My UCI Race 'Tour De Feminin' in Czech Republic

Tour de Feminin women’s cycling Tour UCI 2.2 in Krásná Lípa, Czech Republic. 4 days, 5 stages, 6000m of climbing

Stage 1 kicked off Thursday afternoon. 120km with 4 bergs. The heat was on right from the start with many roundabouts at the bottoms of descendants which called for many crashes. Unfortunately seeing Libby Arbuckle - fellow Bike Manawatu member in one of early crashes. The race continued and with the pace high the peloton strung out. I quickly learnt that positioning was going to be the make or break for this race with the amount of climbing. Racing against some of the top women riders proved that moving up the bunch for better positioning was going to be much harder than an NZ race. With 170 riders fighting for the front. After about 40km in I found myself nearer to the front where I thought I could now relax into the race a take more control. The fighting for the front continues and if you aren’t aggressive you will soon we washed straight to back again.

The bunch split up every hill and being mid pack I was in the chasing bunch. However I worked hard with a few other girls rotating to bridge the gap.

The last 5km up to the finish was very technical with the heat on and all the girls tense lead to a few more crashes. I managed to stay upright and finished 36th.

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Stage 2 was another 104km road race again with many hills which played out much the same as stage one. I finished in the front bunch.

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Stage 3 was a ITT that went straight into a 1km decent climb. We woke up that morning to thunderstorms so I slipped some supermarket bags down my shirt and away I went - kept me dry so did the trick! I was stoked with this ride as made many power PBS.

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Stage 4 was a shorter 80km road race, 3 laps of the same circuit. Not to say that it was any easier being shorter as was Jammed packed with many short sharp hills and one long hill. 15 minutes in the rain began followed by thunder and lighting. Damn I thought I forgot the plastic bags to keep me dry. Following from yesterday rain and crashes the bunch seemed to be a lot more cautious. Once again the hills were the determining point. Going into the last lap team mate Niamh put the accelerator down up every hill decreasing the size of the bunch. With 5km to go the I moved to front increasing the pace in help to lead my team mate Niamh Fisher-Black who ended up in 12th and myself 22nd.

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Stage 5 was a 90km road race. By now the legs were really feeling it. But knowing it was the last day I knew I had to leave everything out and on the course. Another day torrential rain, narrow windy decents and many climbs. It proved to be another very hard day.

The Bunch blew to pieces up the 5km climb - few of us fought hard to catch bunch in front. With 2 laps to go the bunch split into two halves me being in the front then again on the last lap it halved this time I was in the 2nd half. With only 12 or so of us left at the top of the climb we risked everything down the decent into the finish and in the rain people were slipping out around corners and unfortunately I was behind someone who slid out causing me to land in the ditch. Nether the less with some help i was back up and crossed the line making 44th on the general classification out of 170 starters. I was stoked with this result.

Overall was a great once in a life time experience with very tough racing and interesting accommodation. We were placed in a little hotel which felt like in the middle of no where which was built before WW2. The accommodation also provides food which also showed its age by feeding us soups for lunch and dinner everyday - scrumptious race food. However being the tough kiwis we are we got through it and made it an awesome learning experience.

Thank you for all your support in making this opportunity possible it is hugely appreciated!

Connie O'Brien 

Bike Manawatu has a very talented membership base who enjoy varying levels of success across all age groups, in particular the Under 23 and below age groups right now. 

We have had a dedicated group of riders come through the junior ranks, who have been aided by the amazing and supportive parents that make up Manawatu Schools Cycling.  We enjoyed probably the best success rate of any club at the U23 and Elite Road Nationals held in Napier during early January. 

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We have a number of members and former members competing internationally at the moment, and while they are all making us immensely proud, I’d like to focus on our young women.

The Mike Greer Homes Women Cycling Team which includes local members Connie O’Brien and Libby Arbuckle, are now 6 weeks into their European racing Campaign.

They have raced 5 UCI races with one to go - Tour De Femmine in Czech Republic. Recently both of our girls got a bronze. Libby got 3rd in a crit in the Netherlands where she had a Stellar race being in a break away with Track world champion Annett Edmondson for a few laps. While Connie got her first UCI podium, gaining bronze in a climbing crit also in the Netherlands where the bunch split to pieces right from the get go.

The team also includes former Manawatu resident Alana Forster - while Alana is now living in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay, she is Australian - so we’ll make the aussies and claim her as our own - just like they do with the Finn brothers, pavlova and the like

Emily Shearman left for Belgium in May with the NZ Women's Endurance Track Cycling Squad to train and race in preparation for up coming Oceania Champs and some World Cup Events later in year. They went on to Czech Republic to race and now have been in Bergamo Italy for the last 2 weeks on a training block for 4 weeks. In next week or so they will move on to Switzerland for a Track Cycling Training block and will compete in some Track Racing meetings before returning home at the end of the month.

Another former Manawatu cyclist, Deborah Paine has gone from strength to strength since making the switch from Cross country running to cycling - in Palmerston North.  Once Deborah jumped on a bike, her athletic ability was obvious, and once she boned her cycling skills, it was only a matter of time before she began competing at an elite level, and it had just been announced that Deborah has a start at the Giro Rosa - the biggest race on the women’s calendar.

These results and achievements are fantastic and bike Manawatu is very proud of all of our riders, and wishes them all the best in their remaining races and events. 

Help Colin Anderson support a great cause.

Taupo Cycle Challenge  entries open this weekend, If you are an early bird entry type person (before 31st July) Colin has asked that you please consider joining Team Hughes Joinery via  https://cycleforheartkidstaupo19.everydayhero.com/nz/hughesjoinerycycle4heartkids and receive your 10% discount code + other team benefits, even a chance at free entry for the 2020 challenge.

Plus know your Team fee is assisting wee kids far less fortunate than ourselves.

Team members signed on before 30th June can (if they desire) order an Ultimo brand Team top and/or bibs.
The cut of for ordering your kit is 30th June 2019

If you would like to order team kit please contact Steve Nagy on 021 088 52507 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your code will be valid until 27th November 2019.

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Our conquering interclub team at Halcombe with the awesome support of our club sponsors!!

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We had a winner of the BikeBarn Lucky Draw on Sunday, Colin Anderson was present but not wearing Bike Manawatu kit.  Colin is the winner of Bike Barn’s $310 voucher.

We had a great turnout with over 50 cyclists present on a chilly Sunday morning!

No mention if Colin paid for all the after ride coffees?