Team News – WNT Cycling Team May Review

Team WNT News - May got off to a flying start with a 4th place for Elisa at the Tameside mid week crits .

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Team News – WNT Women’s Team May Review


May got off to a flying start with a 4th place for Elisa at the Tameside mid week crits a few days before lining up with teammates Sophie and Victoria for the Andy Morrison memorial road race, in which Elisa and Victoria did some good early pace setting and work for Sophie which resulted in her winning the bunch gallop for 2nd, the race was won with a solo break away.

Sam stayed a little closer to home attending the new women’s Yorkshire series and Marcus racing in the mornings support race. Very changeable weather all day and a pair of mistimed sprints didn’t give the results that were hoped for!

Then onto the first round of the Matrix fitness women’s GP, a 5 race series run alongside the Pearl Izumi Tour series. The first round was held at Stoke on Trent on a fairly undulating and technical 1.2km city centre circuit.

The quality of the field was very high, with some well known names competing, this was the highest level of racing that either Sam or Sophie, our two competitors for this round, had ever faced and neither really knew what to expect.

They soon found out! The pace was frenetic, Sam missed her pedal off the start and never managed to make an impact, Sophie had a good start and as the race split due to the high speed she found herself in the third group on the road eventually finishing 32nd, a decent result in this company. Both girls loved the event and were both keen for the next round.

Two days later at the Women’s eastern racing league at the Lotus test circuit, Sophie scored her second win of the season with an impressive ride. Following the cancellation of the Women’s Cicle classic, the team were left at a bit of a loose end so Sam and Marcus headed up the A1 to race round 3 of the Altura Nutcracker mountain bike series at Aske, this also incorporating the North of England championships.

Marcus had a decent ride to finish 9th after a jammed chain (again!) caused him problems early on.

Sam went onto win her category on a very technical but fun course and was surprised to be told on the podium that she was now the women’s sport category North of England champion!

Just 2 days later and the girls were in Peterborough for the Matrix fitness GP round 2, a fast, flat, flowing 1.1km circuit in the heart of the city.

Sam had a fantastic start, mixing it with the leaders, but maybe dug a bit too deep a bit too early and suffered for it as the race wore on. Sophie had another solid ride, the race split into 3 main groups again with Sophie holding her own in the second group, she once again finished 32nd with Sam just a few places back.

The team were travelling to Banbury the next Sunday for the Women’s team series round, with Marcus racing in the mornings support race. We were scheduled to have a full team for Banbury but illness struck both Elisa and Victoria so it was left to Sam and Sophie to get the WNT name out there!

Both the support race and the Women’s race were to be 3 laps of a 12 mile circuit. This sounded pretty good until Marcus found 7 miles into the first lap a massive hill, only half a mile long but at an average grade of 14%! This wasn’t particularly where the race would be won but was where it would be lost, on the third ascent Marcus just lost contact with the leaders, spending the few remaining miles in a small chase group that finished a matter seconds behind.

The race had split massively everytime it had hit the climb so it was expected the same would happen with the women and it did, on the first time over the leaders put the hammer down stringing the whole field out, Sam managed to hang onto the front group with Sophie just a few seconds behind in a second chasing group.

Second time over saw Sam get distanced but managed to get back onto the leaders again, Sophie held station in her group. On the final ascent Sam just couldn’t hang on but chased over the top with another rider, she eventually finished 28th not far off the leaders, Sophie’s group finishing a few minutes later. A good performance by both girls in a race with a quality

The next race on the calendar was the Pedalpushers circuit race at RAF Fulbrook utilising a karting track! Sam had a really good race, pushing the pace and forcing a split in the bunch, it came down to a sprint between 8 riders, Sam got 2nd, missing the win by less than a wheel.

Disaster struck for Sophie, stuck in a traffic jam on the A1 she missed the women’s race but managed to get an entry into the 2nd category men’s race, it ended up being a very good training session!

The following day Sam raced at the Doncaster GP in another good field of riders. She ended the race in 4th after another very closely fought sprint. Only a couple of days later and the team headed to Redditch for the Matrix fitness GP round 4, none of the team had made the long trek up to Edinburgh for round 3, hopefully we’ll be there next year.

At Redditch we had Sam and Victoria racing on the undulating 1.2 km course made slippery by intermittent rain. Sam had her best ride of the series yet, she led for the first lap, enjoying the conditions just as she does in similar conditions when racing her Motorcycle.

The circuits long drag of a hill soon started to take it’s toll on the racers leaving just six in the front group, Sam was caught behind a split and ended up in the third group which got bigger as it swept up riders. Sam eventually finished 29th, tired but pleased with her progress over the last few weeks.

Victoria who was just coming back from illness found the pace a real shock to the system but is looking to improve now she knows what to expect.


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