Review – South East Women’s TT Series


A year on from when it was conceived, Rebecca Slack looks back at who ran away with the honours in 2014 in the South East Women’s TT Series

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Review – South East Women’s TT Series

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

It’s exactly a year since the idea for a time trialling series for women in the South East was conceived, so it seems a fitting time to look back at who ran away with the honours in 2014 and to look ahead to next year’s series. It is also a good time to recognise and give thanks to our wonderful sponsors, Rapha, Stuart Hall and Look Mum No Hands! for providing such wonderful prizes for the series’ speediest women. THANK YOU!

Eighty women took part in the series which is an amazing development for time trialling as many of them were competing for the first time. Looking at the categories in turn…..

Novice Category
1st Sarah Phelps, Brighton Mitre – 500 points
2nd Linda Endicott, Kent Velo Ladies – 443 points
3rd Jen Allum, Dulwich Paragon – 408 points
Vet – Linda Endicott, Kent Velo Ladies

The Novice category was aimed at newcomers and it was contested by riders on generic road bikes only with no aero aids. 15 women competed in this category and it was dominated by Brighton Mitre’s Sarah Phelps who won 6 of the series’ 12 events. Other novice winners were Linda Endicott and Jen Allum (both won 2) and Kathryn Morris and Jane Dennyson (1 each).

Sarah Phelps – Novice winner

Above: Sarah Phelps – Novice winner

Category 4
1st Elin Williamson, Brighton Mitre – 467 points
2nd Anita Jones, Brighton Phoenix Tri Club – 418 points
3rd Ulrike Von Saldern, Dulwich Paragon – 416 points
Vet – Anita Jones, Brighton Phoenix Tri Club

The Cat 4s attracted 21 riders and was also dominated by a Brighton Mitre in Elin Williamson. Elin “only” managed 4 outright wins though due to stiff competition from Ulrike Von Saldern (2), Clare Gillott (2), Anita Jones (1), Anna Stedman (1), youngster Anne Marie Hughes (1) and Caroline Smith (1) who also secured category wins.

Erin was certainly a very worthy category winner though having contested all events on a road bike while many of her competitors had full aero equipment. Commiserations go to Ulrike who lost her 2nd place in the series to Anita Jones on the last day of the season as a result of being sidelined for the last few fixtures after breaking her elbow in a nasty fall! Get well soon Ulrike!

Elin Williamson Cat 4 winner
Above: Elin Williamson Cat 4 winner
Category 3
1st Alice Lethbridge, Kingston Wheelers – 500 points
2nd Amy Jo Clarke, Charlotteville CC – 444 points
3rd Clare Campbell-Smith, Bridgtown Cona Test Triathlon Team – 415 points
Vet – Clare Campbell-Smith, Bridgtown Cona Test Triathlon Team

Former top level runner, Alice Lethbridge proved the dominant force amongst the 21 strong Cat 3s although she didn’t have it all her own way as she was beaten pipped into 2nd on a couple of occasions. Other riders to have won a series counter are Amy Jo Clarke (2), Clare Campbell-Smith (2), Michelle Arthurs (2) and Dana Voysey (1).

Alice Lethbridge
Above: Alice Lethbridge – Cat 3 winner

Category 2
1st Jasmijn Muller, Kingston Wheelers – 500 points
2nd Lizzy Brama, Brighton Mitre – 482 points
3rd Emma Craddock, Southdown Velo – 315 points
Vet – Sandra Blenkinsop, Kingfisher Tri

Jasmijn Muller dominated the Cat 2 leaderboard in all the events she took part in bar 1 (which went to Helen McKay) and on her better days, she also got the measure of the Cat 1 winners too! Lizzy Brama (3 wins) and Emma Craddock (1 win) took advantage of Jasmijn’s absence from 4 events to pick up category wins. 16 Cat 2s took part. Series regular, Sandra Blenkinsop, took the vets prize.

Jasmijn Muller
Above: Jasmijn Muller – Cat 2 winner

Category 1
1st Rebecca Slack, Look Mum No Hands RT – 486 points
2nd Bronwen Ewing, Trainsharp RT – 434 points
3rd Suzetta Guerrini, London Dynamo – 356 points

As expected, the Cat 1 category was by far the smallest category, and sadly a number of the high profile riders who entered the series weren’t able to take part (ie Julia Shaw, Parys Edwards and Nicola Juniper) meaning only 6 competed. To make the point allocation fairer the Cat 1s were pooled with the Cat 2s in all events. Having sat out all the early rounds, series organiser Rebecca Slack decided belatedly to compete in the series, attracted by the Rapha prizes on offer! She recorded 4 overall wins, to Bronwen Ewing’s, Suzetta Guerrini’s and Natalie Creswick’s 1.

Rebecca Slack
Above: Rebecca Slack – Cat 1 winner

A special mention should be made at this point to a couple of riders who got recognised in the series prize giving. Firstly Sarah Cashman who rode all 12 fixtures – thank you for your loyalty Sarah and for making HQ a much jollier place with your marvellous sense of humour!

Sarah Cashman
Above: Sarah Cashman – SEWTTS most loyal subject!

Charlotte Easton was the “Old Croc” prize winner – this category was devised to recognise riders who were returning to the sport after serious illness or injury. Charlotte is a former elite road racer, who despite suffering from secondary breast cancer posted some great, and progressive results over the series. It’s marvellous to see her to see her starting to show a glimmer of her old form again despite all those nasty medicines she’s taking.

Charlotte Easton
Above: Charlotte Easton – best Old Croc

SEWTTS in 2015
It is hoped that the series will go from strength to strength in 2015. While the first year was a great success, there will be a few tweaks to the calendar and category system going forward to make it better still and these have been highlighted in yellow on the SEWTTS website. (

For 2015, we will be starting with a more beginner friendly event and a little later in the year. Last year’s opener was a 2 lapper of the Bletchingly road race circuit on a cold March Sunday morning. While the event was impecabbly organised by SCCU and they went to the trouble of commissioning a beautiful vase for the ladies’ winner Natalie Creswick, the general feeling was that that circuit was too hard for a series opener.

In 2015, our first fixture will be the AW Cycles 10 which will be run on the A4 (see Strava segment here_- on a Saturday afternoon in mid April. This is a flat (+35m elevation gain), un-technical course, with the potential for fast times. The organiser, Nick English, will give priority to women entrants meaning that the event could theoretically accommodate 120 women riders!

Looking at the series entries in 2014, compared to the number who actually contested the series, there was a large number of women who didn’t ride a single fixture. Ie of the 38 novice women who entered, only 15 actually competed. Here’s hoping that the new road bike category and the more inviting first fixture will help address that in 2015!

The other key change is that the Novice category will be replaced by a Road Bike category. It became apparent this season that while the novices may lack experience, they don’t necessarily lack speed and the fastest novice time was often faster than the Cat 4s! Also, there were some speedy ladies in the Cat 2-4 ranks who were handicapped by being on road bikes. So, I’m essentially acknowledging that aero equipment typically makes a rider quicker than a bit of racing experience! Depending on demand, the road bike category may be split into 2.

The National Series event (SEWTTS 6) was really enjoyed by the women who took part in it, as it gave them a chance to benchmark themselves against world class riders such as Sarah Storey and Katie Archibald. It also provided some great photo opportunities back at HQ and Sarah Storey was an absolute legend for posing for so many piccies with the riders and for handing out the prizes.

That fixture will be included again in 2015 as will at least one, if not both of the National 25 and the National Circuit Champs. These National events have the advantage of attracting a large crowd of non SEWTTS women and being able to accommodate up to 150 women riders, so don’t present the same capacity issues that other events do. There is also the added benefit of more media coverage and general pomp & circumstance surrounding them.

The list of series events for 2015 is still work in progress until the CTT Handbook is published in January but is likely to look a little like this…
1* Sat 25th April – AW Cycles 10m (H10/2) – fastish, flat, S/C
2 Sun 10th May – Charlotteville 50m (H50/8) – Fast, mostly D/C
3 Sun 17th May – VC10 31m (H31/7) – National TT Series event – Sporting, 2 lap circuit with some significant gradients!
4* Sat 23rd May – Medway Velo (Isle of Grain, Kent 10 miles) Brand new event!
5* Sat 6th June – Elite Cycling 10m (G10/42) – Pretty fast DC/SC course on A24
6 *Sun xx June – Richmond Park 10.4 miles – Sporting, parkland setting
7 Sat 4th July – Redhill 14m (GS189) – Sporting, quiet roads
8* Sat 18th July – Addiscombe 15m (GS482) Brand new event – mixture of DC/SC
9 Sat 1st August – National 25m (E15/25) – Sporting and lumpy!
10* Sat 15th August – North Hampshire 25m (H25/8) – Fast, mostly D/C
11 Sun 13th Sept – National Circuit Champs (London North) – sporting S/C circuit.
Also a brand new Dulwich Paragon event – course/date TBC

* beginner friendly fixtures

Entries for the 2015 series will be opening very soon – the cost will remain at £10 per rider. Keep checking the website for details or follow us on Twitter at @Sewtts.

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