Redbridge was always going to be a tough race. On this challenging closed road, purpose-built cycling circuit, Astrid, Helen, Lydia, Nicola and Tamina kitted up, warmed up, and took to the line....
I could now give you chapter and verse on who did what, who came where, what went well and what didn’t go so well - but let’s leave that for a moment. After all, the season started months before the Team arrived on that line in Redbridge.
Firstly, what was the reasoning behind the formation of the Team? One driver was the disparity of opportunity for women in sport and CTC's belief in supporting participation through action rather than words.
One thing is for sure - we've put CTC into the spotlight not just in cycling circles, but beyond them. We've made friends in the world of women’s media magazines, recreation and sport alliances and government departments. Our impact on CTC's social media has been phenomenal too, bringing the organisation to new audiences.
Don’t get me wrong - we are serious about competing and our results are important - but for me it's just as important to fulfil the riders' aspiration, give them the opportunity to compete in races and share their experiences to encourage others to get on their bikes.
Equally, and just as significantly, there is another side to the Team and its formation: charity events, local community activities, sportives, meeting with CTC member groups and relating the riders' personal ‘pathways’ to cycling. While the women on Team CTC are cyclists first and foremost, each has a story to tell and they didn’t become racers overnight. The bike is a lifestyle choice for them all.
As the Team is not precious about a selected 'top of the pyramid' few, it has been attracting a number of guest riders from around the country, giving them an opportunity to compete throughout the season. We have, though, a core of 5 excellent riders who will maintain the competitive edge, each with their own strengths and areas for development. It's very encouraging indeed for me, as their manager, to see the way in which these riders meet, greet, welcome and encourage our guests. And the race results from Redbridge were deeply rewarding too.
Team Series Race Results for Team CTC - 7th, 24th , 27th, 31st, 33rd (72 finishers) on a pacey closed circuit - an encouraging start for a team who will target mid-season races, and are just coming out of winter training.