This season has seen the formation of a women’s section of Shutt Ridley RT. Currently we have three riders; Julia Chatterton, Lisa Rogers and Maxine Filby.
All three had some good early season results but the season started in earnest this month with the start of the Thursday night series at Milton Keynes Bowl. For a couple of years now the women have their own race and Queen of the Bowl contest. Julia gained her first ever win this month with Maxine and Lisa gaining top five spots too. These mid-week races are a fantastic workout that give the riders a place to practice tactics, leadouts and working as team. With the results so far I’d say the practice is working.
Thanks to David Lloyd for the photograph
Julia and Maxine raced the Abingdon Race Team Oxfordshire League at Dalton Barracks. This is a very flat circuit that is always windy making it a super tough for racing. It was a fast paced race with plenty of attacks. Both riders worked hard in the race but with no one able to get away from the pack it came down to a bunch sprint. The finish line was directly into a headwind which makes things a lot trickier, riders will wait a lot longer to begin sprinting as the headwind is so energy sapping. Maxine managed to grab a tight second place with Julia finishing in eleventh.
Maxine travelled to Wiltshire for the Cotswold Veldrijen road race. With over 50 riders round a tough undulating circuit it was always going to be a hard race. Being on her own Maxine followed attacks made by other teams and tried to conserve energy for what would probably come down to a bunch sprint. With so many rider’s things in the bunch get a little tight and nervous and there were a few little crashes. As a rider you become very aware of positioning yourself out of trouble and being as far forward in the bunch as possible. In the last 3 km the speed starts to go up as riders are thinking of the sprint and things get a little hectic. Unfortunately, in this case there was a touch of wheels just in front of Maxine, luckily she managed to avoid coming down but had to unclip and stop just for a moment but that’s all it takes for the bunch to go away. She worked hard to try and make it back on but the finish line came too quickly and she finished just off the bunch.
Next up was the Verulam Road Race at Mentmore, a relatively local race for the team. With all three riders it was going to be great experience working as a team. Again there was a big entry with over 50 riders, its great to see the women’s races becoming bigger and more competitive. With 12 laps over a 4-mile circuit finishing on a short but steep climb it was inevitably going to be a fast paced race. With a number of the bigger teams setting the pace the race split quite quickly. This is again where positioning in the bunch and a little bit of luck comes in. You only need to be behind a rider that can’t quite hold on to the wheel in front and you find yourself on the wrong side of the split. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on Lisa’s side and she found herself the wrong side. It’s a very frustrating feeling seeing the bunch disappear in front of you and it takes a strong rider to complete the race as it’s so easy to pull out as so many riders did. Lisa finished frustratingly close to the back of the bunch. Julia and Maxine managed to hang in the front group which finished in a bunch sprint finishing 10th and 11th.
The team have a busy few weeks racing. Their ‘home’ race the Banbury Star Women’s Team Series this Sunday, the famous Cicle Classic in Melton Mowbray, the London Nocturne and Cotswold league events.
We are on the look out for more riders so if you’re interested drop us an email or message on our Facebook page.