Cycling, Hog Hill, Look Mum No Hands!

National Team Series Round 1

I did my first ‘big’ race: the first round of the national team series which was held at Hog Hill. Here is my report copied from the team blog [link]

“Good Friday saw the first installment of the Shutt Velo Rapide National Women’s Team Series.  Although not a target for Team Mum, we managed to field two riders for the event, and new recruit Alice showed that she is a star in the making.

Thanks to UK Cyclesport for the fantastic photographs!

Alice’s report:

I arrived at Hog Hill at 11.30 (pretty early for a 14.15 start!) but it meant I had a chance to look at the course and generally enjoy the whole atmosphere of the day. With a whole selection of races organised for the day there were loads of people around all enjoying the sunny (if rather fresh) day.

I had raced at Hog Hill only once before and was dropped within 15 minutes so I was really quite unsure of what to expect from myself and how I would fare. I felt a little intimidated by all the teams looking pro warming up on their rollers but reminded myself my focus for the race was to merely remain with the group and practise moving around within the bunch.

It was also nice to see a friendly face in Anna and I was pleased to ride my first race with other members of the team 🙂

64 entrants meant the start line was pretty filled up. I didn’t exactly position myself near the front as I really couldn’t gauge what the race and the other riders would be like (maybe I’m a bit too cautious). I didn’t get the best of starts as the girl in front of me was slow to find her pedal and I also struggled to clip in straight away. With a slow start I was already quite a long way down the group but at least I wasn’t hemmed in by high strung and easily spooked riders.

The race went off pretty speedily and we’d hardly settled in when the first prime was called on the third lap – queue renewed vigour and sprinting up the hill. There were three primes as far as I was aware, although to be honest I was far too far back to even think of contesting any these and contented myself with working hard to retain my grip on the back of the bunch.

Anna flying the LMNH flag right at the front of the bunch

A skill I need to work on (other than clipping in better) is confidence in riding within the bunch as I always end up leaving too much space between myself and other riders. This is a problem because as I lost a few spaces each lap during the climb, I had less riders to pull myself back on and it also became a lot more essential that I didn’t lose any places as I got closer and closer to losing the group.

As the leaders wound the pace up for the third prime the bunch began to stretch out as the girls began to suffer from the repetitive climbing and unkind headwind. It finally defeated me and I lost touch with the back of the main bunch.

Several other riders (luckily for me) had also been dropped although not many were working together. I knew it would be essential to not become a lone rider, especially when I was already maxed out from the effort of staying with the bunch. The strong headwinds meant I was quickly looking for some fellow riders to try and work with. Everyone seemed very tired though and as soon as I’d catch one she’d move sideways in the hopes that I might lead her round for a bit. So my final laps did not involve much recovery! As we hit five laps to go any lapped riders were pulled off and their positions were recorded. I was now riding on my own and rapidly losing sight of the bunch as they attempted to chase down an heroic break by Natalie Creswick of MuleBar Girls.

I don’t exactly know where I came as I have been missed off the results list, but as soon as we get an updated copy we’ll add it in.

Overall it was a great experience to race against so many other girls and a completely different experience to anything I’ve done before. I’d really like to race at Hog Hill a few more times (despite the nasty hill) as I reckon it has a lot to teach me so hopefully I’ll get a few more opportunities over the summer.”

1 Emily Barnes Corvida Allpress
2 Eve Dixon Maxgear RT
3 Sarah Brook Mulebar Girls
4 Emily Kay Scott Contessa Epic
5 Lowri Bunn Abergavenny RC
6 Laura Massey Vivelo Bikes-Inverse Cyclaim RT
7 Molly Weaver Scott Contessa Epic
8 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC
9 Clare Leaver Zappi Cycling Club
10 Karen Poole Squadra Donne-Shutt VR-Bikefood-C Originals-Cello Sports
11 Claire Galloway For Viored
12 Zoe Armstrong Scott Contessa Epic
13 Nicola Juniper Corvida Allpress
14 Astrid Wingler Surrey League
15 Delia Beddis Vivelo Bikes-Inverse Cyclaim RT
16 Mary Evans High Wycombe CC
17 Sophie White London Dynamo
18 Rohan Battison For Viored
19 Emily Bagnall Surrey League
20 Rebecca Curley For Viored
21 Sarah Austin Abergavenny RC
22 Helen Ralston Pearson Cycling Club
23 Abigail Dentus Eastern Region
24 Anna Christian Scott Contessa Epic
25 Eryn Nolan Corvida Allpress
26 Anna Reid Zappi Cycling Club
27 Tanya Hunt Surrey League
28 Lara Newell Eastern Region
29 Natalie Creswick Mulebar Girls
30 Elizabeth Chittenden Corvida Allpress
31 Catherine Hills Brighton Mitre
32 Vikki Filsell Pearson Cycling club
33 Rachel Przybyski Surrey League
34 Keira McVitty Eastern Region
35 Monica Da Polenza Brighton Mitre
36 Tessa Pugh London Dynamo
37 Katherine Fisher Pearson Cycling Club
38 Miriam Freemantle Team Hope Factory Racing
39 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands RT
40 Lucy Harper Eastern Region  @1 lap
41 Lyndsey Glazier Team Hope Factory Racing
42 Clare Leonard Brighton Mitre
43 Gina McGeever Brighton Mitre
44 Lisa Gunn Brighton Mitre
45 Nikki Engelbach Pearson Cycling Club
46 Isabel Irwin Zappi Cycling Club

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