Cycling, London, Look Mum No Hands!

LWCR #4: Elveden

002Elveden Cycling11-05-2013
The race rolls out headed by Laura Trott and her sister Emma
Photo: Mark Huggins

Saturday 11th March
Round #4 of the London Women’s Cycle Racing league, was held in the grounds of a private estate near Mildenhall and Lakenheath in Suffolk.
The course was a 3.5 mile circuit which would be repeated for 10 laps in the women’s E1234 race.

I was especially excited for this race as it would be my first ‘road race’ (rather than pure criterium) plus also Olympian Laura Trott (Great Britain and Wiggle Honda) and her sister Emma Trott (Dolman Boels) were on the start list. What an opportunity to ride with some of the stars of women’s cycling!

The weather was somewhat overcast, and pretty windy. Staying in the bunch would be key to surviving this race.

After my turbo warm up I was able to explore the first half of the course (now that the men’s 4th cat race had finished) before lining up for the start.

Due to the nature of women’s races in the UK there was a massive range of abilities and experience. From one end we had Olympian Laura, professional continental racer Emma, riders from other well experienced teams from the UK and Ireland who have raced on the continent, strong domestic teams, members of the GB development and talent teams, and budding racers all mixed in with 4th cat beginners.
I think this kind of situation provides UK female racers with a unique opportunity – a 4th cat man could hardly hope to enter the same race as Bradley Wiggins, but I have had the opportunity to race with Olympians and World Champions.

Our small group works together in the windPhoto: Huw Williams
Our small group works together in the wind
Photo: Huw Williams

The race started behind the lead car, neutralised for the first mile or so, then the car pulled away and the pace quickly increased. With the big girls at the front setting a quick pace and the strong winds, positioning was key to conserving energy and maintaining position.
The differences in experience and strength soon became apparent and the race split into several groups. Quite a few were dropped very early on. I managed to remain with a small group of four to five and we worked together to maintain a constant and steady pace for the majority of the race.

Action at the front of the race as Emma keeps the bunch in checkPhoto: Mark Huggins
Action at the front of the race as Emma keeps the bunch in check
Photo: Mark Huggins

At the front of the race Laura Trott had gone off the front and ended up finishing a full five minutes ahead of second place. Her sister Emma stayed at the front of the field helping ensure Laura’s lead.

I finally lose touch with the group in the last lapPhoto: Huw Williams
I finally lose touch with the group in the last lap
Photo: Huw Williams

35 miles is the longest I’ve ever raced and by the final lap I was certainly feeling very much the worse for wear. I lost touch with my little group in the last lap and ended up coming home alone.

The experience of working in a group, against the wind and over a longer course was good and although at the time I felt I had not performed well in retrospect, finishing mid field in this race was a really good step forward for me. Perhaps with a little more fitness and more confidence to remain at the front of the group during the early stages I will be able to come across the line in a much more competitive position.

1

Laura Trott OBE Wiggle Honda

2

Siobhan McNamara DID

3

Laura Massey Abergavenny

4

Hayley Jones Node 4 Giordana Womens Team

5

Emily Nelson Halesowen A & CC

6

Alexie Shaw Les Filles Racing Team

7

Emma Trott Boels-Dolmans

8

Keira McVitty Team Zenith/www.buzzcycles.co.u

9

Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team

10

Tanya Griffiths Ipswich BC

….

25

Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands!

Strava files

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