On Saturday 29th March the London Phoenix ladies kicked off their London Women’s League campaign with round 1 at Hog Hill. It was the first real points race for some of the group and a good chance to test out some of the race skills picked up at the training session held a few weeks ago. For others it was a chance to build on previous race lessons and also aim for a good result for the team. With Bella, Mhairi, Aoife, Nancy, Petra and Tamala all racing, London Phoenix were well represented and even had a cheering squad there for back up. Thanks to all who came to support!
There was a smaller field than expected, with only 30ish riders, however there was no lack of strength and many of the region’s stronger riders were there, including team from Les Filles. The game plan was to stick with the bunch as long as possible, avoid doing too much work on the front and for Mhairi and Bella to attack on the hill if the opportunities arose.
The pace on the Hoggenberg was pretty feisty from the off and that whittled the group down a fair bit quite quickly. Bella and Mhairi stayed with the front group until a further couple of kicks split things apart again, finishing in 7th and 9th respectively. Aoife found herself on her own behind the main group after a few too many fast paced ascents, later joining Petra and a smaller group, where there were a few attempts to drop the two Phoenix riders, which failed. The final lap saw the group split on the hill with Aoife finishing 12th and Petra 15th. It was Tamala and Nancy’s first points race and both ended up doing mega solo efforts on a windy Hog hill. Tamala battled on to finish a tough but well fought first race, finishing in 17th.
All in all Phoenix showed some solid team strength with a great set of results for the series opener. Bring on round 2!
Also racing at Hog Hill that day were a number of the Phoenix guys who showed great form in both the men’s 3/4, the E/1/2 and on cheer leading duties. Thanks guys.
Entries now being taken for the LP time trial at Brickendon on Saturday 3rd May, start time 14:00.
Details of the course can be found here. Entries can be made online here. Any problems please contact us.
This Saturday saw the London Phoenix women in action at Hog Hill for Round 1 of the Women’s Team Series. With a field of 100 riders this was actually the biggest women’s cycle race in the UK ever! It was great to be part of that.
There were a few pre-race nerves about the size of the field as non of us have raced in something that big before. For Aoife it was her first ever race, what an introduction! The plan for us was to stick as close to the front as we could and hold on to the bunch for as long as we could.
Due to the size of the field the race was neutralised behind a moped for half a lap before things kicked off at the bottom of the circuit. An early break went out and the bunch let them go, keeping a fairly steady pace going including kicking it up over the Hoggenberg itself. Over the race there were a few riders that bridged to the breakaway but the bunch was kept in control by the bigger teams who had riders in the break. Bella and Mhairi managed to keep themselves up in the top part of the bunch, working to hold that position and not get pushed back. Rachael and Aoife held on to the bunch for a while but then found themselves working in the second group on the circuit, still staying in good contention. Overall a great start to the season and good practice for the LWCR season opener next weekend.
On Saturday 1st March the London Phoenix ladies had our first race training session to prepare us for the racing season ahead. We were lucky enough to have the whole Hog Hill circuit at our disposal and the session was taken by Bee Gregorie from Kent Velo Girls. Bee is a racer herself so had loads of great tips for us to think about when we tackle races as a team.
Over the session we did a number of different exercises; from riding while making full arm contact with the next door rider, to racing each other round a set of tight hairpin corners, to practicing moving up through a bunch. The training culminated in some race simulations where we each took a role and played out the scenarios of breakaway, chasers, blockers and bunch riders. Super racing practice!
Of course the real finale of the training session was tea and cake in the sun, when we also planned out what races we are going to do together this year. We are now super motivated to hit up the races, look out for London Phoenix in the London Women’s League and Women’s Team Series later this spring.
A very good day London Phoenix at the ELV Winter, Hog Hill with a win for Jason Creswell in the cat4 – putting a whole lap into the field – and second for Gunther Zechman in the cat2/3 – following is two wins from the previous fortnight. Read the cat4 report here and cat2/3 here.
Another triumph for Gunther Zechmann at Hog Hill (two in consecutive weekends) and by a considerable margin! Chapeau and keep it up. Read the full report here
Read the report of the final race of the Eastern league season from our own Steven Drew here.
The road season may have drawn to a close but cyclocross is now in full swing and Phoenix’s CX contingent has been highly visible at across the Eastern, London and Central Leagues in recent weeks.
Stuart Lockyear got off to a flying start in the opening weeks of the season picking up armfuls of ranking points across all three leagues as well as taking a well deserved win in the 50+ Vets category at Hillingdon in the opening Central League fixture of the season. After the early skirmishes, he was top of the 50+ Veteran British rankings, possibly a Phoenix first? Coming into October he’s held his form and currently sits 6th, well on target for his season goal of a high grid placing and big performance at the National Championships at Derby in January.
Elsewhere, Steven Drew is top of the Elite Vets category of the Eastern League after a series of regular top 10 placings in the first seven rounds of the season. Chris Ball has been hovering up points in the Seniors category and Chris Clague made his mud debut at Baldock in round 3 and has quickly moved up the grid. Meanwhile, Damian Robertson now looks to have recovered from his exertions at the 3 Peaks CX race in Yorkshire, which he completed in a highly impressive four hours, and is showing a return to the form that saw him blast some of the London League’s big hitters at the end of last season.
Most of the CX squad takes a break over the next fortnight as LP plays its part in supporting the Supercross series at Alexandra Palace and the local leagues take a week off. But the mud action ramps up again come mid November as the Eastern League heads into Norfolk and the London League makes its debut at the Cyclopark as the courses start to get muddy!
We are a group of London-based cyclists, who get together for races and training rides. We have a website forum as our virtual clubhouse, and instead of regular weekly club rides from a set place we arrange to meet up for mountain bike, road or cyclocross rides, races and time trials from a variety of venues. We also meet up socially every month.