You might think that after the epic last few months, that there might be some time off from racing, but while there might be a pause from road racing for some, September traditionally sees the start of the cyclo-cross season, and not forgetting the closing rounds of some of the summer series crits.
Full Gas Autumn Rumble 2018 (Closed Circuit, London – Saturday, 1 Sep 2018)
Full Gas Cycling brought their 2018 Summer Circuit Season to a close with their Autumn Rumble at Lee Valley Velopark, which saw Connie Hayes take second spot on the podium and Clover Murray 11th in this E1234 race.
Crits at the Park #8 (Closed Circuit, Gravesend – Saturday, 1 Sep 2018)
On the same day, another crit at Gravesend Cyclopark on their 2.9km closed circuit track, and Savannah Hewson and Issy Torrie were representing the team in the 18 strong field.
Savannah tweeted “First race at
@Cyclopark today (first race since April!). Managed to beat 13 others and get 6th place, in my lovely colour coordinated @FORTEsportswear skinsuit & @LivCyclingUK bike! And a huge well done to my @AdmiralLivAWOL teammate Issy! @PerkinsGarages @AdmiralUK (Honestly, love our sponsors, Thank you)”
In the 234 category women’s race, Savannah Hewson finished 6th and Issabella Torrie 14th.
Pushsport MSG Cross – Eastern CXL #1 (Langdon Hills, Essex – Saturday, 8 Sep 2018)
The cyclo-cross season kicked off for the Eastern CX League with round 1 in the Langdon Hills area of Essex. Fifteen women (2 juniors) took to the start line, with Lauren Higham taking her first win of the season and series leader.
Watersley Ladies Challenge UCI/2.1 (Netherlands – 7 Sep 2018 to 9 Sep 2018)
Over the weekend (plus Friday) of 7-9 September the Watersley Ladies Challenge, a UCI 2.1 race took place at the Watersley Sports and Talentpark in the beautiful hilly south of The Netherlands.
This year the WLC included a criterium at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park on the Friday, an individual time-trial on the Saturday and a criterium with three serious slopes on the final day, with an overall ranking on time over the three parts. Due to the challenging track and the international participation in the competition, these races were to be considered a perfect preparation for some of the riders for the World Championships in Innsbruck. The Admiral Liv AWOL team would be up against some serious competition.
Sarah Lomas, who has been out of action for most of the year due to injury, took on the role of DS, and along with three regulars, Connie Hayes, Elizabeth Marvelly and Hannah Graveney, the team were joined by guest riders Poppy Wildman and Holly Hoy. There were a total of 14 Brits amongst the international field of 75.
In the first stage of the event, the riders raced laps of the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park totalling 58km and were faced with the what appeared to be a wall climb looking at the photo below.
A breakaway win, in the end, went to Brit Pfeiffer Georgi, with 5 other chasers split by 2 and a half minutes. The main peloton 3:38 behind the winner. Poppy Wildman was the highest placed team member in 24th at 4:23, closely followed by a group containing Holly Hoy 27th, Connie Hayes 37th, and Elizabeth Marvelly 39th all at 4:49. Hannah Graveney was in 55th. Full results for stage 1 here.
Stage 2 had the women racing an 11.9km time-trial from Munstergeleen to Watersley, described by Connie Hayes as “Toughest TT I have ever ridden. Adore TT’s but I am not sure I adore Hilly ones. Pleased with how I performed, given that I am far from a climber and there was a lack of flat straight roads for me to use my power. All good practice and learning though!”
Rozemarijn Ammerlaan (Netherlands) was winner of the stage with a time of 18:31. Connie Hayes in 33rd was highest placing from the team at 2:08 behind the leader, closely followed by Holly Hoy 34th at 2:10, and Poppy Wildman 35th at 2:18. Elizabeth Marvelly 48th at 2:45 and Hannah Graveney 59th at 3:21. Full results from stage 2 here.
Stage 3 saw the women take on 8 laps of the 8.4km loop, totalling 71.2km. As expected the race splintered over the hills around Watersley, but Holly Hoy finished in 8th place leading up the peloton across the line 1:41 behind the winner Julia Borgström from Sweden. Poppy Wildman was 34th at 14:23, and Connie Hayes 47th at 15:19. Hannah Graveney and Elizabeth Marvelly both pulled out of the race. Full results from stage 3 here.
Elizabeth Marvelly tweeted “Thank you
@AdmiralLivAWOL for taking me to @Watersley UCI stage race – such a fun experience & great event! Shame I was still poorly all the way through. Pulling out in the last stage due to sickness, but now having some time off the bike to recover & refocus for the winter.”
Final GC placings for Watersley Ladies Challenge had Holly Hoy in 23rd at 7:43, Poppy Wildman 34th at 20:07 and Connie Hayes 36th at 21:19. 48 riders finished in GC out of the 75 starters. Results here.
From Connie Hayes “It’s been a blast traveling around Europe with
@H_Graveney for the past two years. I like to think the pair of us have inspired some youth girls who are similar positions now as we were 3 years ago, to keep fighting. Both of us are levels above where we used to be. Now onto U23s!”
And her racing partner Hannah Graveney, “It’s finally the end of a very long season. It wasn’t really the one I was hoping for; being disrupted by crashes, exams and generally just not having good legs. But I have had some amazing experiences with great people. Thank you to the team for all of these opportunities. Two years as a junior – tick done!”
From regular DS, Pat Hayes, on the Hannah & Connie partnership. “
@H_Graveney & @connie_hayes123 before last race as juniors. These 2 have been with the team from the start and have ridden over 100 races each for us at every level. Thank you & good luck as U23s.”
Connie summed up the weekend with her final tweet, “Hardest race of my life but these amazing girls made it the best weekend of the season! Special thank you has to go to
@SarahLomas7 for being the best DS we could have asked for.”
Mud, Sweat and Gears MTB XC Series 2018 (Langdon Hills, Essex – Sun, 9 Sep 2018)
Harley Pell raced at won the Youth Female category of this round of the MSG series.
Derby Arena Track League Autumn 2018 #1 (Derby – Tuesday, 11 Sep 2018)
Charlotte Broughton returned to the boards at Derby Arena for the Autumn Track League. Placed in Group B with a mix of men and women, this is a somewhat challenging session, with 4 events, starting with a 20 lap scratch, then 30 lap win & out, followed by 6 lap dash and finally a 30 lap scratch with prime. Unfortunately no top 6 placings this week.
Monument Autumn Crits (Redbridge Cycling Centre – Saturday, 15 Sep 2018)
Twelve women took to the start line of the E123 cat Monument Autumn Crits race in lovely sunshine at Hog Hill (Redbridge Cycling Centre), with Clover Murray and Lauren Higham taking 2nd and 3rd place podium spots respectively, with Connie Hayes 8th and Savannah Hewson 10th. Some great photography from the race by Judith Parry, with photos available to view and purchase at www.judithparryphotography.co.uk.
Pat Hayes (DS) tweeted later “Text book race control & lead out
@TheHoggenberg by @LozzieJrCyclist & @connie_hayes123 to ensure @CloverMurray got the points to keep her 2nd Cat. Thanks @monument_HQ for putting on another good E1234 race.”
Springfield Cross – Eastern CXL #2 (Chelmsford – Sunday, 16 Sep 2018)
Change of race for Lauren Higham today as she explained on Instagram. “Raced cyclocross with the senior and junior men today. Pleased to have come 36 out of 71, even though I crashed on the last lap. All good practice for the Nationals.”
Islington Cycling Club Road Race (Radwinter Course – Sunday, 16 Sep 2018)
This race was 3.5 laps of the undulating 25km Radwinter Course circuit, featuring numerous small climbs and descents, totalling 85km in all. Sixteen Cat 234 women raced with Admiral Liv AWOL’s Clover Murray taking bronze at the finish.
Inter-regional MTB Championships 2018 (Hadleigh – 16th Sept 2018)
Harley tweeted an update after competing for the Eastern Regional Team at Hadleigh, “Thanks
@HadleighMTBClub @MSGEast, Mick, Richard and #teameastern for a great weekend. Great weekend at MTB inter regionals. Was in 4th place in the XC race before losing my chain. Managed to finish in 7th. 6th in hill climb and 9th in skills.”
Charlotte McGreevy, despite being injured came along to support the South-Eastern team, tweeting “Last day of Inter-Regional MTB championship. Shame I can’t ride, but get to help out. Big thank you to
@AdmiralLivAWOL for the bike racks and van.”
CX In The City Central CXL #2 (Milton Keynes – Saturday, 22 Sep 2018)
Campbell Park was the first and only UCI World Cup CX race to be held in the UK back in 2014, and it returned to the calendar once more for round 2 of the Central CX League. Huge fields of competitors descended on the venue for the day, with 67 in the Women’s field alone. Lauren Higham took 5th place overall (3rd Junior) and Connie Hayes 13th overall. Great results from them both.
Lauren “Today I rode Campbell Park. It was the first & only UCI World Cup CX race to be held in the UK in 2014. I came 5th women and 3rd junior. Really pleased and loved the course and it was muddy true cx weather.”
Connie Hayes added “First proper cyclo-cross race of the year today at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes. Time to get muddy and have some fun.”
DS Pat Hayes concluded the praise with this tweet, “Huge thanks to the brilliant
@velobants & Central League for putting on one of biggest and best women’s cyclo-cross races ever.”
Hundreds of superb photos by Garry Neesam are available to view and buy of the race (and most Central CX League races) on the Blue Shark Images website. Many thanks to Garry for supplying the above photograph.
Northlands Cross – Eastern CXL #3 (Basildon – Sunday, 23 Sep 2018)
Harley Pell made her return to cyclo-cross at round 3 of the Eastern CX League, and Lauren Higham decided one race wasn’t enough for the day. In fact, it was her second and third CX race of the weekend!
Out of 16 starters, Lauren and Harley took 1st and 2nd place respectively in the Women’s race. In Lauren’s second race, she took 33rd overall with senior men, vets, and junior boys.
Lauren tweeted, “Great race today at Northlands. 1st women & 1st junior. Loved having Harley Pell (2nd women & 2nd junior) back with me and this year as a teammate. Stayed on to also do the men’s senior and junior race. Came 33rd (last week was 36th and hadn’t raced earlier in the day lol), despite having broken my bike 2 to 3 times during the race. Thank goodness my mechanic (aka Dad) is good with a bike. Perfect cyclocross weather.”
Harley Pell added, “First cross race of the season today, and it was properly muddy. (Ed. we can tell!) Pleased with 2nd women/junior.”
Derby Arena Track League Autumn 2018 #3 (Derby – Tuesday, 25 Sep 2018)
Not really sure what happened to round 2 (with no results posted on Derby Track League), but do know that Charlotte Broughton raced taking 8th in the 20 lap scratch, and 5th in the 40 lap win & out.
On a more delicate note, Charlotte Broughton was out enjoying the weather on the following Saturday.
Posting on Instagram “TEArrific pedal in the sun this morning 🌞” coming from Altrincham Market.
Hitchin Nomads Late Season Road Race (Great Barford – Sunday, 30 Sep 2018)
A large turnout of 30 women for this well-described late-season road race for Cat 234, with the women taking on 4 laps of the undulating Great Barford course of approx 9.4miles/15.2km. Clover Murray completed a hat-trick of podium positions from the last three races with 3rd place and Savannah Hewson took 20th. But still no podium photos of Clover! 😦
VC Revolution Hillyfields Cross – Eastern CXL #4 (Colchester – Sunday, 30 Sep 2018)
Lauren Higham continued her September domination of the Women’s Eastern CX with 1st place, tweeting “Great racing today at Hillyfields. 1st women & 1st junior followed by some good training by joining in the senior & junior men’s race afterward.” (again!) Harley Pell just missed out on the podium with 4th place overall but was 2nd Junior.
Hill Climb Events (Saturday 29 Sep 2018 & Sunday 30 Sep 2018)
To complete the month and to show that Admiral Liv AWOL riders will do anything and everything on a bicycle, Connie Hayes and Hannah Bayes were competing in the London Urban Hill Climb and the Yorkshire Hill Climb respectively.
Connie Hayes put in a great performance finishing 6th, while Hannah not only won the Yorkshire women’s category, but she also set the new course record.
Next month we’ll be reporting on the new team members!
Featured photo of Savannah Hewson and Issy Torrie.