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British Army cyclists dominate road cycling championships

It was a strong finish to the end of the season for the Army at the Inter-Services Road Race Championships, as they took both the men’s and women’s team standings.

The team have done a fantastic job." Captain Racheal McKenzie,
Army Women's Team Manager

Competing against rivals from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, the individual riders dominated in their respective races taking both top and runner-up spots.

The event, which was the pinnacle of the racing season was hosted by the Army Cycling Union (ACU), and held at Chitterne in Wiltshire, and provided a challenging British Cycling approved circuit through the rolling countryside of Salisbury Plain Training Area.

Winner of the women’s competition, Captain Eve Newton based with 3 Commando Brigade in Plymouth was “pretty surprised” at the result:

“This is my first win, I’ve had a couple of placings at smaller races, but this is definitely the best race in terms of how pleased I am with the result. I sort of knew it was going quite well when we broke away as a two but didn’t dare think about taking the win, a sprint is not necessarily my thing."

“This is my second race season, so it was a big effort to get experience this year, I didn’t come to try and win this race, so it’s really cool, I’m really happy.”

This is my first win ... I didn’t come to try and win this race, so it’s really cool, I’m really happy." Captain Eve Newton,
Women's Race Winner

Team Manager, Captain Rachel McKenzie serving with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, said:

“The girls have been prepping and we did a training camp in Cyprus, where we concentrated on our skills, drills and endurance."

"They’ve taken part in a large number of races throughout the season to build them up and get them to the best possible position for the start line today."

“The team has done a fantastic job.”

The Army Women’s Team consists of ten senior athletes, four on the Development Team and two riders whose ability is superior to the Army Team, who fit their training and racing around their full-time day jobs.

For Royal Signals officer Captain Pippa Inderwick, a development rider, this was her first experience of the Inter Services Championships:

“It was tougher than we thought but we worked well as a team."

The Army comes with perks and for me it’s been sport, at the moment that’s cycling." CAPTAIN PIPPA INDERWICK, DEVELOPMENT RIDER

"It is the first time I’ve taken part in a team-tactically ridden race and we achieved the aim to get one, two, three and the rest of us did our hardest at the end to hold off the Royal Air Force and Navy."

“I was nervous. There was more pressure than all of the races I’ve done this season, but I’m proud to have been part of the team.”

Captain Inderwick, who enjoys going out for casual rides and has dabbled with Triathlon in the past, explained how she made the team:

“I got into cycling through the Army Cycling Road Race series, I went with a few people from my unit, did one race and got a buzz."

“I did the Zwift League Turbo Trainer and the associated racing and then joined the army training weekend in Brecon which was an open invite for anyone wanting to get involved in women’s road cycling."

"From there I got picked up for the Development Team and found myself at the Inter Services.”

Pippa has made the most of the sport available in the Army, “it’s the thing that keeps her in.”

“The Army comes with perks and for me it’s been sport, at the moment that’s cycling. In the past it has been triathlon, swimming, and now I’m getting the benefits of cycling."

"The support that they give is so much more compared to civilian equivalent teams and we notice that when we go to races”, she said.

“The wrap around we get whether that’s kit, funding, help or just general advice makes the day job better.”

Captain Rachel McKenzie, said: “We have a fantastic scheme in the Army Cycling Union and also the schemes that you can push forward into the talented athletes’ sports scheme - the elite sports programmes which don’t have a ceiling.”

The ACU was created in 1950 to encourage cycling as a pastime regardless of age, gender or experience, and is committed to promoting and facilitating cycling across the Army.

It supports cyclists on the Army team who also race for elite civilian clubs, whose performances for the Army led to the opportunity to compete at a higher level. The Army teams also take part in high-end civilian competitions against some of the best amateur riders in the country.

British Army Sport has 45 recognised sports associations, eight winter sports disciplines and an Army elite sports programme.

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