We're excited to introduce to you London’s first all-women track cycling team: Velociposse.
The team recently hosted a launch at Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome to mark their arrival onto the track scene after a successful race-debut at Red Hook Crit.
They emerged in quite possibly the best kit we've seen thus far, and we had a quick chat with their founder, Jess Hayes, to find out more about the creation of the team and their ambitions for the future...
The team have four key values: Positivity, Encouragement, Progress, and Fun. And they're all passionate about furthering women's cycling. We like them already.
Founder and captain, Jess, acknowledged the struggles in women’s cycling and her own experiences inspired her to start the team:
A really big trigger was a track omnium I raced in a few months back. The women’s field only just managed to have enough to have our own races (we needed 9, we had 9). I wouldn’t have felt comfortable riding with the men (although the women’s field was so much stronger than me and kicked my butt anyway) so it was clear to me then that I wanted to help boost women’s entry numbers.
The team consists of 15 women with various histories – from triathlon, to street-fixed and alley-cat events.
Among the crew, you'll find the fiercely competitive Philippa "Philly" Roscoe, who is likely to be pushing the team for wins on the track, and GB Age Group triathlete Michelle "Tinks" Debono alongside ex track runner, turned track cyclist Gina Gaffney.
There's also Katie “Stylo" Styles who enjoys touring the countryside, and Monika "Montron" Zamojska who you may know if you've recently visited the London Bike Kitchen where she volunteers.
The team has a calendar of races across Europe on their agenda for 2015, and beyond.
The team's kit is pretty stunning, and was designed by Jess herself - she said:
I designed it myself with some help (the pattern) from my friend Steve Sanshwe in NYC. He worked to hand draw each part of the pattern; eyelashes, thunderbolts, and our manufacturer's "J" logo (Jehu). Once that was done, I put it all together in a few options before selecting this one because we thought it was crazy fun.It was a really long and draining process, and I think British Cycling and a few friends thought I was insane, but it's worth it now when we have the pink hurricane on the track!
Velociposse have attracted a lot of great publicity and already garnered support from a range of large and small enterprises, including Bounce Energy Balls, UK, Seabass Cycles, Jehu Bikewear, British Cycling and many others.
Currently they have two ‘official’ sessions every week, one in South London and one in the East. The members are expected to attend at least one team session each week.
Speaking to Little Wheels on top tips for women who want to get into track, Jess recalled her early days in the sport and recommended the following:
Keep going. I have fallen off, crashed, been dropped, cried, hurt myself, you name it. The reason why I am still getting better is because I kept going. And, honestly, no one gives a shit when you fail – as Jake from Adventure Time says, “dude, sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something
Total Women's Cycling are really excited to see what Velociposse have up their jersey sleeves for the next year and have every confidence that they will deliver some great performances as well as elevating the women's track-cycling scene.
More information about the team’s history, ethos and members can be found on their website www.velociposse.cc
Want to give track cycling a go? Check out our velodrome guide for more information.