Swanmead Community School, Somerset
Event: 7 July 2013
An exciting new women’s road race with a first prize of £250 is being organised by the 1st Chard Wheelers Cycling Club for the 7 July 2013, starting from Ilminster in Somerset. The race will be part of the women’s South West series this year, but the club hope to make the race a national series event in 2014, if the first edition is successful.
Whilst there is generally no shortage of circuit races in the South-West, opportunities for women to race on the roads are limited. The completely new 75 mile undulating course consists of three laps through the beautiful Somerset countryside and features some sharper climbs with a challenging uphill finish. Starting from Swanmead School in Ilminster it winds its way through fields and woodland up the stiff climb of Windwhistle ridge , then through the picturesque town of Crewkerne, the traditional village of Merriott and then up the hill at Lopen Head, crossing the Fosse Way. From there it runs parallel to (but never on) the A303 dual carriageway via Seavington, back to skirt past Ilminster, where a very sharp left-hand corner will have to grab the riders’ attention. All the roads are two lanes wide, and usually quiet.
Entries are restricted to E,1,2,3 Category riders to make the race safer but also to encourage newcomers to racing this year to get some racing experience beforehand.
In-finity Education who provide support and consultancy to primary schools, raising attainment and achievement in literacy and Meltor Developments Ltd which is a commercial and residential property development company based in Somerset have offered prize money of £250 for the first, £100 for the second and £50 for third place. To encourage women of all abilities to have a go, there will also be cash prizes for the fastest 2nd and 3rd Cat and the Alchemilla Architects Prize for the fastest rider over 40.
There will also be a supporting men’s race for 2/3/4 category riders.