The scienceinsport.com ladies squad recently visited the University of Brighton testing facilities in Eastbourne where they were put through their paces as well as planning the forthcoming season.
The team had a very successful 2005 season with Lesley Walkling (nee Allen) picking up a bronze medal in the National 25. As well as scooping individual honours in the National 25 Lesley was joined by Helen Carter and Denise Young who took team honours in both the 25 and 50. Not to be outdone by her seniors 17 year old Hannah Conlin took the junior BBAR Championship.
Team captain Denise is already looking forward to the new season and building on these successes, as she says;
“What started out in January 2005 as a “let’s see what we can do” amongst five friends has now grown into a dedicated, very talented squad of 9 with a real team spirit and largely warped sense of humour! The fact that all the girls asked to join scienceinsport.com and are really behind what the company does makes it a great team to be part of.”
For 2006 the scienceinsport.com ladies team hope to be a more dominant force on the TT and road race scene with the addition of new members and a change in focus for others. New team members include Ann Bowditch, National hill climb champion for the past two years, Caroline Kloiber, a GB duathlete, and the most recent signing is former National Champion and GB International Angela Hunter.
Angela is looking forward to a return to top form after a disappointing 2005 season due to personal problems. Former World Class performance plan triathlete Tanja Slater will use 2006 to make the switch from triathlon to cycling and will be riding time trials and the national ladies road race series. Steph Pitcher will continue with her multi-sport ambitions and makes her Ironman debut in South Africa in March.
As well as boasting a good time trial and road race squad the scienceinsport.com ladies section is further enhanced by World Sprint Champion Victoria Pendleton and BMX star Shanaze Reade.
The weekend get together was extremely enjoyable as well as being productive with Helen and Jamie Pringle taking the team through a series of lab tests.
“Having the girls visit the lab was great and we should be able to provide them with a lot of useful information to guide their training” commented Helen, a research fellow at Brighton.
“Jamie and I are working on an EU funded research programme looking at the Critical Power concept, and this weekend provided a rare opportunity to collect some data on elite female cyclists. What was interesting was the different relative strengths and weaknesses of the group even though performances are fairly similar”.
sciencinsport.com team co-ordinator Peter Slater says“It’s really good to see how keen and enthusiastic these ladies are about their racing, they really do enjoy their sport and it’s fantastic that they have got together under the scienceinsport.com name. They are a great example and it shows how much enjoyment you can get out of sport. What they achieved in 2005 was fantastic and with the same commitment, enthusiasm and support of Science in Sport can only go on to achieve even greater things in 2006”.