The first round of the 2013 Women’s Race series, comprising 4 races over the coming weeks started with plenty of action at Heffron Park on Sunday for all riders involved.
With big prize money up for grabs and the attraction of female only grades, this made for a large number of female riders attending the first round at Heffron Park, that was hosted by SUVelo. For many women it was either their first race, or for the more experienced riders, they had the benefit of a female riders only race.
As Martinette Van Vuuren as quoted pre race ‘Finally a chance to race with ladies only. Much nicer smelling jasmine than old spice.’
There were both A & B grade races with A grade being set up as a handicap race due to the large numbers. The first group of A graders rolled out, hoping to work together to hold off the second group of A graders for as long as possible. The first group was caught after a couple of laps and it was game on.
Lynne Clarke representing MWCC was making her debut in A grade and was impressed with the fast pace that these women ride at. Unfortunately it was a day of crashes with the nerves and excitement of the first round of the series and two girls clipped wheels (SUVelo and Dulwich Hill riders) on one of the bends, ending their race. The race settled again and a few laps later there was another crash as the A grade men were passing the A grade women on the bends. This crash looked quite bad and unfortunately ended several of the LACC women’s riders race, Lynne reported that after two crashes in her grade, her confidence took a bit of a hit. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the women that went down, we hope none of the injuries are too serious and you are all back on your bikes soon.
After the race was neutralised for a couple of laps racing was on again and in the end Sue Forsythe (SUVelo) proved far too strong, winning A grade comfortably. Super Sue who has recently transferred over from NSCC is a very experienced rider around Heffron and her palmeres also show results in the Sydney Grand Prix Series, when she stormed away for the win at Cronulla. Second place was Amber Jenkins who is also now racing for SUVelo and she managed to hold off former HTC rider of Jayne Paine representing British Cycling.
Lynne Clarke was happy just finishing her first A grade race with the main group, with all her skin intact and is aiming to make more of an impression at the Sydney Road Titles and also the Manly West Head round.
Women’s B grade had Martinette Van Vuuren representing MWCC in this grade. Thankfully B grade avoided all the dramas of the crashes and had a much smoother race with many of the women in this grade riding in their first ever criterium race.
Martinette who rode strong all race, showed her race experience winning the prime with a surprise burst for the prime gave me the opportunity to go all out and cross the prime line first. There was a threatening attack just after the prime from SuVelo and Sydney Cycling Club, but it was soon shut down due to the work of Martinette and DHBC club members.
Martinette described the finish in her post race press conference “At the final sprint I saw the finish line as I came out of the final corner and remember what my sister use to say: ride your bicycle as if you’ve stolen it.’
Well-done Martinette and as a result Martinette now leads the B Grade series as it heads into round 2 on the 6 April. She promises to put the $120 towards oil for my squeaky gears so that she doesn’t annoy the guys on the Tuesday and Thursday rides.
WOMENS RACE SERIES
A 4 race series with points allocated for entry and 1-5 places in both A + B Grades.
Overall series winners in each grade will be awarded the Race Series Jersey.
The races are jointly sponsored by LACC, SUVelo, and Manly Cycling Club, Clarence St Cyclery.
Race 2 – 6th April Sydney Road Titles @ Penrith
Race 3 – 14th April Manly Road Race @ Akuna Bay
Race 4 FINAL – 4th May LACC Crit @ Lansdowne park