The months roll on, but the season seems to be stuck on “wet”. Despite this, Admiral Liv AWOL riders continue to race on regardless of the conditions. There was a brief break in the foul weather on the 24th March at Lee Valley Velo Park for the March Hare Classic and the team fielded it’s largest ever representation with 7 riders competing.
Elizabeth Marvelly was first team rider across the finish line in 15th place, closely followed by the others. Zoe (18), Savannah (19), Connie (20), Hannah G (21), Clover (23) and Lauren (24). Savannah summed up, “Great to be part of the 7 strong @admirallivawol team today in the @fullgascycling March Hare today. Strong rides by everyone.” This was the first opportunity for the team to try various group tactics in such large numbers, so a valuable experience for everyone.
Sadly for Youth riders, the Mountain Bike Nationals and Road Nationals were scheduled to occur on the same day, and the team’s Youth Development road riders opted for the off road event, HSBC UK National Cross Country Series Round 1. Harley was the only Admiral Liv AWOL rider racing, and unfortunately the race didn’t go entirely to plan, and an 18th place finish.
The following Friday, saw the start of the Easter break kicking off with the Castle Combe Easter Classic and it was wet. Very wet and very cold. Large numbers in every category turned out despite the appalling conditions to race of the circuit, normally reserved for motor vehicles. The team were present with 5 riders, 1 Youth and 4 in the Women’s race, along with full back up vehicles and new team gazebo, which certainly helped everyone stay dry, briefly. Charlotte M rode in Youth A category and having stayed close to the front for most of the race, finished only seconds behind the leading group in 9th. She tweeted, “Great racing at Castle Combe today very cold and wet! .. thank you to all our sponsors and such a supportive team”.
Connie, Savannah, Zoe and Rosie were part of a 57 strong field. The rain was streaming down, which made it really unpleasant to behind a wheel. Savannah slipped off the back of the peloton and with the high pace they were keeping, was never going to get back on. The others held on within the group, jostling for positions with least spray. Unfortunately, only the top 10 riders have been reported in the results, but the 3 left in the main group were all giving it their all come the sprint. From DS Pat Hayes, “Big thanks to @chipwheelers for organising another great Good Friday event . Other organisers please take note of size and quality of field for women’s race . Put full length E1234 race on and they will come – 57 rider field at @CastleCombeUK top women’s racing”.
Meanwhile, back across the country at the Redbridge Cycling Centre in London, the Alan Rosner Memorial Circuit Races were being held, and the team had some bad luck with Hannah G getting a flat just near the end of the race, but we also had some great news, with a win for Elizabeth Marvelly. Elizabeth tweeted after, “Happy to take the win in the women’s race at the Alan Rosner Memorial race today at Hog Hill in grim conditions after a breakaway on the first lap 👍 – And first win for this lovely machine out for it’s first spin in a flood!” Hannah G, “Not my lucky day. 40 minute race in torrential rain to then get a puncture with 4 laps to go! 😡” The Redbridge Cycling Centre (Hoggenburg) unfortunately has a well known reputation for delivering punctures on rainy days.
Up North, and Hannah Bayes was once again hammering it out on her Time Trial bike, at the City Road Club Good Friday 10 mile TT. The event was scheduled for the V718, hence the terrific initial entry size, but it was forced to the V714 as a result of the Yorkshire Districts decision to withdraw use of the course pending the outcome of the TRO enquiry according to Geoff Backshall the organiser. The course runs from Howden to Gilberdyke, and is a relatively flat course, undulating over an 8m height difference. It was another good result from Hannah B, 5th in a top quality field, setting a time of 26 mins 28 seconds for the 10 mile route.
Sunday 1st April, and the heaven’s were still unleashing their worst at the Active Fakenham Criterium 2018. In the Youth A race, Harley Pell made up for her nightmare previous weekend with a strong winning performance, and Lauren rode in the Women’s race coming over the finishing line in 10th.
On 2nd April, Bank Holiday Monday, and all team riders on the mainland were having a day off, but not on Jersey. As Emily Bridson put it on Twitter “Exciting weekend! 2nd woman and 1st junior at the first road race of the year at Bal Tab, in a very tight sprint mixing with the cat 2 men, testing my new @CadoMotus helmet.”. She also added, “Today became the owner of my first car (Doris) and tomorrow heading out to Holland for @Healthyageingtr!”. Congratulations Emily, and drive safely.
As eluded too in her Tweet, the team sent a posse of 4 riders across to Holland for a week of racing, but I’ll save that for the next blog.
Harley meanwhile was representing Eastern region in the Youth Tour of Scotland, and along with team mates Sophie Lewis, Anoushka Minale and Ella Coleman, they finished 3rd overall in the GC classification. Harley Pell finished 17th overall in GC out of 76 competitors. Her stage results were, 24th-4th-35th-26th.
The CC Hackney Primavera Circuit Series at Lee Valley Velopark kicked off for another year on 7th April, with Lauren the sole Admiral Liv AWOL representative, putting on a good performance, “.. at the Velopark think i came 7th. Good race.”
Helen Wyman, GB and International Women’s Cyclocross star has started a crowdfunding campaign to support women in next year’s cyclo-cross nationals. Admiral Liv AWOL riders already selected for support include at U23 level Hannah Bayes and Connie Hayes and at Junior level Harley Pell, Elizabeth Marvelly and Lauren Higham. Congratulations to all 5 riders on their selection.
Hannah Bayes was in action again on 8th April, this time at the Star Wheelers Circuit Races in Wakefield taking 5th place overall.
On 10th April, the long awaited schedule announcement for the 2018 Tour Series was made. Pat Hayes DS tweeted “Our girls cant wait!” With Charlotte Broughton the team have real chance of podium success in the series, and she tweeted “Cannot wait! 🙌🏻 Looking forward to having the opportunity to better my 3rd overall from 2016 and 4th overall from 2017 across this years races!🍀 Always such exciting racing which never disappoints. Be sure to follow the series on TV / come and watch the live racing!” And rom Emily Bridson, “Can’t wait to be racing a few of these this year with my fab team mates 💜” and Connie Hayes, “Buzzing to make my tour series debut this year with @AdmiralLivAWOL”. And we can’t wait to see the team compete in this iconic national series too.