or more. Luckily I had an any-time ticket so after lugging my bike around the station after platform change I was able to just hop on which ever train arrived first.

I changed at York for a local service to Cattal which would leave me less than three miles to cycle to the aerodrome.

York Station

It was cold and windy and the roads looked like they had been recently flooded. ‘Road Ahead Closed’ signs were still up, which worried me. but luckily the water had receded and the roads were passable although there was an awful lot of standing water around in the fields. I could make a comment about the ‘drought’ here….

Anyway. I got to the race track. There appeared to be two go-kart tracks and a larger, more open car racing track. There were two portakabins providing basic (if grimy :s) toilets which was better than nothing.

After signing on I met up with Nicola Soden (Maxgear) who was lovely and let me sit her car and hide from the less than pleasant weather.

Here is a photo of me enjoying my lunchtime picnic in her car;

My quality pre-race fuel

The weather seemed to degrade from that point on, not that it had been anything to write home about previously. It was cold and windy and increasingly wetter.

It got round to time to start warming up. Nicola had come in her car so she had her rollers with her and got underway. To be honest I should have manned up and negotiated the long muddy track back out to the road and done a few ups and downs but I guess I didn’t fully acknowledge the necessity of a thorough warm up….I only managed a couple of warm up laps round the track before we gathered at the start line. I wasn’t prepared.

And it’s not like my competitors would be taking it easy either. When I first entered the race online there were maybe three other entrants and although I expected more entrants on the day I wasn’t quite ready for the number that had decided to brave the inclement weather. Also they all looked pretty serious riders too! No weekend warriors that day.

I started at the back, stayed there for a short while and then was unceremoniously dropped. No warm-up meant I (unsurprisingly) was not ready for 30mph race pace :p

However I carried on riding round, hoping to warm into it and maybe catch on the back again when they lapped me. I was cold, tired, poorly fueled and not warmed up – pretty basic mistakes (what a chopper!) and the bunch came past too strong for me. Eventually I started to warm into it but, even though the bunch seemed to have slowed, they sailed passed me for the second time.  I kept going round on my own however, and got some supportive cheering from Claire Rutherford which made me smile.

Here's a photo from Claire of the last few laps.

Afterwards, in a quick post race chat, Nicola explained to me that I should have accepted I wasn’t warmed up properly when I was dropped and then focused on warming up properly on my own (rather than smashing it) and then jumping on the bunch the next time it came round. That way I would have got a chance to practice at race pace, as the way I did it I just had 40 minute solo effort that I could have done just as well on any other day and didn’t really get much experience of racing done. I will remember this advice for next time.

I then spent a shivery few hours on the trains getting back to Sheffield although I treated myself to a big hot chocolate at York station. It was so lovely – I got marshmallows and cream with it 🙂


I sat by the radiator for a long time when I got home….

In all it was a very tiring day, but it was still only my sixth ever race, so I guess it’s reasonable to expect to get it wrong a few times :p

The next few weeks won’t have much cycling whilst I focus on getting my dissertation done, a couple of essays and get revision under way. The next date in the diary will be the first round of Tour Series – somewhat ambitious!

Ps How do you like the team issue tyres? 🙂

1 Miss Alice Barnes Orbea
2 Miss Brit Tate Dirtwheels Cycles
3 Miss Iona Sewell
4 Mrs Catherine Wiggins Liverpool Mercury (Dolan) CC
5 Miss Lauren Brown Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos
6 Miss Jessie Walker Matrix Fitness – Prendas
7 Miss Gabriella Shaw For Viored
8 Ms Jessica Learmonth BBM Revolution Cycling Club
9 Mrs Karen Poole Squadra Donne – Shutt VR/Bikefood
10 Miss Vanessa Whitfield VC St Raphael
11 Miss Lauren O’Brien RST Racing Team
12 Miss Alice Grieve Stockton Wheelers CC
13 Mrs Nicola Moore Active/CPCycles RT
14 Miss Racheal Bamford Dirtwheels Cycles
15 Miss Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands
16 Miss Jodie Brumhead Cottingham Coureurs RT
17 Miss Jessica O’Brien RST Racing Team
18 Miss Victoria Hood Team Swift
DNF Miss Claire Rutherford Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT

I’m sure there were more riders than this, but they haven’t been listed :s

Alice at the BUCS 10 TT

My first time trial of the year was BUCS 10 TT in Cambidgeshire on the 21st of April.

Although we had driven the course beforehand and it had looked smooth and fast, it was actually quite slow due to a rise for a motorway flyover and long straits into the wind. (<— I’m going to leave that spelling)

Looking tired.
I hope this was taken after I finished, otherwise I was resting halfway round! *shock*

The large majority of people were on TT bikes which put those of us without aero kit at a bit of a disadvantage, but I felt like I was going pretty fast anyway! The roads were so smooth, it was lovely.

The course was an out-and-back, with the turn on a nice open roundabout at almost exactly half way which was well  marshaled so my ride went very smoothly.

Practicing pacing myself over a few ’10’s prior to the ‘big’ day would of course have been beneficial and no doubt aero kit would have helped me place higher. I am pretty certain with more experience I could go quite a bit faster as I don’t feel I went as hard as I could have, but it’s hard to know how to pace it and don’t want to blow too early.

Generally I enjoyed it, which I’m going to take as a sign I wasn’t working hard enough!

Planning to hit a Rudy Project TT later in the year and maybe Blenheim if there is space for a wannabe…

BUCS Team Results University Riders Time
Gold Cambridge A Simmonds, Railton 0:48:33
Silver Birmingham Horne, Nyman 0:48:56
Bronze Oxford Galloway, Noll 0:52:24
Durham Broadbent, Page 0:56:44
Sheffield Sandelind, Miller 0:58:26
Clara had also made the journey to Cambridgeshire to represent Sheffield. It was her first ever TT! Together we came fifth in the team standings which apparently means we earnt the University 5 BUCS points…


Our covered warm-up spot 🙂

 1 Ciara Horne University of Birmingham 0:23:59
2 Hayley Simmonds University of Cambridge 0:24:34
3 Claire Galloway Oxford University 0:24:57
4 Corrine Hall St Marys University College 0:25:29
5 Anna Railton University of Cambridge 0:26:07
6 Sarah King University of Warwick 0:26:26
7 Lucy Gossage University of Cambridge 0:26:38
8 Victoria Ware University of Edinburgh 0:26:46
9 Lara Nyman University of Birmingham 0:26:52
10 Sonja Noll Oxford University 0:27:24
11 Katharine Broadbent Durham University 0:27:27
12 Holly Page Durham University 0:27:51
13 Elizabeth Waterhouse University of Manchester 0:27:51
14 Gail Brown Durham University 0:29:01
15 Rebecca Carter Bangor University 0:29:07
16 Christina Wiejak Loughborough University 0:29:09
17 Clara Sandelind University of Sheffield 0:29:17
18 Lucinda Wahlers Newcastle University 0:29:22
19 Alice Miller University of Sheffield 0:29:36
20 Laura McCormack University of Birmingham 0:29:42
21 Lydia Dant Loughborough University 0:29:49
22 Kiterie Faller Oxford University 0:29:51
23 Natasha Cutmore University of Birmingham 0:29:53
24 Rachel Stedman University of Birmingham 0:30:24
25 Lucy Nell University of Leeds 0:30:32
26 Helen Roby Leeds Metropolitan 0:30:33
27 Alice Mitchell Imperial College 0:31:58
28 Mara Johnson Leeds Metropolitan 0:32:19
29 Emily Deason Loughborough University 0:32:40
30 Chantel Clark Abertay University 0:33:09
31 Lorna MacDonald Leeds Metropolitan 0:33:43
32 Anna Kiesenhofer University of Cambridge 0:34:25
There were 56 girls on the start list, but I think the rain must have put some of them off…

It was torrential at times

Last year I did two 9.4 mile ’10’s but because they’re a bit shorter than a full 10 I am too lazy to calculate whether I went faster or not today. Of course the weather and the course make it all different anyway…