Rider Profiles

Welcome to our Rider Profiles Page.  Here you will find a brief synopsis of each rider's background and racing CV in their own words - as you can see we are an especially eclectic mix:

Marianne Britten - Team Captain

I've been cycling for about 10 years now and started racing in 2005.  Before this I did triathlon but was never particulary strong on the other 2 disciplines and enjoyed cycling the most so decided to dedicate to it.  I first started cycling at uni with the triathlon club there and then with Severn Road Club .  The club convinced me to try racing so I did some local races and just loved it!  I joined VC St Raphael for a year in 2008 and with some local wins under my belt was asked to join MaxGear RT, where I stayed for 2 years.  I learnt a lot about team racing when I was at Max Gear from Jeneatte Caldicott who was our team captain.  I always wanted to be captain of a team and now I have an opportunity with Raphael's new women's team.

During my cycling career there's not many disciplines I haven't tried but the road is where my main strength lies and I also race on the track.  I do love off-road riding though, both mountain biking and cross racing. 

Last season saw a mixture of results for me, I started the season well and was ecstatic with a 3rd place at Hillingdon GP and the sprinters jersey at the Bedford 2-day, these had been two of my major targets so I was so pleased I'd acheved them.  This was followed swiftly by the Tour Series races which were much less fruitful and I struggled with the technicality of the courses.  Crit circuits aren't my strength but I'll be working on this again this year.  Following on from that I went to the National Masters Track champs and unfortunately was unable to retain my titles in the scratch and points but did add the 500m TT to my collection instead posting a pb to boot.  I also raced the National Master RR on a wet and windy day at thruxton and came away with the title which has been a target of mine for the past few years.  That was to be the highlights of the season as unfortunately I crashed in training behind the Derny at the end of August, preparing for the National Derny Champs.  That left me in limbo as I had injured my shoulder and right leg badly but I had already entered the National Track Champs at the end of September and was down to ride 2 team events plus the scratch and points.  I did ride the champs but was unaware until afterwards how injured I still was....and I still have the injuried now.  I eneded the season however replicating the previous season by being top BC Elite womens points scorer.

I'm looking forward to another seasons racing and with some new faces in the team I'm excited to see what we can do!

Rusine Heald - Team Track Manager

I was extremely pleased to be asked to join VC St Raphael in 2001 as it was renowned as one of the best and highest achieving clubs in the country.
I raced my first national circuit race at the age of 6, and as one of my big sisters won the race that day and my other sister also won her national later that day, it spurred me on to keep going and by the time I was 10 I started to win national races in all different disciplines of the sport.
I competed in circuit races, time trials, hill climbs, cross and mountain biking until I was 14, with many national wins and some good results in international stage races such as the Tour of Helmond and the Assen Youth Tour. 
I then discovered a love for track racing, starting out on Scunthorpe track at their popular league nights and starting to race grass track also.  I then was invited to join the National Track Squad and stayed on that for 4 years until the creation of the Performance Plan.  I did two years with the Performance Plan and enjoyed some success with medals and wins at national level on the track and some success on the road. 
I enjoyed the wins individually and as a team at BUSA national championships whilst at University in Manchester (some of these with Heather) and have stayed in the Manchester area ever since.
One of my proudest moments was gaining 3 national records on the tandem with my sister Beren in 2000 and even though these have been broken now, it was a great experience, and I have really enjoyed a few tandem track racing experiences since then.  Another proud moment was competing in the Open Team Sprint with my sisters who were also in VC St Raphael (prior to there being women’s events in this discipline) and we were happy to be the fastest women’s team that year.
I have had medals of different colours in the BC National Grass Champs for a good few years and finally won it in 2004 and have continued to race and love the grass track scene to date. 
I started to race at Masters Track Nationals in 2008 and have had various medals since then but not the right colour medal or the stripey jumper yet! 
Last year I also made a very modest return to circuit racing after many years at the new Tameside circuit and loved it.
In 2005 I looked after the B Team Pursuit Squad at the nationals with our track team manager at the time (Mike Slater) looking after the A team.  The track team manager role was then handed to me the year after and I have enjoyed it for the last 6 years, organising team track sessions and selecting/managing the teams for the team events at nationals and other events we have entered track teams into.  We have had wins and medals in the team events for many years now and in 2011 for the first time, we had women’s teams in both the Team Pursuit and Team Sprint and they all performed extremely well.
We are hoping to achieve medal winning performances by the men’s and women’s teams at this year’s track nationals.

Jason Streather - Team Manager
I’ve been cycling and racing since I was 12 years old, I’ve raced road, track, time trials, cyclo cross and mountain biking over the years.

I’ve represented Great Britain and even Wales as a junior on the road and track and have been a multiple Welsh Track champion and a National Champion in the senior team pursuit squad.

On the road I have been a Elite cat rider for the 16 years, riding for the Amore & Vita Pro Team and a couple of seasons with the Anglia Sport/ Condor Team and have raced all over the UK and in Europe before joining VC St Raphael in 2001.

Over the last couple of years, I have become a level 2 Track Coach in order to try and pass my knowledge on to other riders.

I am still racing,  and I haven’t packed up my wheels quite yet, and I race just locally nowadays but still like to ride the National Masters Track Champs and Worlds Masters Track Champs every year.

I wish all the girls a great season.

Barney Storey MBE - Team Coach

Barney is a tandem pilot for the Visually Impaired category and has won medals at the Paralympic Games and World Championships.  He is a Level 3 British Cycling coach.

Team Members:

Adel Tyson-Bloor

My cousin gave me an old Moser to compete in a triathlon, as I didn't have a bike, the brakes were dodgy and I couldn't change gear but from the moment I pushed my first pedal I was totally hooked.  Last year was my first season of bike racing, and my two most notable results were winning the Regional RR Championships, which finished in my own village, and coming fourth in the Women's Team Sprint at the National Track Championships with Maz.  I love racing on the track as I love the build up and drama, but I am also aiming to do more stage races this year as I find them most challenging.  The Omniums will be a new thing for me this year, as will the National Masters Track Championships.

Caroline Harding

For me, my time as a cyclist has gone so fast! I had been a runner but started riding a bike as a form of cross training as I was constantly getting injured. It was soon apparent to me after trying triathlon for a couple of years that I should just give up the running and swimming and concentrate on riding which was fast becoming my strongest discipline.

I started riding my bike in earnest (ie more than once a week!) in 2009. Within a few months I was up to 2nd Cat and before long I rode my first ever fixed gear bike at Manchester velodrome. I was terrified at first, but after a few minutes, I was hooked. I've not looked back.

I race regularly at Welwyn which is my local track, and in 2011 I won 2 silvers and a bronze at the National Masters Track Championships, with which I was over the moon.

In 2012 I am looking forward to more track racing as well as still doing the occasional road race and time trial, and I am absolutely delighted to be riding for VC St Raphael who have got a really strong group of girls together on the team this year. I'm looking forward to a great season in 2012!

Hannah Layland

I have been bike racing since I was 11, nearly 12. I had never ridden a "racer" before I rode in my first bike race.

I have always been into sports trying out many different sports from trampolining to athletics before I started racing my bike.

I enjoy Road, Circuit, Track and Time Trials with the odd Cyclo cross race in the winter.

In 2008/9 season I was selected to be part of the Talent Team for Yorkshire Region, I was also selected one of a team of six girls to race at the Assen Youth Tour in The Netherlands my first international race, I also rode in the Revolution Future Stars Competition for Yorkshire. I was re-selected in 2009/10 season into the new National Talent Team this gave me more opportunities to race internationally in the Netherlands and Belgium.

After a hard year with GCSE's and illness I was selected onto the ODP, during the year I had more opportunities to race internationally, a notable race being Van Borsele where many Junior National teams take part, as a team we secured one of our riders to win the overall general classification win.

For 2011/12 season have been selected for another year on ODP with 4 other Junior girls, I am looking forward to racing in Belgium and the Netherlands with the girls and also to train with them on training camps.

In 2009 I joined VC St Raphael after riding a two up time trial with Sarah Storey, we won the ladies event - but were unable to claim any prize money because we were not on the same team, Sarah suggested that I join VC St Raphael.

It seems as though 4th place in major races has been my destiny over the last few seasons with 4th Senior Madison (with team mate Elle Hopkins), 4th Senior National Team Pursuit (with Elle Hopkins and Marianne Britten), 4th National 10 Time Trial, 4th National Youth Points Race, and 4th National Youth Road Race. However this has kept me training hard and spurred me on knowing that I was so close to a podium place.   I am sure that 4th place with change this year.

After another year of illness including hospital stays and an operation - I am now 100% well and training hard to make sure that I can race to my best to achieve those podium results.

Jo Tindley

Jo has ridden a bike since a youth and was on the talent teams as a youth and a junior.  Having had a few years break from cycling she is back with avengence.  Watch this space!!!

Rebecca Heath

I took up triathlon after getting injured running training for my first marathon. Unable to run the marathon due to injury I felt I had failed, but just could not face the repetitive training again for another one, so someone suggested an ironman! I signed up, bought a bike and have now being doing triathlon for the last 3 years.

Last year I won the North West Series (combination of events -Duathlon, Aquathlon and Triathlon sprint and Olympic distances). I won the North West Olympic distance championships, completed my second ironman (with a bike time faster than some of the pro ladies - pity about the run!) and raced at the European Olympic and Half Ironman Championships coming 5th in my age group at both and with the second fastest female bike split overall in the Olympic distance.

Like many people I struggle to fit in training around work so, as I love the bike the best (and I'm not too hot at the other two sports anyway!) I have decided to give bike racing a shot this year as see what happens!

Ellie Gilham

I first rode at Calshot track when I was 9 and started riding competitively when I was 13 having given up Tae Kwan Do to concentrate on my cycling.
I mostly ride track and road, having been mentally scarred for life after a bad mountain biking experience!!!!!
I live in Ferndown, near Bournemouth, and regularly ride at the new Slades Farm track during the spring and summer.  I’m very much looking forward to the track league which starts in April.
I joined VC St. Raphael so that I could experience riding in a team which I didn’t have at my last club.  I really enjoyed the recent training weekend where I got to know the other girls in the team. 
Having recently moved up to juniors I am looking forward to longer distance road races which I hope will be more challenging for me.  I’ve had a great start to the 2012 season and hope my success will continue.
I’m currently studying PE, biology, psychology and photography at AS level and hope to go to University to study for a Sports Science or Sports Psychology degree.

Nicci Meadows

The 2012 season will be my third season on two wheels, having switched sports from rowing in 2009.  I have loved every minute of cycling since I started and am hoping to use the experience that I have gained in the last two seasons to build on the results that I have from the last two years. 
In my first season, I focussed hard on racing on the track and getting experience in lots of different types of races.  I also did a few road races just to see what they were like. 
Last year, I did my first time trial and really enjoyed it.  I would love to improve on my “10” times in the coming season, as well as knocking a few seconds off my individual pursuit time on the track. 
This will be the first time that I have ridden as part of a bigger team and I am really looking forward to the challenges and fun that this will bring.

Harriet Whewell
Eleanor Jones

Well, a little bit about me….
I made the move to cycling in 2008 – I got a bit excited after the World Cup and headed down to my local track to start seeing if it was for me. I was playing hockey at that point, but soon got the bug and took the decision to get on with cycling as my sport. Cue a few club rides on a mountain bike (!) and in May 2009 I got my first road bike!
The 2010 season was my first in a team racing with 3 other ladies, one of which now joins us at VC St Raphael (Ella Hopkins). I got a few team series races, local TTs and crits under my belt just trying to work on my fitness, bunch skills and whatever the hell happens in bike racing!
A year later and I felt more like a proper cyclist. I moved to a new team (VC St R!!) which promised to be more supportive going forwards as a rider and help me get the race experience I needed. I have some awesome team mates and got my first track races under my belt including two 5th places in the National Championships (team sprint with Rusine and the team pursuit with Harriet and Adel).
This year…. Well, we’ve gelled more as a team and expanded too. I think I’ve found my confidence in the bunch and my racing legs and I’m looking forward to helping out our race leaders this year. Rock and roll!
Anselma Gallinat

I started cycling –beyond using the bike to get from a to b- only around seven years ago in the UK. Having grown up in socialist East Germany I had never actually seen anyone on a road bike in real life(!) until 2004. Whilst the ‘Peace Race’ was a big sporting event we all wanted to hear about, in the GDR road cycling was a sport you only seemed to get access to through being taken to sports performance school. There was, in essence, no grass roots cycle sport although every family owned one or more bikes which people used to get around. Showing early promise though I won the girls’ race in a one-off bike event at my school shortly after 1989, where anyone with a more modern sit-up straight, commuting (possibly with basket) –type bike had been put on single speed by having their gear shifters taped over.
After spotting that proper first road bike in 2004 when I had started commuting on my brothers’ super-heavy mountain bike during a 4-months stay in Germany, having begun to make ‘long-distance’ commutes of 35km (my brother, sceptically: ‘You need to be quite fit for that distance.’ Me: ‘hmm’) to my dad’s, I knew that that’s what I wanted: a road bike.
A steel frame road bike, a blue Giant OCR, a carbon race bike, first club runs, many Sunday runs with the lads getting dropped on the hills, several Thursday night criterium races with the lads, again, and a couple of crashes later, I have made it into 2012 and, in the process, become a trackie.
In the first few years of racing I participated in road events in the women’s national series but for the last three years I have focused primarily on the track. I am an endurance athlete that loves sprinting but, unfortunately, doesn’t have that kind of explosive power. Over the last few years I have had some decent results with a top ten placing in a national series women’s road race, top tens also at omnium series track events, one trophy and one £50 prize as the only woman in the race -that’s  frequent occurrence, but I don’t usually get paid for it. The highlight of last year’s track season was coming top five in the Devil at Newcastle under Lyme and thus being the ‘last women standing/riding’.
My move into racing on the track unfortunately coincided with a series of injuries/health problems. I have joint hypermobility syndrome which makes me prone to problem with muscles and joints. Being in an accident and needing to have a plate put onto a ‘smashed up’ collarbone (the consultant’s words) didn’t help there. Being hypermobile also seems to mean that I need more rest than others, more food (she says…), and I need to be a lot more careful in the gym. Keeping on top of that continues to be a challenge, but once I get a good injury-free run I promise there’ll be some sparks. Hopefully, just in time for the World Masters.

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