Biketreks Academy women’s race team manager Heather Bamforth has spent much of the winter season combining her training with helping to promote the first ever CDNW women’s race league.
Women’s racing has taken a few hits in the last year with races cancelled and sponsors walking away, despite the success of the olympics and the British team. Heather wanted to launch a grass roots racing league to allow women to compete in women’s only events without having to go up against either testosterone fuelled 4th cats or elite racers just back from Belgium.
Pimbo saw the first round of the series and it can only be said to have been a huge success. A big field of 35 riders took the start line with many first time racers or those who’d previously been put off by their experiences.
The race started fairly sedately with everyone settling into riding with so many women together and getting to know the circuit. At the end of lap 3, Joanne Blakely of the Maxgear-Champion System attacked off the front of the bunch and quickly established a 30s lead. Behind her the bunch was happy to stay relaxed, knowing that she had over half the race still to go. However, with 4 laps still to go she was still out and the bunch began to get restless and the gap began to come down.
By the bell it was clear that a bunch sprint was in order, Lauren O’Brien winning ahead of a hard charging Laurin Theryn.
The big turnout, the good weather and the fantastic atmosphere combined to make it the first race of the league a hugely enjoyable event. The race also represented the second outing for the relatively new Biketreks Academy women’s squad who were competitive throughout and continue to go from strength to strength.
Credits to CDNW and hard working official for supporting women’s cycling.
Of the first race, Heather herself says:
Despite the number of first time female road racers at the Pimbo event, the road race was fast and competitive. The race was a brilliant example of women’s racing at its best, which shows that the domestic scene will hopefully grow from strength to strength.
Ian Walker the race organiser said:
“It was a safe race and all of the girls rode with care and consideration for each other. The features of the Pimbo circuit, which is a one way system, with next to no traffic, good marshals, and NEG will have helped the first timers enjoy their race and boost their confidence.”
Riders can still register for the league at www.cdnw.org with the next counting event being held on 17 March 2013 at Nateby (near Garstang), Lancashire.