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Welcome to Imperial Racing Team.
A cycle racing club: to race, to promote racing across the sport and promote races for others.

Imperial / im’pIerIal / a. majestic : derived from imperiale (Fr.), a great cyclist: for example Laurent Jalabert ; not to be confused with imperial rule.


Sitch-mi-lane logo

Imperial Racing Team is delighted to announce today a Women’s specific partner for the Imperial Cycles Winter series. Stitch-Mi-Lane was founded by bicycle enthusiast and designer Stephanie Drake. She produces a range of bicycle inspired clothing, apparel and homeware. Included in the collection are The Bike Twist Snood, The Commuter Cowl, The Snug Spectator Hat, and a Bike Wheel Cushion. Most recently added to the range are a couple of hand printed t-shirts and an era inspired women’s Flamme Rouge Jersey.

The collection functions as practical bike wear for the discerning cyclist. The materials are chosen for their hardwearing properties; heat holding merino wool in the Bike Twist Snoods and sweat wicking polar fleece in the Commuter Cowls. The Flamme Rouge jersey is made with nanotech treated wool which is practically impermeable to water, stains and even odours. The Snug Spectator Hat is a big hit amongst cycling devotees, the double thickness woolen structure ensures you stay cosy on the chilliest of days. The bike themed pom-pom hat is the essential addition to the bike buffs cold weather wardrobe – perfect for wearing when warming up on rollers, watching a cold hill climb or muddy CX race, or simply to show your enthusiasm for your two wheeled friend when off the bike too. See for more details.

Stephanie says:

"I am a designer with a love for the outdoors, brought up in a family where cycling took the place of religion. With Sunday mornings spent on a climb and pilgrimages to the French Alps - cycling has a firm place in my heart. As such my designs are inspired by cycling culture, the landscape, and the fascinating folk that inhabit it.

Stitch-Mi-Lane products are produced in the heart of Scotland. I believe it is important to buy British products and keep enthusiasm in homegrown design and manufacture. The range uses contemporary patterns whilst utilising high quality materials, resulting in wholesome and original textiles. The garments engage subtle quirky design and complementary colour tones, which adds something different to any cyclists wardrobe.”

Stitch-Mi-Lane is providing podium prizes for the first 3 places in both Women’s series

Sitch-mi-lane image


Aprire Bikes image

We are delighted to welcome Aprire Bicycles to the Winter series as one of our main sponsors, alongside Imperial Cycles. London based Aprire are building a deservedly strong reputation as a bicycle manufacturer with a growing range of carefully designed models. Their current full carbon models – the Vincenza and Celeste – are designed by Aprire principal and materials engineering specialist Phil Dempsey. Phil has used his riding and engineering experience coupled with contemporary CAD techniques to dial in specific carbon lay ups to maximise the potential of their frames. Having ridden the Celeste model for the last month I can testify that they have produced a bike that rides brilliantly; the frame absorbs the shock from our bad road surfaces, steers assuredly and responds superbly when accelerated into life. Aprire are offering riders a unique opportunity to test ride a bike during a Winter series race together with a preferential price on the subsequent purchase of a frame or complete build. See for more details.

In addition to the test bike opportunity Aprire are putting up a range of prizes; Aprire has recently built its own purpose spray facility and will be offering the Most Combative rider winner a full re-spray (full details available from Aprire). The highest placed 3rd category rider overall at the end of the series will receive a set of Shimano training wheels. The winners of the 3rd category and 4th category races each will week have the choice of a Ritchey handlebar/stem combo or a set of Vittoria Rubino winter training tyres. First and second places in each of the Women’s series will win a Prologo Scratch Dea and Kappa Dea saddle.

Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015

Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015 twitter link facebook link

Race registration and entries

What’s all the fuss about?

Within hours of the events being open on Rider HQ, entries for the 4th cat race in particular started to fill up. 24 hours later the 1st race 4th cat was full and word was getting round – enter fast or face disappointment! This has continued over the following weeks and confirms the popularity of this well established winter series.

So what is all the fuss about then, this Winter series thing - when many are taking a rest or can’t condone the muddy hell that is cyclocross why do people flock to the Imperial Cycles Winter series?

As organisers we love feedback and try to act on it but in reality the reasons behind its popularity are many fold: it’s fast and quick so you don’t have to give up the whole weekend to feel like you’ve done something, you can ride there to add to the training and gain kudos in the process. The series has history with some serious sponsors and has built up a solid following and that adds to the camaraderie – meet up with your team mates and cycling buddies, and get the opportunity to beat them in the process and gain the bragging rights on the Sunday morning ride!

Then there’s the recognition – we place everyone in the results so you can judge your progress through the winter plus we try to mention the main agitators in the weekly roundup report. And arguably more importantly at the end we give out some great prizes, not all of which relate to your finishing position!

Bucking the current trend of removing races for women over the winter we’ve kept ours in, we’ve enlisted some support from Les Filles RT to help run these more smoothly and have set a race programme which endeavours to cater for as many riders as possible.

Back to the prizes for a second – Imperial Cycles will remain the headline sponsor – this business has taken off well and we have just started our second year of trading – it’s still early days but there are clear signs that we are marking our mark within the cycling community.

Imperial Cycles has recently become a dealer for Scott bikes and we’re rightly proud to be associated with this exciting, quality brand - so you will see their name around the circuit each week.

We are also keen to attract complementary sponsors and whilst a couple have got in the early breaks these have so far all been brought back! Watch out for further announcements before the series starts.

Prime Coaching
Click here for coaching info Again this year, there’s the opportunity to get in some coaching on circuit racing before the racing gets underway for the Summer. Mark 7th March 2015 (it’s a Saturday) in your diary, as Prime Coaching will come to the Hillingdon Circuit for a four-hour (1-5pm) training session on the do’s and don’ts and probably a few ‘cunning tricks to have up your sleeve’ that’ll be sure to have you ready in every way for when the action kicks off. No question, circuit racing can be intense and riding in a fast moving peloton around a technical undulating circuit calls for an understanding of racing etiquette. If circuit racing is new to you, this is a must-attend. Counts towards Surrey League 4th Cat Accreditation. Don't forget to register to avoid disappointment.

National Vets Criterium champs Hillingdon circuit

Rich races the Nanoo

A funny old race this one; a surprisingly poor entry affected by another race apparently more important than a British Champion’s jersey? Bill Butterworth soldiered on regardless in inimitable fashion.

I wasn’t entirely sure that I should be there, given that Tom was in his first week in hospital and my attention span was a matter of seconds – that’ll help with watching the breaks going!

Anyway it was nice to line up with some familiar faces plus some new ones from further afield but we weren’t going 10 minutes before they stopped both races; we had the temerity to hold the other race as they passed us! It settled down a bit after that but gradually we were whittled down to what appeared to be a handful – a few had gone up the road and were uncatchable – some others chose to get mixed with the group passing (again!?) and were subsequently disqualified. Ended with 11th place and some points – yeah!

National Vets Criterium photos by David Reed


15th June 2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014

Vinnie, Vidi, Vici

Vincent Halpern Handsling Racing winner Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 This has been a year of firsts, the snow from last year being replaced by endless rain and flood, leading us to pump water off the circuit in order to race: thanks for everyone’s support with this.

Lucy produced and directed her ‘how to race at Hillingdon’ film which seemed to go down well both with new comers and the more experienced.

New venture Imperial Cycles has stepped up as principal sponsor providing 3rd (posting soon!) and 4th cat prizes. We have also enjoyed continued support from WyndyMilla – both founders now racing – and long termers Sigma Sport. Thanks to you all.

On a sombre note we had the air ambulance land on the circuit which was slightly bizarre and led to us having to abandon the race. Fortunately the Thames Velo rider is now OK and recovering well.

We introduced a Women’s Go-Race event and the support from the riders has been great and certainly looks good for the future; we will do more if we can fit them into the ridiculously tight schedule.

Apart from a few minor blips the 4ths raced without crashing the whole series and produced some great rides; anyone doubting the standard of riding needs to step up and give it a try!

Jake Martin Pedal Heaven, Combative Rider 2013/2014

It was fitting that we wrap up the series at the prize presentation with Lewis Atkins (Pedal Heaven) as guest of honour and as a recent series winner. Absent Jake Martin received the most combative rider award – when he was there he shredded everyone – so it was fortunate he was in Mallorca!

Lewis Atkins Pedal Heaven

Overall winner Vince Halpern (Handsling racing) has supported us over the years and is no doubt a deserving winner – his first outright race win and overall series win after 14 years of trying just a week after Monica gave birth to their first child. He was flanked on the podium by relative newcomers James Norris (High Wycombe CC) and Josh Jones (Cambridge Uni CC).

Finally chapeau again to all our team both immediate family and extended Imperial Series crew – Doug, Maureen, Isabel, Harry, JB, Tracey, Maisy, Sally, Dan, John Mulineaux and Barry Hollis.

And I guess that’s pretty much what keeps us coming back – meeting the challenges we create and managing those that are presented to us – we hoped you enjoyed it – we did. See you next year – if we don’t catch you at the London Bike Show crits at Excel!!

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Go-Race

Imperial Winter Series The CrewImperial Winter Series 2013/2014

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014 Class of 2013/2014

The London Bike Show Crit 2014 by Imperial Cycles

The Imperial Racing Team's focus switches rapidly in mid February as the innovative race organisers bring to a conclusion their highly successful West London based winter race series before hot-footing across the Capital to bring together The London Bike Show Crit in the indoor confines of the London Docklands.

The hard-working Imperial team, who only recently launched their West London race workshop, 'Imperial Cycles', will be managing the criterium races being held as part of The London Bike Show (February 13th to 16th).

Lucy Collins, Imperial Racing's race manager: "We're both honoured and excited to have been asked by The London Bike Show to manage these races. Competitive cycling in the UK is enjoying an all-time high and our intent is that over the course of the four days of the show we'll be able to showcase the vibrant state of UK cycling, both professional and amateur, to an increasingly interested public.

"With tickets for the show almost sold out this is looking to be an excellent opportunity for teams and riders to present their 2014 line-ups and colours to an enthusiastic audience ahead of the season. Riders need to act fast though, we're limited to a field of just 25 riders per category, so riders are encouraged to enter immediately: the final line up will published within 7 days of the event."

Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014


The Imperial Winter Series returns on Saturday 7 December 2013 with for an 11 week run at West London’s favourite Hillingdon circuit. Imperial Cycles, the exciting new West London race oriented shop, is the title sponsor of this classic series now in its 15th year, the last seven run under the Imperial Racing Team banner.

The series now comprises three races each day, starting with the ever popular 4th category men – and with a full field of 65 riders already entered for the first race this promises to be as hard fought as ever. Places are obviously going to be limited so early entry is recommended. There’s also the opportunity every week for 4th cats with enough points to move up to take their chances in the Elite race!

There’s huge excitement around the explosion in women’s cycling and Imperial are committed to recognising this demand so running alongside 4th cat race will be a new event – a Women’s Go-Race - an opportunity for novice and 4th cat female riders to try their hand at racing without the need for a license or pressure of gaining points. There will be an overall mini series for this event with points being awarded to the top 10 finishers in each race. Equal final points will be decided by the number of finishes. So that they’re not left out the experienced women riders are encouraged to ride in the men’s events (down a category if they wish) and there will also be an all-category one-off Women’s Championship race on New Year’s Day.

The main event is also re-vamped with the E12’s being joined by the 3rds for a single series race of 1 hour : acknowledging that the 3rds will have their work cut out to get points against the E12’s Imperial have agreed a special dispensation with British Cycling for 3rds to secure their own points. Imperial are expecting big fields for this; this race was the founding event for the series and remains extremely popular both with a hard core of riders returning year after year and those newcomers who focus on it for a season.

Race registration and entries

Imperial Cycles
The success of Imperial Racing Team and its winter series provided the catalyst for the formation of Imperial Cycles the shop is based in Isleworth and opened its doors in August. Primarily aimed at the sporting rider it clearly has a very strong link to the winter series. The shop itself is first and foremost a workshop but also offers racing frames and bikes from Sarto, one of the only remaining truly handmade frame sets from Italy. Imperial Cycles becomes the principal sponsor of the series, sponsoring the 4th cat with a weekly prize draw of a free full bike service worth £120 and a weekly winner’s prize for the 3rd Cat race - £20 voucher to spend in the shop

image of Imperial Winter Series race code Please click and read this years Race Code which includes the points information

Imperial Cycles workshop

imperial cycles postcard

We will update you regularly via the Imperial Cycles website

Spread the word!

A very short video (just 3 minutes) rounding up the feel of the
2009/2010 Imperial Winter Series. Includes out takes.

click to see more photos from the Imperial Winter Series

© Copyright Imperial Racing Team 2006-2012