After the early part of the cyclo cross season was deeply afflicted by good weather and dry tracks the status quo has thankfully been restored to the rain and sticky mud that this sport is noted for.
Saturday brought around the annual Geoff Bewley Memorial Race promoted by Liverpool Century RC at Otterspool Park, Aigburth.
I took shots of the Vets/Womens and the Senior events and here in pictures is my story.
Feel free to download any shots but remember its personal use only. If you use on social media it would be good to get a nod @chrismeadsphoto
Despite a short introduction to the girls who will be wearing Sunsport Velos colours in 2017 the article was sadly remiss in probing out such deep topics as favourite tv programme or ideal dinner party guest.
We have of course delved to such depths already with some of the team and in this continuing series we now put our Paxmanesque spotlight on Yorkshires very own Liz Burrows.
Liz is another former triathlete (I won’t be happy til we have converted all of them) and has just completed her second season on the road. Her bio already appears in an earlier edition of ShoottheBikeRace but that was far too serious for this feature.
How long have you been cycling?……….2yrs properly 10 if you include triathlon
Career highlight so far?…………………..Tour de Yorkshire
Biggest influence on your cycling?……..Boyfriend Jake Tanner
What are your ambitions in the sport?…attempt some tours this season
Who do you most admire outside of cycling?………….. Constance Hall
Away from cycling what would be your preferred career?……..PE teacher
You’re stranded on a desert island with three famous people (dead or alive) of your choice. Who are they?………..Bear Grylls, Scarlett Moffatt, David Bowie
Favourite Holiday Destination?………. New Zealand
Friday night, by law, is chippy tea night. What are you having?……… Fish butty
When were you last inebriated? …….No idea it was so long ago!
Your house is on fire. What one possession do you save?……… My dog Mya
Name a famous person who really really irritates you and in 5 words why?….. Michael Buble he is really smug
Strictly or X Factor – X factor
Brian Mays Hair or Theresa Mays Shoes – Hair
Ketchup or Brown Sauce – Brown
Cats or Dogs – Dogs all the way!
David Essex or Joey Essex – Joey
Cider or Vodka- Cider
and finally back to cycling, what would you say is your main strength eg climbing, sprinting, suffering – all rounder
We look forward to following Liz out on the road in 2017 and in the meantime you can follow her on twitter @lizburrows1
After several weeks of pursuing tarmac related bike activities I stepped back into the mud on Sunday at Dark and White Events Three Counties MTB Marathon.
Now MTB events appeal to me because its in my blood and also because I am a big fan of:
- Bikes with nobbly tyres
- Fresh air and rugged terrain whatever the weather
- Getting up at 5.30 am on a Sunday morning.
Alright I lied about point number 3 but if you want to combine 1. and 2. then sometimes 3. wants to get involved as well.
The 3 Counties MTB Marathon is named due to it straddling Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire and follows trails and minor roads taking advantage of the wonderful terrain that this corner of England offers. It started and finished in Buxton from where it immediately headed south to where I was lying in wait in the small village of Hollinsclough. My abiding memory of Hollinsclough will be trying to find it whilst driving down a lane approximately two inches wider than my car directly into a fierce sunrise which made a pincer movement by also bouncing up off the wet tarmac in attempt to lure me to a lonely rural death by sending me into an oak tree/stray deer/speeding tractor.
Having survived this ordeal I parked up and followed the course to a good viewing spot. Its obligatory in this type of event that my first batch of shots involves an uphill. I like to capture pain, suffering and, if I am lucky, tears. I guess this penchant for sadism owes something to my childhood although no one incident springs to mind.
Around two hundred competitors undertook the challenge in favour of a Sunday lie in and as they crossed a footbridge and made their way up to the road in Hollinsclough it was apparent that only the strongest would make it up my chosen ascent whilst still astride their mount. The majority had to be content with either pushing or carrying their bikes whilst slip sliding away in the mud. Quite a few of the usually jolly crowd were heard uttering curses of a decidedly agricultural nature at this juncture. Fitting.
After capturing the pedestrian action at Hollinsclough i made my way to the edge of Macclesfield Forest just in time to capture most of the riders coming through. This time the terrain allowed them all to actually be riding their bikes, now there’s a novelty! This popular location was heavy with dog walkers, hikers and families enjoying the fine autumn weather and remarks were made by them as to the courtesy and friendliness of the riders. I am not sure that at this stage of the ride I would have been so convivial so fair play to them.
Having spent about four hours out on the course and hopefully taken a shot of most, if not all of the riders I got back to the car and set off for home. There may have been some riders still out on the course by the time I sat down to edit my shots, it wouldn’t be the first time, and I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of jealousy that being behind the camera prevented me from tackling a very challenging route that 200 other off roaders had the pleasure (may not be the appropriate adjective) of doing.
Next Sunday I turn out for Dark and White Events again. The Wildest Peaks Trail Run will not be sparking any jealousy that is for sure!
Wishing a happy 26th birthday today to the final rider on Sunsports 2017 roster. Step forward Lizzy Banks, yet another rider hailing from the other side of the hills-this time Sheffield.
She leaps across from Fusion RT Fierlan after a successful 2016 in which, despite an injury hit mid season, she gained some notable results. Namely the individual and team gold medals at the British Universities and College Sports Hill Climb Champs in Stirling as well as a second place in the Buxton Mountain TT and third at the Manx International GP.
Although only riding for two seasons Lizzy is clearly both talented and ambitious and is likely to be the mountain goat of the team when the road rises. She will be targeting the National Series races and, in common with her other team mates, fancies a crack at the continental scene.
In her own words:
“I can’t wait to start racing with Sunsport Velo WRT and make use of all the excellent support and performance knowledge they offer. It is so important to start with a good base in your winter training and having the team support you with coaching, nutrition, performance testing, strength and conditioning and much much more will give me a head start and all the motivation needed to get through a solid winter of training! The team has an incredibly professional setup and great range of riders with a mix of talents on both the road and the track”
So with all riders names now out there plans are underway to turn this group of highly talented individuals into a team to be reckoned with when the season starts. There is a lot of tough competition in women’s cycling and nobody thinks it will be easy but with the excellent support of the owners, managers and sponsors I would say that they are better placed than most to achieve success
Our penultimate rider is former international triathlete Seonaid Thompson. Thirty one year old Seonaid is based in Leeds and has recently become a mum to an adorable little girl.
Seonaid competed for Scotland as a triathlete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and made the switch to pure road racing in 2015. She competed in the Tour of Yorkshire that year which will have given her a taste of things to come when she hits the big events with Sunsport Velo WRT
Seonaid is a sprinter and when the strong Sunsport lead out train clicks into action she will likely be the last one in line racing out of the bunch and steaming to the finish. Indeed last year she won over half the races she competed in and put some of her new team mates to the sword in the process. Let’s hope that they don’t bear a grudge!
Thirty five year old Victoria Fearn is the next name up on the Sunsport team sheet. She hails from Kent and spent the 2016 season racing for PMR@Toachim House.
Having picked up a handful of wins this season Vicki then rode in Ireland in the prestigious Ras na mBan adding this experience to another high level outing in last seasons televised Matrix Fitness GP series at Croydon.
Although quite naturally the majority of Vicki’s races so far have been in the South she will relish the opportunity to show her talents on a national stage as well as making trips over to the continent when the chance arises. (Vicki is, after all, the closest Sunsport rider geographically to the continent!)
She sees her move to Sunsport as a step up career-wise and is looking to play a strong team role as well as seeking out opportunities for personal glory. Her experience will be a great asset to the team
As we pass the halfway mark in our presentation of Sunsport Velos 2017 roster it is time to meet the most cosmopolitan member of the squad.
Twenty seven year old Gabriella Nordin was brought up in Sweden to a Swedish father and American mother before touching down in Maidenhead to make her mark on the UK cycling scene. She signs from Starley Racing for whom she has put some strong performances in with this season.
Although slight of frame she possesses a level of endurance that lends itself to stage racing, evidenced this season by her fine fifth place on gc in the Ta’Malta where she was also top placed GB rider.
She will look again at stage races next season particularly overseas and is also seeking a shot at the Swedish National Road Race title.
A preseason interview is on the cards and someone with this interesting a background needs to be in the Who is….? Hot seat before too long.
Continuing with drip feeding the 2017 roster for Sunsport Velo we next introduce Hannah Larbalestier. Hannah is Sheffield based and represented the University of Bath Cycling Club having previously dabbled in the dark arts with triathlon where she competed at World Series level.
Hannah has had some strong performances in 2016 particularly in criteriums and will be targeting this discipline as she hunts down wins. With Sunsports calendar currently being shaped for 2017, team manager Jerry Ricketts will have Hannah in mind when it comes to choosing some of the town centre races. With the strong squad that has been assembled expectations are high in the team and Hannah will no doubt play a major role in the bid for glory.
We look forward to sitting down with Hannah pre season for a full interview and she is also in the cross hairs for the Q and A hot seat in the next few weeks
The next rider to be announced is no big secret. Already the subject of a recent “Who is……….?” Q and A its none other than Rosie Walsh.
Second youngest in the team but Rosie already possesses a wealth of experience. An excellent 5th place in the NW Road Championships confirmed her credentials as a talented road rider and she will be one to watch in 2017. She will get opportunities in the right races and with the support of a strong team behind her expect some great results.
See Rosies full q and a here
Second name up in the new look Sunsport Velo team line up is Felicity Gledhill. At just 16 years old she is the youngest member of the team. In terms of experience however she can match most of her new team mates bringing a full eight years of cycling to the table.
Hailing from Huddersfield and previously riding for Sportcity Velo she is a talented track rider who is also no stranger to winning on the road, including a fine victory in July in the Houghton CC closed circuit series where she beat a quality field of 2nd and 3rd cat women.
ShoottheBikeRace will do the Q and A hot seat with Felicity before the new season and we look forward to following her exploits with her new team