Sixteen brave East Sutherland Wheelers ladies battled the harsh snowy weather conditions last Friday and Saturday to reach the ‘Scott Contessa Road Race Academy’ in Edinburgh this weekend. The event was the finale event in a series of women’s specific coaching sessions held across the country to highlight female cycling coaching and get ladies into road cycling, sportive, road racing and other cycling events.
Tracy Murray, one of the participants, commented about the weekend" I had one of the most memorable weekends of my life - my first time trial and my first criterium race which I have to say was brill (I can say that now they are over) – we had many many laughs and am still laughing, It was windy and sub zero temperatures and we were all out there in up to 9 layers but overall East Sutherland Wheelers are the best team to be part of - great team spirit and fantastic team effort"
In preparation for this national event, throughout Feb and March, ESW club coaches, Melanie MacRae and Amanda Wagstaffe, ran local weekend coaching sessions leading up to this national event. Sessions covered balance and coordination, cornering skills, group riding practice and much more.
Amanda said “ It was brilliant, we had a phenomenal response in East Sutherland to the call for interest with 37 participants signing up for the coaching sessions with between 20 and 26 enthusiastic ladies turning up to each session, even throughout the snow, wind and rain! “
In Edinburgh, the girls took part in coaching sessions on time trials, racing skills, advanced cornering and group riding leading up to a time trial event and a Criterium race in the afternoon on Sunday.
Mel MacRae commented “The girls were all heroes, enthusiastic to the end, achieving great results in both the Time Trial and Criterium events. Our East Sutherland Wheelers ladies represented 30% of the participants at this national cycling event. They did us proud and put East Sutherland on the cycling map!
“We would like to extend a warm and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped us along the way with this programme”.
This programme is part of East Sutherland Wheelers ‘Women’s and Youth Capacity Building project’, which would not have happened without financial support from East Sutherland Ward Discretionary Budget (thanks to Cllr Deirdre MacKay, for coming along to see the sessions – we hope to get you cycling soon!), micro grant support from the Gordon bush wind farm from Rogart, Brora and Golspie Community Councils , Diageo Community Fund, who have helped us purchase a ladies and youth grass track bike for the Highland Games circuit and Practical Van Hire, Helmsdale who donated a van to transport bikes to Edinburgh for this event , North of Scotland Kart Club for use of the excellent track at Little Ferry and Steve Robertson for being resident ESW volunteer photographer!”