Welcome to Imperial Racing Team.
A cycle racing club: to race, to promote racing across the sport and promote races for others.
Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015
Major Tom, you've really made the grade
So it’s all over for another year – again there’s much to remember from this series - the racing was scintillating at times and bizarre occasionally: the second race finish line images of riders careening through the air travelled the globe and earned the moniker as the World’s most bizarre finish photo. Some new names stepped into the fray in every class blending some fine moments of inspiration with heaps of determination mixed with a bit of luck.
No one dominated the men’s e123 which was refreshing, so it was all down to the final race of series. Tom Hargreaves (London Dynamo) took the victory.
The standard of riding in the 4th cat races has definitely improved: yes there were some soppy crashes and some riders have yet to understand the holding the line principle but on the whole it was great; Phil Dempsey of Aprire Bicycles acted as riding observer in a few rounds and this helped immeasurably. The women’s fields were their best yet, particularly the 3rd/4ths which sported more than 30 starters on a few occasions. As is the way with things all the positives were overshadowed with the passing of London Dynamo series rider Akis Collaros in a road accident. We all felt this sadness.
We are indebted as always to our sponsors - our own Imperial Cycles taking pole position supported admirably by new partners Aprire Bicycles and Stitch-Mi-Lane – we would encourage you to take a few moments to check out their products and services. Each of them have similar aims which make them such a great fit with the series – they are all committed to cycling with passion preceding pure business aims, so you can be confident that they care about making sure their customers are happy.
Thanks go as always to the Imperial support crew – Doug and Isabel in the judge’s hut recording the results – Harry providing refreshments – and occasional support from Tracey, Maisy, Sally and Tom. Barry was on hand to tend to the bumps and bruises as well as taking an active role in the finish line crash in round 2! Les Filles RT stepped up to support Lucy at sign on and assisted in overcoming our traumas with the photo-finish equipment.
Enjoy the Spring and Summer – safe riding - see you in December!
Lucy and Rich
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 www.stitchmilane.co.uk for more details.
"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
APRIRE BICYCLES JOINS IMPERIAL WINTER SERIES
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 www.aprirebicycles.co.uk 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
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.
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
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 www.davidreedphoto.com/crit.php
15th June 2014
Imperial Cycles workshop
We will update you regularly via the Imperial Cycles website www.imperialcycles.co.uk
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A very short video (just 3 minutes) rounding up the feel of the
2009/2010 Imperial Winter Series. Includes out takes.
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