Crystal Palace

To carry on this week of firsts I decided to test out Crystal Palace. It’s just down the hill from where I live so ideally I could race there every week – only problem is sign-on closes at 6.45pm and I am often still in work at this time…

But luckily work, being completely involved in the cycling world, are very happy for me to be racing so this Tuesday I got out dead on time and rushed over to Crystal Palace for sign-on in Cadence Performance.


It was a super hot day – by the time I arrived I’d already drunk most of my water!

After signing on at the cafe and pinning on my numbers everyone rolled down to the park where the race is held on a short circuit that on alternate weeks runs either clockwise or anti clockwise.


Before the senior race starts there are several youth races (run concurrently) so after getting down to the circuit there was a moment to relax and chat to the other entrants. I caught up with two other Look Mum riders Sam and Jim.

Once the youth races had finished and the course was clear Sam led me for a sighting lap around the course to give me an idea of how to take the corners and gace some good hints about when breaks were likely to occur.

Then it was time to start. The men’s E12 race was first at the line, with the men’s 3/4 race starting 30 secs behind and finally the women’s E1234. Because of there being three large fields racing concurrently on a very short circuit it is important to pay attention to what is going on and sometime the marshals will send your race on a short cut to keep it apart from another race.

Here one of the men’s races is coming past – best to just hold your line and resume racing once they’ve gone past
Enjoying the corners

Apparently it can take you a while to get used to the course but I quite quickly felt comfortable and really enjoyed the downward section and tight corners. Unfortunately I was weaker than my fellow racers on the uphill section so I had to really use the corners and downward section to catch them back up. The women’s race split in to two but I was in my own personal race quite early on with just Sarah Brook (Mule Bar Girls) and Ulrike von Saldern (Dulwich Paragon) for occassional company.

In a normal race, if you’re dropped, you can feel quite alone and the remainder of the race can be quite boring. But because Palace has so many races going on at once and there are riders all around you you always feel involved. When the men’s elite race comes roaring past like a freight train you certainly get a rush of adrenaline!

So, in summary, not an amazing performance from myself (need to actually do more than just commuting for training!) I thought it was really exciting. I enjoyed pushing myself to take the corners ever tighter and faster and it was just really nice to be surrounded by loads of other like minded people.

1 Miss Alexie Shaw Les Filles Racing Team Finished 2nd 10
2 Miss Delia Beddis Dirtwheels Cycles Finished 2nd 8
3 Miss Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team Finished 2nd 7
4 Mrs Karen Poole GB Finished 2nd 6
5 Miss Madelaine Lee-Smith East Grinstead CC Finished 4th 5
6 Ms Bella Leach London Phoenix CC Finished 2nd 4
7 Mrs Michelle Sellars Goscomb – BSR Finished 3rd 3
8 Mrs Ruth Wallace London Dynamo Finished 3rd 2
9 Miss Vikki Filsell Les Filles Racing Team Finished 3rd 1
10 Miss Nikki Engelbach Les Filles Racing Team Finished 2nd 1
11 Miss Clare Gillott Elitecycling Finished 3rd 0
12 Miss Charlotte Roberge Dulwich Paragon CC Finished 2nd 0
13 Miss Tracy Corbett London Dynamo Finished 3rd 0
14 Miss Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands Finished 3rd 0
15 Ms Sarah Brook Team Mulebar Girl – Sigma Spor… Finished 2nd 0
16 Ms Ulrike von Saldern Dulwich Paragon CC Finished 4th 0
17 Miss Laura Cheesman Prestige Velo Club Finished 2nd 0

Here’s video of the women’s race

And here the men’s E12 and Sam makes a break for it!

All photos and videos by John Mullineaux of London Cycle Sport

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