Otley is passionate about women’s cycling and proud to have our female President – Liz Hills, leading the way. Karen Spence, the club’s Women’s Development Officer, is there to support anything which helps to raise the profile and participation of women in and around Otley.
A third of our membership is currently female and continues to grow. In November 2016 Lizzie Deignan, our patron and long time supporter of the club, became an honorary member.
2018 was another fantastic year for women’s cycling at Otley Cycle Club. The Club continued to attract new riders through the social series rides. Otley Cycle tops have been on show all over the world from Columbia’s Alto de Letras (52 Miles climb to an altitude 3669m) to various European destinations.
Many members have achieved personal goals from their first sportive, first 100 Miles, their first time round the Triangle and their first time at racing or time trialling.
A special mention here to Amy Cuthbertson who came equal first in this year’s Alba Rosa league in her first season time trialling. Amy has also set up a Facebook group called – Ride Like A Girl/race series. She has set this up as she noticed there were not many female organised novice races in the North of England. Well done also to Helen Coutie who was the steel bike champion in the Alba Rosa league. Vanessa Bridge completed the 100 Greatest Climbs, the 26th member of the club!
Congratulations to the clubs time trialists for season long performances in the Yorkshire VTTA (Veteran Time Trialists Association) BAR (Best All Rounder) competitions.
Helen Goldthorpe finished first in the Ladies 3 Distance (25, 50 and 100miles) award, and fourth overall in the region. She also finished 5th in the Ladies BAR (10, 25 and 50miles), and beat standard at 10, 15, 25 and 50miles)
Claire Jessop finished 4th in the Ladies BAR, and 5th in Ladies short BAR (2×10, 2x25miles), 18th overall in the latter.
Rachel Crowther and Christine Bell were sadly defeated by terrible weather on 29 July as they attempted to beat their own 12 hour tandem national time trialling record. They showed amazing grit and determination. Congratulations also to Julia Day, Christine Thwaite, Ann Howe and Angela Prescott who all climbed Mont Ventoux this year in 30 degree heat. Julia and Christine displayed another example of ‘true grit’ by going on to make the ascent three ways. Only 140 women in the UK have risen to this challenge.
It starts early for our women, with our youngest members attending coaching from the age of five and then progressing on to our youth groups. The youth riders have seen lots of success for the girls with three National school champions across all competitions and even more Regional champions. National BSCA BAR was joint first for Emily Middlebrooke and Isobel Wilks, with Poppy Peacock runner up and then Isobel, Poppy and Emily as a 1,2,3 in Yorkshire. The successes start at a young age with Isla Alyward Yorkshire BSCA BAR champions and Amy Hodgkins 2nd in the U9s.
Next in line The Club’s Race Team have seen equal success with big results in regional race leagues and town races and a very strong team for the 2019 season.
2019 is looking like it will be even better, with a great start for Lucy Ellmore getting 1st Junior and 3rd overall at Croft race circuit. Megan Cullen rode well in her first race of the year at PIMBO, with a top ten position in very difficult conditions. The first BSCA competition of the year Roller Racing saw brilliant results for the U13 girls, Emily Middlebrooke, Isobel Wilks and Poppy Peacock taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd at National and Regional levels, collectively winning the team prize as well! It’s only March!!
Otley is proud to promote Women’s cycling and always has been, it’s no coincidence that the legendary Beryl Burton set her long standing 12 hour record on September 17th 1967 in an Otley organised event!
There are so many opportunities to grow your cycling within the club, with like minded people who will support you and help you achieve your goals and ambitions. Come and join the fun – check out what we get up to on our Flickr.