So the 2016 road season is just around the corner, so we had better get a move on and give you our pick of events for the end of February and March 2016. This covers road races and stage races only and not circuit races, mainly because road races are more at risk of being cancelled if they are low on numbers. So without further ado, here goes:
28 February 2016
Primavera Road Race - E1234 - start time 10:15am - entry fee £20 - distance 30 miles - Hatherleigh, Devon. The race will be handicapped with a minimum of two groups, however it is still a band 3 event (handicapped events tend to be band 5), so if you can get down there, it's probably worth the trip.
6 March 2016
St Helens CRC Pimbo - W234 - start time 10:00am - entry fee £17 - distance 38 miles - Skelmersdale, Merseyside. This race is now in its 4th year and last year saw a full field of 80 riders! Part of the #partyontheroad, this race is a great first event for anyone who hasn't raced on the open road before, as it is on a one-way circuit. The weather was foul last year but it hasn't always been terrible.
12 March 2016
Gifford Road Races - E1234 - start time 10:30 am - entry fee £18 - distance 40 miles - Gifford, Midlothian (Scotland). Band 3 race, which appears to be at the same time as the men's regional B event.
Holme Valley Whls Stage Race - E1234 - start time 10:40am on Saturday. This popular event moves from its traditional early-June slot due to a clash with Regional Champs weekend. ***ENTRIES CLOSE 14 FEB***
13 March 2016
Modbury Spring Road Races - E1234 - start time 10:05 am - entry fee - £20 - distance 40 miles - Modbury, Devon. Click on the link to the BC website and there is a link to the course on Strava so that you can see what the course is like.
19 March 2016
Uni of Birmingham Stage Race - W234 - prologue, circuit races at Tudor Grange in Solihull and a 10 mile TT - all for £25 entry fee. Covers the Saturday & Sunday. Note: parking at Tudor Grange has historically been pay & display across the road, so if this is still the case, you will need some change. Changing facilities (including toilets) are likely to be at the nearby sports centre (quite a walk).
20 March 2016
Ipswich BC Spring Scramble - W234 - start time 1pm - entry fee - £19 - distance 53 miles - Ipswich. This event proved really popular last year and was well supported. A decent distance too, so good prep for anybody with National Series ambitions.
Bristol South Women's Race - W234 - start time 11am - entry fee - £25 - distance 50 miles - Bishop Sutton, Bristol. Based on the Chew Valley Lake circuit (link on the event on BC), this again is likely to be a good test for the legs.
Duncan Sparrow Road Race - W234 - start time 12pm - entry fee - £17 - distance 38 miles - Skelmersdale, Merseyside. A new addition to the North West calendar on the Pimbo circuit, this will be one for the sprinters (unless there can be a breakaway)! See St Helens CRC RR details for comments on the circuit.
These are all of the road races currently on the BC system. However, there are likely to be further races, so keep an eye on London Women's Racing, South West Women's Racing, Women's Eastern Racing League and of course The Racing Chance Foundation on Twitter to keep abreast of any developments.