LADIES are leading the way at West Lothian Clarion.
Youth Club coach Diane Chisholm was recently selected by Scottish Cycling for the first ever Scott Contessa Road Race Academy, an initiative aimed at getting more women onto the start line at races and sportives. Her first
task was to organise a series of six satellite coaching sessions at Oracle in Linlithgow, aimed at building fitness, skills and confidence, before a two day coach-led race for women at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston. Places were quickly snapped up, and over 20 keen riders attended the sessions.
Diane said: “The satellite coaching sessions were a great success and really popular. Everyone who attended had a great time and felt that they had definitely improved over the course of the six weeks.”
Race day came with a time trial to determine which of the two events riders would compete in. Carrie Anderson, Vyv Bryce and Claire Caffrey all clocked impressive times, qualifying for the first race.
Claire managed to secure 11th place out of 26 riders, a fine achievement in what was her first ever race. The second race was equally competitive, with 28 riders battling it out in wintry conditions. In the end it was Diane Chisholm who managed to grab first place, a great result in her first ever road race, with fellow Clarion member Liz Henry doing really well to stay in the chasing group and take seventh place.
Diane said: “It was a fantastic weekend and everyone was so enthusiastic. Initiatives such as the Road Race Academy, where over a third of those involved are girls, are vital to ensure that more women get on their bikes and show that cycling is not just a sport for men in Lycra.”
Chris Bryant, Scottish Cycling education officer, added: “Every single rider, in both races, completed their distances with such true grit and determination that many riders in the pro peloton would have been proud of.”