26/10/18

Norwood Paragon women's team: season update

Created by Michelle Arthurs Brennan at 2018-10-26 09:59:35

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The Norwood Paragon women’s team had a successful inaugural year, amassing 273 National British Cycling Points, five wins and netting the South, East, Central and Eastern Regional Road Race U23 win.

Anna Marie-Hughes – our youngest rider, currently studying at the University of Kent – set aim at the combined regional championships, taking a month off racing to train and prepare.

She achieved sixth overall, was the first U23 and took the second step of the podium from the Central region.

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En route to gaining her second cat license, she also won the Berkhamsted Castle Revolutions Festival 2018 (3/4 Women) criterium race and managed two top 15s at the competitive Team Series races (Cyclopark Grand Prix and Duncan Murray road race) – collecting Paragon points in the overall standings.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan was our biggest points scorer, with 142 in total, leaving her second overall regionally behind Le Filles’ Nicole Oh.

Highlights included three wins, at Sussex Cycle Racing League’s Preston Park in March, CC London’s ‘Hog with the Occasional Hill’ in June and the Full Gas Summer Criterium in August.

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On the road, she managed third at the Diss CC women’s road race and fourth at the Margret Wright Memorial/High Wycombe CC Road Races – racing Team Series events and the National Series Cicle Classic to gain experience.

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Katharine Broadbent took an impressive breakaway win at Goodwood Motor Circuit in June, at the RC Ravenna FatCreations event. Jumping from the pack in the final lap, she motored away to cross the lie well clear of the sprint finish – on a flat and wide circuit where breakaways are nearly always caught.

Having joined Norwood Paragon from Geoffrey Butler’s women’s race team, Katharine has been a valuable team player, leading out other riders to podium position and using her strength on the hills to split pelotons.

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A key goal for Carolyn Swan was the National Masters road race championships, where she achieved fifth place in a competitive 50-54 category behind the formidable Catherine Coley (VC Londres) and Jayne Paine (Les Filles).

A regular at the Goodwood crit series – where Norwood Paragon frequently had a team of four in the women’s race - Carolyn gained confidence throughout the year, to take fifth during the sprint in May and as well as fourth at Cyclopark’s Crits in the Park in June.

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Another Goodwood regular, Gemma Hayes also gained experience and skills throughout the season, managing a top ten in May, as well as second and third at Surrey League’s Dunsfold races.

Gemma also played a valuable team role at the Team Kent Criterium, holding back the peloton whilst a breakaway including Michelle and Anna chipped away into the lead.

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In all, a successful first year – but the numbers, podiums and wins don’t tell the whole story. The goal in year one was to provide a friendly but competitive platform for female cyclists in Surrey to develop, and most importantly a team within which they could enjoy racing together – and it’s done exactly that.

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