Rider Blog: Alice Miller at the Tameside Season Starter Crit

Rachael Bamford and Simon Fortune are winners in Tameside at the crits at Ashton-under-Lyne while Alice Miller writes about her race at the twisty pan flat circit

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Alice Miller looks back at her race at Tameside

Held at the Tameside circuit in Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester these races are open to all categories of women racers. Because I work on Sundays, I have a 5.30am start in order to work from 6-9am and then quickly catch a lift over to Manchester in order to be there for around 10 for sign on and warm up.

I did a crit race at Hog Hill last summer on a day licence and then got dropped within 15 minutes so Sunday’s race at Tameside was my first ‘proper’ race. After a lazy winter of focussing on Uni work and only a week and a half of actual training, I wasn’t expecting too much. I went into this race hoping to start well and remain in the bunch for as long as possible (or for the whole race if possible). Experience is what I’m looking for – and collecting a few points of course.

As a beginner, just starting a race is a bit exciting with all the drama of clipping in etc. But I got away well and after a few laps, everyone calmed down a bit anyway. I started off well, near the front, and generally kept my place, but after half an hour, the little mistakes I kept making (such as being windward side of the bunch, or the outside-side of the bunch in corners) began to tell. I can do hard efforts and recover quickly, which is fine whilst I’m being economical and still within the bunch, but if I loose a few places or drop back a bit (thus working harder, in more of a pursuit style) I don’t yet have the correct type of fitness to survive many of those type of efforts. This is something Tom and I will be working on over the next few weeks.

Overall I was proud of my handling and being all squashed up between the other riders. I even survived a crash that happened right in front of me. Also, I have doubled the amount of time I can spend with the bunch, compared with the race I did at Hog Hill – this time on less training, but more specific training.

Next Sunday I hope to stay with the bunch for the entire race and get some experience of the last couple of laps and the sprint.

Check out Alice’s blogs here: Alice Miller’s Blog page

4th Cat Men’s Race

The first of three events over the coming weeks, today’s 4th Cat Season Starter event was the first competitive experience for many riders. The bunch of 40 riders adapted quickly to the technical challenges of the Tameside circuit. Despite the best efforts of the Pedalsport CC riders to split the group, the race was finally decided by a bunch sprint and was won in a close finish by Simon Fortune from Condor RC (Calderdale) from Duncan Warner (Airedale Olympic CC).

Women’s Race
The Women’s race attracted a field of 22 riders, some of whom had travelled to the North West the day before to take advantage of the double weekend of Women’s circuit racing; including the racing at Salt Ayre, Lancaster on Saturday afternoon.

Many of the riders have also been attending of the popular Women’s Road Race Training Sessions, taking place at the Tameside circuit on Monday evenings. With the pace being forced in the early laps by Nikola Butler (Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT) and the Dirtwheels Cycles duo of Racheal Bamford and Brit Tate, a lead group of 10 riders soon got established.

Bamford looked strong throughout and had several attempts at going clear, only for the lead group to bring her back each time. Not to be deterred, the Dirtwheels Cycles riders took control on the final lap, leading out the sprint and sealing 1st and 2nd place in the process with Hannah Layland (VC St Raphael) finishing 3rd.

The Women’s Circuit Racing Weekends continue for the next two weeks in the North West; 17th Salt Ayre, 18th Tameside, 24th Salt Ayre, 25th Tameside and 31st March Salt Ayre.


Category 4

1 Simon Fortune Condor RC (Calderdale) 53mins
2 Duncan Warner Airdale Olympic CC st
3 Kevin McCann Liverpool Century RC st
4 Micheal Page RAF CC st
5 Adam Blakeley Pendle Forest CC st
6 Joanthan Dicks Liverpool Century RC st
7 Dominic Watts Sheffield Sports CC st
8 Peter Free Heanor Clarion CC st
9 Nick Guest (Slipstream Race Team)
10 Paul Campbell Hull Thursday RC st
11 Ben Gillespie Saddleworth Clarion st
12 Keith Bailey Chorlton Velo st
13 Neil O’Brien Manchester Triathlon Club st
14 Richard Crabtree Pedalsport Cycling Club st
15 Matthew Hacker North Cheshire Clarion st
16 Hamish Robertshaw Airdale Olympic CC st
17 Anthony Eaton Manchester Wheelers Club st
18 Joe Bennett Warrington RC st
19 Micheal Condon Pedalsport Cycling Club st
20 Simon Hookway Sherwood Pines Cycles – The Co-operative Group st
21 Daniel Chaffer Chorlton Velo st
22 Mike Gradwell Saddleworth Clarion st
23 John Bottomley Pedalsport Cycling Club st
24 Oliver Wright Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT st
25 Joe Hinchcliffe BBM Revolution Cycling Club st
26 Richard O’Connell Manchester Wheelers Club at 1 lap
27 Tim Mitchell Saddleworth Clarion ”
28 Craig Turner Sherwood Pines Cycles – The Co-operative Group ”
29 Richard Savage Airdale Olympic CC ”
30 Dean Radford Sherwood Pines Cycles – The Co-operative Group ”
31. Chris Dobson Saddleworth Clarion st


1 Racheal Bamford Dirtwheels Cycles
2 Brit Tate Dirtwheels Cycles
3 Hannah Layland VC St Raphael
4 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC
5 Lisa Daly Sportscity Velo
6 Iona Sewell GB Cycles
7 Frances White Champion Systems/Maxgear RT
8 Nikola Butler Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT
9 Nicky Shaw Dinnington RC
10 Joanne Blakeley Seamons CC
11 Lauren Brown Champion Systems/Maxgear RT
12 Nicola Soden Champion Systems/Maxgear RT
13 Claire Rutherford Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT
14 Jenny Brown Rochdale Triathlon Club
15 Phoebe Snedden Mulebar Girl
16 Louise Smart
17 Vanessa Whitfield
18 Olivia Tomlinson
19 Paige Coope
20 Zoe Smart


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