For the 2019/2020 season, the London and South East Cyclo-cross League is delighted to organise two “women only” races. These will take place at Round 6 at Herne Hill Velodrome (London) and at Round 7 in Preston Park (Brighton). Women from Junior to Vet60 will have their separate 40-minute race. It will be a great opportunity for newcomers to have a go at cyclo-cross in a safe environment and without being scared of disturbing the men’s race.
Cyclocross races are held on grass or tracks that can get muddy in winter, but they are really good fun and are probably the safest way to start racing. You may slip or fall off your bike, but generally the speed is low and the landing will be on soft grass or mud! The races are usually on flat terrain but they may include nice features such as stairs, steep hills, off-cambers, sharp corners or hurdles that will help you improve your bike handling skills. No prior experience is needed though and the skills to overcome these obstacles will come with time and practice and can be learnt at any age.
Last year Pip Jenkins rode most of the races for the first time – “I tried a cross race for the first time a few years ago and loved it. Last year I raced the whole season and whilst I’m an experienced road rider I found ‘cross quite a challenge. However, what I found was that the whole cyclocross atmosphere is amazing – loads of people helped me with advice and encouragement and slowly I developed a whole load of new skills. It really is a brilliant way to try racing as the pressure is minimal and the riding is hugely rewarding.”
Your LCCA Committee Women’s Rep has this to say, “Cyclo-cross is not just for young blood a high proportion of riders are over 40 years old. Experienced riders are always happy to give advice and the atmosphere at races is very friendly with people getting to know each other week after week. During the race you will get a lot of encouragement from the public along the course whatever your speed and skills and you will be very proud of yourself on the finish line! Cyclo-cross will keep you fit this autumn and winter, so come and join us. You will love it!”
It’s also worth reading the brilliant blog that Claire Frecknall wrote for us last year – Read A bikepackers guide to watching cyclocross BY CLICKING HERE
In our two Women only races all Junior, Senior and Vet Women (not Youth, U10, U12) will race in the 13:40 race at Herne Hill and the 12:30 race at Brighton – Any new first time racers will not need to pay the number charge for this and the second Women’s only race at Brighton and so will only have to pay for entry – if you then decide to enter any of the normal rounds you will be asked to purchase a number which includes a chip for the timing system.
We’d welcome any more feedback and ideas about Women’s racing and we’re so happy to see even more Women signing up to races than ever!
NOTE – Not your normal race times!
Written by Caroline Reuter with photos by Glen Whittington