CiCLE Classic – The Last Winner Emily Nelson

Winner of the 2019 CiCLE Classic for Women, the last edition held, Emily Nelson spoke to Cycle Division about that victory, moments in the race and the challenges she faced in the race.

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CiCLE Classic – The Last Winner Emily Nelson

This weekend is the CiCLE Classic for Junior Men and Women (Startlists Here). The event has twice been won by riders in the Cero Wheels/Cycle Division colours, Nathan Draper (Junior Men, 2015 – Joe Fry was 3rd also in the team’s colours) and Emily Nelson (Women, 2019), the last time the race was run.

Emily has won World and European championships and was without doubt one of the best female riders in the World until she retired. These days, Emily is preparing for a career change but still rides with the staff from the Cycle Division shop. Looking back at her win in the 2019 CiCLE Classic on the Cycle Division Shop’s Facebook page, Emily says “that was without a doubt my best road result within my career! To win such a prestigious race is an honour and a memory that I cherish.”

“Racing for Cycle Division/Cero wheels, I was in a really positive environment, where everyone wanted me (and my teammates) to do well, but there was also zero pressure to perform. I only entered the race for a bit of fun, and after puncturing and DNFing the time before, I wanted a shot at finishing the race! So to come away with the win, I was chuffed to pieces!”

Emily with the Cycle Division team of young riders with her rainbow bands

Looking back at the race in 2019, Emily explains “I think a few moments stand out for me from during the race. The first was the big crash that happened right at the start. My sister (Josie) was involved in it and all I knew was that as other riders got up and made there way over to where we were all stood as the race was neutralised, she wasn’t there. That had quite a big negative impact on me as I assumed she was seriously injured and at one point I wasn’t sure whether I was going to carry on the race once we started up again!”

Another moment was probably the second or third sector where I ended up off the front with Anna Kay and Beth Crumpton (two awesome cyclocross riders!) and a few other riders. At that point, I started to think that maybe I could make it to the end of the race and compete in the sprint at the end.”

“Then there was the finish itself! I wasn’t sure how far we were to the finish, but with about 3km to go, the bunch swelled from about 15 of us to over 40 riders. We’d got a gap just through natural selection on the final climbs and sectors and I’d been hoping for a small bunch sprint. I remember getting completely swamped and ending up too far back.”

“I then saw the red kite for 1km to go and thinking that I had better get to the front! Going into the final corner, I’d managed to get myself to 3rd or 4th wheel, having done a massive effort around the outside of the bunch. I thought I’d used too much energy, but once I started sprinting, my track legs took over and I got past the girls in front of me and held on to the line!”

“The great thing about the CiCLE Classic is how challenging the course is. I think for me, the hills were the hardest part, as my power to weight ratio wasn’t that of a climber! But the off road sectors are really challenging in a completely different way. I made sure I was at or near the front so I could pick my own lines, especially in the wet conditions, because being too far back increases your chances of crashing or getting dropped or just using more energy than necessary!”

“I loved the off road sectors and I think they really make the race fun! The hills make it hard and stop the riders that get dropped in the sectors from getting back on, which whittles down the group for the finish”.

A big thanks to Emily – it was massive having you wear the Cycle Division’s colours and VeloUK wishes you heaps of luck for the future career.

RESULT (2019 Women’s CiCLE Classic)

1 Emily Nelson RST/Cycle Division Racing Team 01:56:48
2 Rebecca Durrell Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm st
3 Elizabeth Bennett Campinense – Velo Performance st
4 Jo Tindley Campinense – Velo Performance st
5 Sophie Lewis Cycle Team OnForm st
6 Eluned King Liv Cycling Club – Halo Cycles at 00:04
7 Annabel Simpson Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm st
8 Emily Wadsworth Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm at 00:06
9 Jessica Finney Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm at 00:07
10 Emma Cockcroft Bianchi Dama st
11 Abbie Manley Hargroves-Montezumas st
12 Gina Ricardo Les Filles Racing Team st
13 Fiona Hunter Johnston Campinense – Velo Performance st
14 Kate Wootton Cycle Team OnForm st
15 Laura Massey Torelli-Assure-Madison at 00:11
16 Katie Scott Cycle Team OnForm at 00:12
17 Leah Dixon Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm st
18 Jennifer Powell Bianchi Dama st
19 Abi Smith RFDA st
20 Anna Shackley Team 22 st
21 Illi Gardner Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm st
22 Harriet Dodd Team Boompods at 00:21
23 Francesca Cutts Team LDN at 00:25
24 Alicia Speake Team LDN st
25 Sophie Thackray Torelli-Assure-Madison at 00:49
26 Helen Ralston Team LDN at 01:14
27 Hannah Larbalestier Team Boompods at 01:17
28 Elynor Backstedt Storey Racing at 01:30
29 Anna Kay Experza-Footlogix at 01:32
30 Holly MacMahon Bianchi Dama at 02:20
31 April Tacey Fusion RT at 05:24
32 Ruth Shier Fusion RT st
33 Christina Wiejak Team Jadan Weldtite-Vive le Velo st
34 Caitlin Peters Storey Racing at 06:46
35 Charmaine Porter Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm st
36 Ellen McDermott Team Boompods st
37 Maddie Wadsworth Cycle Team OnForm st
38 Bethany Taylor Bianchi Dama st
39 Natasha Reddy Bianchi Dama at 06:50
40 Rebecca Richardson Fusion RT st
41 Georgina Panchaud Bianchi Dama at 06:53
42 Elena Spanou Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com at 09:08
43 Kerry Middleton Team LDN st
44 Alice Towers RST/Cycle Division Racing Team at 09:12
45 Polly Mason DAP Cycling Club st
46 Sian Botteley Cycle Team OnForm at 09:15
47 Fiona Russell Fusion RT at 09:57
48 Abbie Taylor Sheffield Dirt Society at 09:58
49 Lauren Johnston Avid Sport st


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