Update on the Cheshire Classic

Coverage on the main road section of British Cycling
As you may or may not know I'm promoting this year's Cheshire Classic Women's Road Race with Terry Veal on Sunday 22nd April. The race is promoted by Weaver Valley Cycling Club and is the first race on the British Cycling National Calendar.

It's been a busy 4 months, I've put our new but basic website live and introduced a Twitter feed. We've had a good response, gaining new followers everyday and the website is getting around 500 hits a month at the moment.

One of the biggest issues has been getting sponsorship for the event. Last year we had a nasty accident involving a motorist which hospitalised two riders. We have a convoy of cars with flashing lights and a dedicated first aid car however for 2012 we wanted to get National Escort Group outriders and Paramedic support.

I sent out 50 letters to cycling focussed companies around the North West and 20 to local businesses. I didn't get a reply. I tweeted about our struggle to find sponsors and luckily Epic Cycles got involved, they approached us and thanks to their money we were able to fund the National Escort Group and Paramedic support. We had a great response on Twitter and the Press Release was picked up by Cycling Weekly, British Cycling, VeloUk amongst others. I was delighted.

We have since been approached by a local business LightboxUK, and thanks to their sponsorship our prize fund is now bigger than in 2011.

I've been delighted by the coverage and response we are receiving from the cycling media. I hope this continues. Funnily enough getting local press coverage has been near enough impossible. The local paper believing that non-league football and rugby teams, out of season cricket practice and crown green bowls is more important than a major National Series race which sees the Country's top Elite riders including a current World Champion battle it out.

There has been a lot of debate about investment in Women's cycling. Until the media gives Women's cycling more column inches it won't go anywhere no matter how hard you send letters and email. I'm working hard to get sponsors on board and to make the race the best I possibly can, however sponsors don't want to spend money if they are not going to get a visible return.

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