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Vamper’s #NewYearRevolutions – our 2016 cycling resolutions

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Regular readers will no doubt have noticed our absence over the past few weeks.

We promise, it isn’t that we don’t care.

Unfortunately, as any amateur cyclist will understand, life has an unwelcome habit of obstructing one’s hobbies sometimes.

Left to our own devices, we would have gladly spent much of our Christmas break cycling – but our Christmas was spent driving around the country, from our home in Surrey up to the flooded land of Yorkshire, across to Cheshire, down to Devon and back up to The Cotswolds for a whirlwind of festive family activities. With a car already full of apparel to suit every eventuality, from dinner parties and country walks to husky driving in the rain (we kid you not), it dawned on us that trying to add bikes and kit to the mix for a possible ride out if the rain were ever to let up was probably not a worthwhile exercise. We’re happy to say that it was, actually, the right call: we struggled to drive along the flooded roads in Yorkshire and nothing would have made us risk our lives on bikes in those conditions.

Unfortunately, as any amateur cyclist will understand, life has an unwelcome habit of obstructing one’s hobbies sometimes.

The moment Christmas was over, we dove headfirst into completing the purchase of our first home – the new Vamper.cc HQ. Another fortnight of bike-free life, with evenings spent packing, and then unpacking, and finally, passing out with exhaustion.

A month after our last real bike ride, we’re happy to say that we’re all travelled out and settled in our new home. The bike room is up and running (bigger and better than ever!) and we’re now getting very excited about what the year holds for our two-wheeled adventures.

So, without further ado, here are our 2016 cycling resolutions… Share yours with us on Twitter with #NewYearRevolutions.

  1. Turbo charge our lives with Zwift: we have set up a dedicated bike room in our new home complete with turbo trainer and huge screen for indoor workouts. As I lack the attention span to ride indoors on my own, we’ll be adding a second turbo trainer so that we can train together. You’ll find us on Zwift as Matt – Vamper.cc and Victoria – Vamper.cc. Look out for us!
  2. Complete a Time Trial event: I signed up for The Tour of Cambridgeshire Chrono TT in June, which is going to require some serious practice and determination.
  3. Improve on last year’s Prudential 100 RideLondon times: ok, last year was our first try – not to mention my first sportive. We were proud to get round in one piece. But this year, we want to improve our times dramatically. We’re aiming for five hours.
  4. Incremental upgrades: Yes, we’d both love new bikes. Show us a cyclist who doesn’t hanker after a new ride and we’ll show you a pig fluttering through the sky. But we’ve just bought our first house, so we’re going to add incremental upgrades to the bikes we already own. Matt is planning a groupset upgrade to SRAM Red, and I’m planning a new wheelset purchase…
  5. Join the French Revolution: We will be undertaking the Granfondo Les Deux Alpes in the Ecrins National Park, which takes a superb route along unspoiled roads between Oisans and Valbonnais. We’ll take in climbs including Alpe d’Huez and Col de la Croix de Fer as well as exploring the area made famous by the Tour de France, Marmotte and Etape. Time to brush up our Français!

Is there anything you would like us to get involved with or come along to? Please feel free to contact us at matt@vamper.cc or victoria@vamper.cc.

The new bike room at Vamper.cc is coming together - we'll be adding a second turbo trainer shortly!
The new bike room at Vamper.cc is coming together – we’ll be adding a second turbo trainer shortly! No excuse to miss a ride because of the weather now…
FeaturedNewsWomen's Cycling

UnitedHealthcare Pro Team announces 2016 women’s lineup

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Following a successful second season, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has announced the roster for its 2016 women’s racing team.

A number of riders from the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s debut season will return for 2016, including team captain Lauren Tamayo and track and road racer Cari Higgins.

Coryn Rivera returns to the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Blue Train on the back of several sprint victories in 2015, including a stage three win and the sprinter’s green jersey at the USA Pro Challenge where she earned a place on the 2015 World Championship road race roster.

Katie Hall will return following her breakthrough season with the team in which she took 2nd overall at the Tour of the Gila. That success was followed by a high-profile win in the opening stage of the Women’s Amgen Tour of California.

Rushlee Buchanan, Abby Mickey, Laura Brown, and Linda Villumsen will also return for the 2016 season. Villumsen will sport the coveted Word Champion’s rainbow jersey throughout 2016 in time trial events with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.

Speaking about the 2015 season, General Manager Mike Tamayo said: “When I look back at the season, I see wins from many different riders, in many different types of a races. As a director and general manager, a record like that shows depth, adaptability, and most of all, effective teamwork. That makes us at the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team immensely proud of these riders and this program.”

The team is also set to welcome five new riders in 2016.

Reigning British national time trial champion Hayley Simmonds (pictured below with Vamper’s Victoria at a recent VoxWomen event) boosts the team’s time trial lineup for 2016. Simmonds commented: “I am incredibly excited about starting my professional cycling career with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The team has a very strong roster and an extremely professional set-up which I think will provide me with the perfect environment in which to develop further as I make the move to full-time rider.”

Hayley Simmonds (right) pictured with Vamper's Victoria and fellow pro cyclist, Sweden's Sara Olsson.
Hayley Simmonds (right) pictured with Vamper’s Victoria and fellow pro cyclist, Sweden’s Sara Olsson.

All-rounder and former two-time junior Canadian National champion Annie Ewart joins the team from Optum Pro Cycling following her breakaway victory on stage two at the Tour of the Gila and her win at the Dominguez Hills Criterium in 2015.

Former Dutch national champion and veteran racer Iris Slappendel will bring years of high-level racing experience to the team. Slappendel has wins at Thuringen Rundfahrt (2010) and Route de France (2014) under her belt.

Colombian rider Diana Carolina Peñuela, who was victorious at the 2015 Criterium Manizales Fair, will bolster the team.

Finally, American cyclist Shawn Morelli, 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road Race World Champion and 2015 World Championship Para-cycling Track Pursuit Bronze Medalist, will complete the 2016 lineup.

 2016 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster, Women

  • Abby Mickey
  • Annie Ewart
  • Cari Higgins
  • Coryn Rivera
  • Diana Carolina Peñuela
  • Hayley Simmonds
  • Iris Slappendel
  • Katie Hall
  • Laura Brown
  • Lauren Tamayo
  • Linda Villumsen
  • Rushlee Buchanan
  • Shawn Morelli
News

Spin Factory brings WattBike Time Trial Challenge to Manchester

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Manchester’s Spin Factory, the biggest indoor spin cycling facility in Europe, is setting a new standard of speed in the North West.

Spin Factory is bringing the ultimate Watt Bike Time Trial to cyclists across the city on its peloton of Wattbikes. The challenge has been set to uncover the best individual male, female and team effort with £500 of Wattbike training up for grabs in this exciting digital TT course.

Spin Factory

The Wattbike Time Trials are taking place at both the Spin Factory in Manchester City Centre and Pro Spin at Manchester Airport to challenge spinners and cyclists both physically and mentally.

In the Wattbike Studio riders can focus purely on speed with no adverse weather conditions, traffic jams or potholes to hamper their performance.

For cyclists looking to benchmark their performance, the Ten Mile Time Trial is the ideal fitness test. The concept is this: cyclists set a personal best time across a 10-mile sprint, before honing power, technique and cardiovascular fitness with the opportunity to retake the challenge – hopefully improving their own time, and competing against others.

Teams are invited to participate with up to eight Wattbikes available at a time to allow group scores in a thrilling race.

The Spin Factory is the biggest spin facility of its kind in Europe, with more than 60 bikes and 18 Wattbikes.

The City Centre location is situated under the railway arches opposite Salford Central station, just a stone’s throw from Spinningfields. Pro Spin, the Manchester Airport site, will also be hosting the Time Trials and results from the two studios will be collated before the winners are decided at the end of winter.

The Spin Factory’s Master Trainer Ross Sommers said of the Wattbike Time Trial, “These sessions are tough, but there is plenty of data from the Wattbike that riders can use to monitor their improvements. There are prizes for leaderboard winners in 3 categories – top male, female and team. We have individuals storming up the leader-board as well as rugby teams coming in to take the challenge against each other.

It’s brilliant to see the dedication, and also the improvement as people retake the trial.”

To book a session, download the Spin Factory app on the App Store. 10 Mile Time Trial sessions are £10.

Spin Factory
Spin Factory’s WattBike Ten Mile Time Trials – the ideal fitness test allowing riders to focus purely on speed.