With the 2012 Road Season nearly upon us British Cycling’s Regional Events Officers (REOs) have responded to the growing demand for grass roots events for women by launching some early season events around the country tailored to meet the needs of novice female riders.
The project has been led by Jenny Gretton, REO for the North West region who said today “every year we see a large influx of female riders who are keen to experience road racing for the first time. Until now, many of these riders have had a baptism of fire, with their introduction to racing being on open roads, in the company of the country’s leading domestic riders. These new events will offer more opportunities for new riders to develop in a more progressive way that we hope will retain more riders in the sport”
In order to facilitate this progressive introduction to racing, REOs have negotiated with local organisers to include women-only racing into their race programmes. This will provide more accessible opportunity for riders to gain bunch racing experience early in the season and, depending on the support for these events, should also lead to an increase in the number of local events for women throughout the year.
The introduction of these new events also balances the changes made to the Women’s National Series regulations for 2012 which means those events are now only open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders. This change is intended to make participation in the national series a realistic reward for progress through the categories, as well as enabling riders to grow in confidence and experience before having a safer and more enjoyable racing experience on the open roads.
Each of the new circuit race events will be approx 40-50 minutes in length. REOs have planned out a structured calendar of events for women across the country and coordinated these new additions with the existing calendar of events, following the positive responses they received from organisers.
Events in the North will take place at the Croft Racing Circuit Darlington, Salt Ayre Cycling Circuit Lancaster, Tameside Cycle Circuit Manchester and at Tockwith Motor Racing Circuit, Yorkshire. Dates and links are as follows;
11th February 2012 North East Velo 29 Winter Series
18th February 2012 North East Velo 29 Winter Series
25th February 2012 North East Velo 29 North East Trophy
10th March 2012 North West SACA/Wallis Cycles Spring Series 1
11th March 2012 North West Tameside Season Starters 1
17th March 2012 North West SACA/Wallis Cycles Spring Series 2
18th March 2012 North West Tameside Season Starters 2
24th March 2012 North West SACA/Wallis Cycles Spring Series 3
25th March 2012 North West Tameside Season Starters 3
31st March 2012 North West SACA/Wallis Cycles Spring Series 4
Tockwith Motor Racing circuit, Yorkshire – dates tbc
Events in the Midlands will take place at Barkston Heath, Yarborough, Spalding and Thoresby Park dates and venues are confirmed. Follow the link for information on the first event at Barkston Heath. Full entry details for the additional events will be published on the British Cycling website soon.
17th March 2012 East Midlands Barkston Heath Circuit Race
21st April 2012 East Midlands Barkston Heath Circuit Race
6th May 2012 East Midlands Flower Festival Crits - Spalding
19th May 2012 East Midlands Thoresby Park Festival of Cycling
10th June 2012 East Midlands Yarborough Circuit Race
1st July 2012 East Midlands Barkston Heath Circuit Race
5th August 2012 East Midlands Yarborough Circuit Race
9th September 2012 East Midlands Barkston Heath Circuit Race
Stourport Cycle Circuit, West Mids – dates tbc
The South West region has included a number of event opportunities on the open road in conjunction with existing events;
18th February 2012 South West Springtime Pursuit Race 1
25th February 2012 South West Springtime Pursuit Race 2
3rd March 2012 South West Springtime Pursuit Race 3
21st May 2012 South West East Devon Circuit Race Series 1
11th June 2012 South West East Devon Circuit Race Series 2
18th June 2012 South West East Devon Circuit Race Series 3
2nd July 2012 South West East Devon Circuit Race Series 4
9th July 2012 South West East Devon Circuit Race Series 5
15th July 2012 South West South West Women’s Stage Race
Events in the Eastern, South East and Central regions are based on closed circuits in and around London within commuting distance that should allow riders to enter all if they so require. The circuits being used are Hog Hill, Hillingdon, Milton Keynes Bowl and the new Velopark circuit in Gravesend. Dates and links as follows; click on the event link for further details
10th March 2012 Eastern March Hare
17th March 2012 Central MK Early Season Bowl Series 1
18th March 2012 South East Surrey League RR
24th March 2012 Central MK Early Season Bowl Series 2
24th March 2012 Eastern Eagle Road Club Spring Races
31st March 2012 Central Beyond Spring Crits 2
6th April 2012 Eastern Eagle Road Club Good Friday Team Series
18th April 2012 Central West Thames Masters and Womens Series
For more information about events taking place in your area, please contact your Regional Event Officer.