29 June 2014 was not only the date of the National Road Race Championships it also marked the fourth round of the CDNW women’s league, returning for the second time to Pimbo Industrial Estate, Skelmersdale, Lancashire.
The Pimbo circuit is pretty flat, although the finish is on a slight incline, which seems to get harder the further you ride!
33 women took to the start line, which is about half the number that attended the first race at Pimbo in March, but this time at least it was slightly warmer and we had sun! The last few times that I’ve ridden at Pimbo I haven’t been able to do a proper warm up as there were other things that I needed to do before the start of the race, so this time I was determined to have a half decent warm up. I knew that my form had started to pick up, with some half decent time trial times and a win last week, so it was important for me that I did a proper warm up, especially isn’t my type of circuit.
After warming up at the HQ, I rode out to the circuit, trying to eat a pain au chocolat at the same time, which basically meant that I was riding along with half of it in my mouth – proper classy as always!
Before the race started, the Chief Commissaire read out the new #racesmart guidelines from British Cycling (basically reminding us that we are on the open road) and then we were off for 20 laps of the two mile circuit.
The two people most likely to benefit from current league leader Eve Dixon’s absence (on duty at the National Road Championships) were her Team 22 WRT team-mate, Jen Edwards (who had won the first two rounds of the league) and Ruth Taylor of Manchester Wheelers (who had come second to Eve at the previous round at Bickerstaffe in April). Due to the non-technical nature of the circuit, it is really difficult to make a breakaway stick, so I had decided to stay up near the front for the first 15 laps, but in the end, Sinead Burke from PH-MAS Cycling attacked with 7 laps to go and Jen followed her, so it wasn’t an attack that I was going to let go up the road. In the end, it brought home to me how strong the wind was on the top corner of the circuit and that there was no point trying to instigate an attack. With that in mind, I decided to sit in and wait for the sprint.
There was a few digs from RST Racing’s Amy Gornall and PH-MAS Cycling also tried to control the race early doors, but ultimately nothing stuck and as the bell lap came round, I tried to make my way up to the front and found myself on Jen’s wheel. The sprint started off okay but I ended up boxed in and managed to find a gap to get out, which is probably a first for me as I don’t tend to contest sprints. As we neared the line it seemed to go into slow motion and seemed like it was never going to finish, but Jen eventually took the win from Amy and Ruth. There was a crash in the finishing straight which saw Claire Offley from Chester Road Club taken out, with some damage to her bike and a bad cut to her knee (get well soon, Claire), a timely reminder to everyone about how important it is to hold your line, especially in a sprint.
I managed to bag 8th, which is my best placed finish in that event, which I was really pleased with. However, the best thing about today was seeing so many people who had been dropped at the first event in the league three months earlier actually digging in and staying with the bunch. There were so many smiles at the finish from those who had achieved a bunch finish for the first time that it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Hopefully, those riders will gain confidence from that race to continue developing and making progress. For someone who seems to spend a lot of their spare time trying to encourage women to take up competitive cycling, that is better than any top ten finish.
CDNW Women 2/3/4 – Pimbo (results provided by CDNW’s Facebook page)
29-Jun-14 CDNW Women’s League, Event 5 – Pimbo
Categories: W2 W3 W4
Chief commissaire: Peter Jack
Assistant commissaire: Len Woffindin Distance/Time
Moto commissaire: Gary Burns 65km/1:45:00
Judge: Simon Wilson
Race number Position Name Team/Club
25 1 Jennifer Edwards Team 22
22 2 Amy Gornall RST Racing Team
9 3 Ruth Taylor Manchester Whlrs Club
26 4 Sarah Rose Team 22
17 5 Natalie Hodson PH-MAS Cycling
2 6 Melanie Potter Bromsgrove Olympique CC
15 7 Sinead Burke PH-MAS Cycling
28 8 Heather Bamforth Team Jadan
14 9 Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
24 10 Flora Gillies Speg – Project 51
21 11 Charlotte Mckernon Rhos On Sea Cycling Club
1 12 Lindsay Atkinson-Wright Albarosa Cycling Club
18 13 Amy OHalloran PH-MAS Cycling
37 14 Clara Sandelina PH-MAS Cycling
31 15 Claire Rutherford Team Wheelguru
8 16 Joanne Street Manchester Whlrs Club
16 17 Martha Gill PH-MAS Cycling
23 18 Gabrielle Duckworth Salt Ayre Cog Set
12 19 Laura Morgan Merlin Cycles
10 20 Kim Walravens Manchester Whlrs Club
5 21 Nicola Fox Manchester Whlrs Club
34 22 Eirwen Williams Clwb Beicis Dwyfor
30 23 Frankie White Team Jadan
35 24 Lauren Brown Team Jadan
36 25 Leah Pheasy PH-MAS Cycling
19 26 Madeleine Scott PH-MAS Cycling
3 27 Claire Offley Chester RC
38 28 Jessica Taylor PH-MAS Cycling
32 29 Catherine Waters R.V. Juns
20 30 Rachel Mullard-Wilson Revolutions Racing
6 31 Cathy Murray Manchester Whlrs Club