Monday, 24 August 2015

SEWTTS #11 - Dulwich Paragon 10m

Well not only is the series hotting up, but the weather did too for this one!!! 29 degrees and just light breezes (which inevitably felt like gales to the riders) were the order of the day which made a pleasant change from early season conditions.

The G10/42 is the same course used for SEWTTS #5 and both events had 9 riders in common - chasing the coveted best improvers title and the bottle of bubbly that went with it! Inevitably it's usually the same riders we see taking the category honours at these events so it's nice to see how riders can rise to the challenge of chasing a course PB.

The podium honours in the Improvers category went to the following:-

1st Katie Crowe (Dulwich Paragon) - 2:40 faster!
2nd Gemma Hayes (East Grinstead) - 2:10 faster!
3rd Jo Sloman (Dulwich Paragon) - 2:00 faster!

That is a great achievement. Well done ladies!

A beaming Katie Crowe. 2:40 faster on the day!

The overall standard of the event was very high - featuring 2 x national hill climb champion Maryka Sennema and Kate McNeill - 2nd in this year's National 25. Both did impressive 22 minute rides - as did Mathilde Paul - a great result considering the course is hardly the V718!

Category honours were as follows:-

Cat 1: Maryka Sennema (Paceline RT) - 22:59
Cat 2: Kate McNeill (www.drag2zero.co.uk) 22:21
Cat 3: Katie Crowe (Dulwich Paragon) 23:47
Cat 4: Jane Dennyson (London Phoenix) 25:11
Road Bike: Fiona Inskip (Newcomers CC) 25:46 *
Road Bike Vet: Julie Chasin (Kingston Wheelers) 26:47

Category winners - Maryka Sennema, Kate McNeill, Katie Crowe, Jane Dennyson, Julie Chasin, Fiona Inskip

Commiserations to Olivia Campbell who went off course on her first attempt. However with dogged determination, she returned to the start line and did a restart in a DNS slot a few minutes later recording an impressive 25:16. That would have earned her the category win. It's hard to know how to score this fairly - after much deliberation, I awarded the SEWTTS prizes and podium honours in the road bike category to the following:-

1st Fiona Inskip (Newcomers CC)
2nd Julie Chasin (Kingston Wheelers)
3rd Heidi Shepherd (Dulwich Paragon)

I then awarded points to all the lady road bikers as if Olivia had DNFed (i.e. giving Fiona 100 points etc) - but recognising that Olivia did put in the fastest ride of the day also awarded her 100 points. Other riders did confirm to me that the marshall in question had done some ambiguous hand signals which had tempted them to dead turn at the wrong roundabout.

A special mention also to poor Clara Jones doing her first ever time trial. She managed to snap off her rear mech during the warm up and was unable to compete. Although I offered to include her time in the SEWTTS results if she could arrange a late start on a borrowed bike, she was loath to borrow one in case she broke that as well! I was delighted to see that she had no shortage of offers of assistance back and HQ - her knight in shining armour shortened her chain for her allowing her to single speed it home! Bad luck Clara!

Thank you to Dulwich Paragon for a lovely friendly event.
Smiley Paragonettes - including the doomed Clara Jones (waving on the right)




Thursday, 20 August 2015

SEWTTS #10 - North Hampshire 25

Our tenth fixture was held on the popular Bentley course and attracted a whopping 48 women. Conditions were good - warm and not too windy although I hear the traffic count was a little higher than average.

There were no surprises in the results as the series lead contenders continue to reign supreme! Perhaps the ride of the day was from young Sophie Household, who just missed out on going under (1:00:11) riding a road bike with clip ons!

The category honours were as follows:-

Cat 1: Alice Lethbridge (gbcycles.co.uk) 57:43
Cat 2: Kate McNeill (www.drag2zero.co.uk) 56:41
Cat 3: Sophie Household (VC St Raphael) 1:00:11
Cat 4: Laura Cubiss (Cowley Road Condors) 1:04:40
Road Bike: Fiona Inskip (Newcomers CC) 1:06:57
Road Bike Vet: Julie Chasin (Kingston Wheelers) 1:06:45

58:37 for Elise Sherwell in her first open TT on a TT bike

Smiley rider of the day award goes to Stephanie Chang!

Cat 1 winner: Alice Lethbridge in 57:43

Great ride by Jane Wiley: 2nd in the Cat 4s

Mathilde Paul: 3rd SEWTTS rider

Embracing the pain with a smile: Julie Chasin! RB winner

The ever consistent Laura Cubiss - Cat 4 winner

Sophie Houshold: Cat 3 winner

Smiley prizes winners at HQ: Dalila Lecky, Kate McNeill and Laura Cubiss

Fiona Inskip - Fastest of the senior Road Bikers
The full results are available here:-

Photos of the event are available here (Facebook account holders only): North Hampshire 25 photos

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Course info for SEWTTS #12

SEWTTS #12 will be the last event in the series and I hope to see as many of you there as possible. It's the National Circuit champs so should attract some big names - but there will also be lots of women riding who won't be competing for the top honours so please don't be put off by the mention of the world "National". And it's a little north of our normal patch - as it's close to Milton Keynes, but easily accessible straight from the M1! All women are very welcome. As I always say, it's a case of "the more the merrier!".

Entries close for this on 18th August, so don't delay!

Course/HQ details as provided by the organiser.

"The HQ for the event will be at Cranfield University Sports Hall (which is about 4 miles from the M1 J13), and the course will be starting about a mile or so north of that, soon after the junction with the road to Astwood. It goes to Astwood, then left along the A422 to Chicheley, left to North Crawley and then left back to Cranfield, turning back past the start on Astwood Road. It is just over 10 miles around and it will be 2 laps. It is quite quiet for traffic, although busier on the A422.
There are basically 2 draggy climbs - to Astwood and to North Crawley and a shortish drag just before Chicheley. There is a
straight long shallow descent (2-3%) that is before the climb to Astwood. It isn't that technical at all and almost certainly not as lumpy as the National 25 course!"

Monday, 3 August 2015

With the 2015 National 25 on a course close to London, I couldn't resist including this high profile event on the SEWTTS fixture list even though it was a little north of our normal patch! Sadly, few of the series women were available or willing to make the journey to Essex that day which was a shame, but what we lacked in numbers, we certainly made up for in quality!

When I looked at the start sheet for the event and divided up the riders by category, I realised that there was just a solitary SEWTTS rider from the road bike category entered - Mel Wasley. Given that it was a national event, I thought it prudent to warn Mel that that was the case and that I intended to waive the road bike restrictions so that she could be more competitive. 24 hours before the event I advised her to beg/steal/borrow as many aero aids as she possibly could..... and she did just that! The transformation from her latest SEWTTS outing in early July was incredible!


Mel Wasley - the road biker

Mel Wasley transformed.... to an aero demon...

Mel rode a TT bike for the first time the day before the event. She then rocked up at the National 25 and committed to race a TT bike. Logic would suggest that she'd ride the bike that she'd practiced on the day before..... but logic is not Mel's middle name! So she set off to the start on a bike she'd never ridden... to ride a course she'd never seen. She was seeded 61st of the 63 riders on the start sheet and expected to come third from last. Pah!

The rest as they say is history.... and Mel overturned the form books by finishing third from top!

What a performance by Mel!

As if that wasn't exciting enough, she was beaten into second by another SEWTTS rider, the uber talented and fast improving Kate McNeill! Kate's impressive run of form has caught the eye of the UK's premier TTing team and she was recently signed up to ride for the prestigious Drag2Zero team. Kate didn't disappoint her new sponsors with an astonishing 2nd place, pipped only by our national jersey holder, Hayley Simmonds. What a result!




Kate McNeill - 2nd in her first National 25!


But while it's nice to celebrate that SEWTTS boasts two of the nation's fastest riders, the series also aims to recognise the riders who over-deliver based on their previous best times through its category system. To that end, a huge pat on the back goes to Laura Cubiss, our Cat 4 star, who finished 35th overall...and hot on the heels of 3 of our Cat 2s and our Cat 3 winner. Well done Laura!

The ever smiling, ever consistent Laura Cubiss


The full category honours were as follows:-

Cat 1: Alice Lethbridge (gbcycles.co.uk) 1:03:48
Cat 2: Kate McNeill (www.drag2zero.com) 1:02:28
Cat 3: Sophie Household (VC St Raphael) 1:11:14 (on a road bike with clip ons)
Cat 4: Laura Cubiss (Cowley Road Condors) 1:11:50
Road Bike: Mel Wasley (Epsom CC) 1:03:01 (road bike restrictions waived as Mel was the solo category competitor)

Apologies to Alice and Sophie - but I didn't manage to catch up with them at HQ to give them their prizes or to take their photos.

Photos of the event are available here:-

Updated SEWTTS tables .

Two SEWTTS women in the top 3 of the National 25!!!!!