Team Plans for 2015!

tor6Over the past three seasons Epic Cycles and Scott Sports have been the two main sponsors for the successful Epic Cycles-Scott Women’s Race Team. Going into 2015 we will see one or two changes in sponsorship, but with the same team management and owners. 
For more details or to enquire about opportunities with the team please contact us at race.team@epic-cycles.co.uk

One feature of the team over the past three years has been its evolving terms of reference – in years one and two the emphasis was very much on the development of junior riders, while in year three the focus has been on bringing together a balanced and talented group of senior riders with the aim of riding together as a cohesive team, rather than as a collection of individuals.

This evolution will continue in year four, with renewed focus on rider development and a primary aim to act as a path into the professional ranks and/or competing in UCI races for those with ambitions to do so.

To support this aim we are working closely with the newly announced Matrix-Vulpine UCI Team. Our expectation is that a number of our riders will have the opportunity through this relationship to ride with the Matrix team as stagiaires in UCI races during the 2015 season, offering them the chance both to race in the pro peloton and to demonstrate what they could offer to a UCI pro team.

We also aim to build on our successes in the area of team work, and will be targeting key events in the UK domestic road racing scene, with a view to building on our list of 2014 victories and podium places.

The team will, as in 2014, be managed in a professional manner and we hope to further contribute to raising the standard of women’s race team management in the UK.

Aims

• To provide team environment and structure in which riders can develop and progress, either to riding at a higher level within the UK scene or to a career as a professional cyclist.
• To build on the number of podium places achieved in key UK races during 2014.
• To provide opportunities to take part in UCI races and gain exposure within the pro peloton.
• To raise the profile of our riders, team, and sponsors.

The Team

While we anticipate that some of this year’s line-up will be moving on to new teams, we are hoping to retain a number of our existing riders for 2015.

In signing new riders we are aiming, as in 2014, to assemble a strong and ambitious team who have complementary strengths and skills, so that we are able to enter races with different leaders and tactics according to the nature and timing of each race.

As in previous years, the team will not been built around a single star rider or to specialise in a particular type of race. Instead, we will aim to perform consistently well in all types of road racing, throughout the entire season.

Our planned team size of around 10 riders should provide sufficient cover for key events, while maximising the opportunity for individual riders to participate in a full programme of races without too many occasions where we have more riders than places available.

Our preference is for the team to be made up of a mix of over and under 23 seniors, but we do not have a rigid age or experience profile in mind. It is anticipated that most/all will be in some form of employment or education – full time availability to race is not a requirement.

A track record of participation and progression in road racing is essential. Previous race success (in terms of podium spots) is secondary to a positive attitude and a commitment to team work.

For more details or to enquire about opportunities with the team please contact us at race.team@epic-cycles.co.uk

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Ryedale GP 2014 – race report

Thanks to Karla for another great race report from the Ryedale GP! 

The penultimate round of the series saw a smaller Epic Scott WRT enter with riders currently at the Tour of Bretagne along with many other UK domestic teams. This meant the start sheet was missing a few key names but with it being the Junior womens Nat Champs there was still a lot of quality.

ryedale

Nikki Juniper went into the race having already wrapped up the series win but with the motivation to well and truly seal it after an attack just 20km into the 70km race.

Initially the move looked manageable for the peloton but on a fairly innocuous left hand bend into the college the lead rider in the peloton slid out….taking over a dozen riders with her. The impetus of the chase was momentarily lost and with riders chasing hard after the crash there were some tired legs going up the next climb as Juniper consolidated her lead to over a 2 minutes into the final lap.

Alexi had a battle to get back on after the crash (relatively unscathed) but this was shortly followed by Laura getting a puncture. Both had hard chases to regain their place in the lead group of 20 or so riders.

Juniper was long gone and on a day where things could have gone better for Epic Scott WRT Laura built on her top ten series ranking by leading the bunch over the line for a hard fought second place. Alexi finished just behind in 13th position.  

Well done to Nikki Juniper on both the GP and series win; she looked, and was, unstoppable on Sunday.  And a further well done to the new Junior National Champ Beth Hayward from Matrix Vulpine. 

Essex Giro – 2-Day Stage Race

Many thanks to Karla for her report below – a cracking weekend’s racing for the team!

Stage 1: Prologue, 2.5miles inc 2 ‘ascent’s of the Hoggenburg. Molly Weaver a fabulous 2nd place. Laura Massey 10th. Hannah Walker top 20. Me, somewhere on the list.

Top 20(ish) in the PrologueStage 2: 75min Circuit race: Hot, humid and hard….Plan….try to obtain as many bonus seconds as possible in the first two primes. 1st, 2nd 3rd = 5, 3,2. Ended up (I think) with 3,2,5,3. Molly drops to 3rd but time to consolidate on final stage only 1 sec off 2nd.

eg1Stage 3: 120km RR in Essex. Epic conditions. Plan…..endeavour for bonus seconds (as above twice over) but biggest focus on Molly getting the finish bonus seconds (30,20,10 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Hard race, tough conditions. I wasn’t around for much of it but 10km to go the team discussed the state of play (tactics on the fly are essential)….Massey to go for a suicide attack to then give Molly the counter into the finish circuit…the idea was to go for a long one and not leave it to the bunch sprint (albeit up a 1km climb). Massey’s move with 6km somehow works; she bridges to Gillian Taylor who was 35 sec down the road and manages to push past on the final climb to win by 10 sec and take the 30sec stage bonus; jumping from 10th to 2nd on GC.

Sometimes plan’s don’t go to plan!!! But we got the result and the DS was happy.

eg2Super ride by Gillian. Thrilled of LM. And most of all love my team.

Brief Race Report – the Curlew Cup – a top team ride!

What a great race today’s Curlew Cup was – excellent course, closed roads, slick organisation and a totally chilled atmosphere…maybe it was the sunny weather?!

Sadly we were a little depleted due to illness and work clashes, but were still looking forward to playing an active part in the race with our team of Anna, Lexie, Molly and Hannah.  DS Alex was tied up but had set out a plan for the race, with Hannah competing for the sprints and Molly acting as super-domestique in supporting Hannah and driving hard to launch Lexie and Anna at the climb of the Ryals to attack the bunch.  Of course, other teams had their plans so things would have to be adapted during the race.

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Latest Blogs from Molly Weaver – Banbury Road Race and the Diamond Tour, Belgium

It has been busy on the racing front recently – including mid-week race action in the Matrix Fitness GP series, the Milk Race, St Ives Nocturne  as well as the Banbury Star Road Race and Diamond Tour in Nijlen Belgium that feature in two excellent race blogs from Molly:

http://mollyweavercycling.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/banbury-road-race/

http://mollyweavercycling.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/nijlen-belgium/

Next up – the Curlew Cup this weekend in the lovely Stamfordham area!

Belgium Bound for Trofee Maarten Wynants (UCI 1.2)

After a solidly UK-based start to the season it was time to head off to the Mecca of cycling that is Belgium for the UCI 1.2 Trofee Maarten Wynants.  Whether it’s cyclocross in the winter months or road racing in the summer, it is always a joy to be part of bike racing in this part of the world – not just because of the organsation and levels of competition, but also because of the truly warm welcome that you know is in store from organisers, supporters and the general public alike.  And this trip didn’t disappoint!

Trophee Maarten Wynants - Hannah and Mel

Trofee Maarten Wynants – Hannah and Mel

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Alex Greenfield – our new DS!

We are delighted to announce that Alex Greenfield is moving into a DS role with the team, following her decision to retire from competition following an outstanding racing career.
There is no-one better qualified for the role of DS than Alex – not only does Alex possess unrivaled knowledge & insights from having raced at the highest levels in the UK and internationally, she also brings coaching and DS experience to the team from her work with Welsh Cycling.
While it is sad that Alex won’t be racing for us, we are very excited to be involved in the next steps of her career in cycling!