I’m competing in the inaugural Women’s Tour De Yorkshire event this Saturday. Here’s how I’ve been preparing and researching for the event.
Women’s cycling is on the up and events like this will only help to increase the participation in the sport. Not to be outdone by the men’s event, it’s great that ASO (the organisers of the Tour de France) are putting on a women’s race this Saturday at the Tour de Yorkshire.
We are really fortunate that we have closed roads which is something we rarely get to experience. The course itself is a little bit of a Belgian ‘kermesse’ style affair which takes in the sites of York city centre and the surrounding lanes in the country.
The course itself seems to lend its hand to everything: cobbles, countryside, lots of road furniture in true Flemish style. Wind direction may be a factor but as we’re racing through the city it should be pretty sheltered for the most part.
With the closed roads hopefully the spectators will be out in full force to cheer on the event. I’ve been using Google Maps and Streetview to have a ‘virtual’ fly-through the course.
The field has some top quality riders with Olympic and World Champions taking to the start line. Both Wiggle-Honda and Matrix are sending riders to the race and Pearl Izumi will send a full strength squad.
My team (Ikon-Mazda) also fields a full team which will help us to cover moves and if it comes down to a sprint finish get our designated sprinter to the line first.
You can’t miss our team with the blue and pink combo! We are also sponsored by Schwalbe tyres so we will all be on 25mm Schwalbe Ones to fit our new wide profile rims.
For anyone that has never seen a womens race, it is full-on from the gun. Whilst the men have over 100-miles to get organised we have just half the distance, which means it will be full on due to the nature of the course.
Having experienced Prudential London Grand Prix last year, racing on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace, there are no expectations other than to fulfil my role in the team. Whether that’s covering moves, establishing breaks, helping team mates and so on. For me this year this is my first season being involved in a proper team environment so it is a big learning curve each race.