British Cycling West Midlands Go-Ride coach Jess Potts delivered a three hour women-only coaching session on Saturday 23rd February at Stourport Cycle Track.
Coaches Craig Ansell, Jess Potts and Regional Manager Nick Yarworth were there to lead the session, attended by 19 women keen to improve their racecraft. Jessie Ansell, a local young volunteer was also on hand to give support and advice to the women.
The majority of the women were novice riders with little or no racing experience. They all expressed an interest in competing over the upcoming season, so the session was based around racing skills and techniques.
The day was dry but bitterly cold, so the session quickly got started to keep the riders warm. "Having only competed in a couple of cross races so far, the exercises to promote cycling close to other riders has boosted my confidence in cycling in a group."
Jo Barker, Halesowen A&CC, who attended the session
This was the first time many of the riders had ridden in a large bunch and they took to it with ease. Coaches demonstrated techniques such as close group riding, cornering and correct gear selection around the circuit.
Skills such as passing a water bottle through the group and riding with your hand on a partners shoulder were all factors in increasing the confidence of the women, whilst riding closely side by side.
A quick tea break and then it was back outside to progress their skills even further. As the pace increased, coaches emphasised the importance of riding as a group, to ensure no riders got left behind.
The day finished with a chaingang style activity to give them a final blast around the closed road circuit.
Jo Barker from Halesowen A&CC said the following of the session:
“The women’s only training session was a great introduction to cycle racing for me. Having only competed in a couple of cross races so far, the exercises to promote cycling close to other riders has boosted my confidence in cycling in a group. The cornering training was of particular benefit, and my handling of the bike improved over the session. I was motivated to set myself targets for the season, and I have already entered 2 races for this coming weekend!”
Future women’s sessions are being planned, so please keep an eye out for dates and venues right here on the British Cycling website.
Related: British Cycling Coaching Homepage