Thursday, 4 May 2017

Les Filles Queen of the Mountains RT do the Bedford 3 Day

Thanks must be given to John Miles and team for putting on another edition of the Bedford 3 Day, part of the women's team series that enables grassroots teams from across the country to compete against each other.

Our quietly spoken team comprised of:-
  • Tracy Corbett - former international rower and current holder of the 'most positive person ever' record
  • Delia Beddis - won the Three Peaks last year on one bottle of water and a Yorkshire pudding
  • Louise Heywood-Mahe - former winner of the Women's Tour of Yorkshire, and young person who shows us how to operate our phones
  • Helen McKay - recent winner of blue hoodie on eBay
  • Karla Boddy - our 'special' guest, who you may know as a former winner of the Cheshire Classic
  • Nicole Oh - our patient Captain and former winner of Crystal Palace Crits and numerous pie primes
  • Support crew - wives, girlfriends and riders themselves provided wonderful home-baked goodies and moral support. Merci!

The weekend 

The whole weekend was probably more like a hen-do than a stage race. 

Our fantastic team had an average age of 36. This meant we could share stories about Ocado deliveries and get our own ages confused over a bottle of red, or 4, which we did each evening. 

We laughed over the real but funny names of people we've worked with, ate some wonderful chocolate brownies and a chilli thanks to KB, and went on a linguistic world adventure discovering terms for 'foo foo' and the parts of it which hurt most. 

We nearly ground to a halt when there was no tea or cake on either day 2 or 3. We somehow struggled on....

Saturday - Stage 1 - prologue

In less than 6 minutes we all reduced ourselves to wheezy, coughy, lungless messes. We had 5 Les Filles QOM riders within (about) 30sec of the Yellow jersey, which was a solid result and gave us options (I swiftly opted not to remain there).

Saturday - Stage 2 - 70km Road Race

An eye-opening neutralised section followed by a race which we all survived. Nic had a go off the front but was soon reeled back in. Karla, Nic, Delia and Lou, finished in the bunch (despite bad crash in last kilometre). Now 4 Les Filles QOM riders in top half of the field. We may have been reprimanded for “inappropriate language, especially in the presence of children”. Apologies.

Very glad to hear that riders who had come down were back on their feet the next day. Riders: Please do not put the safety of others at risk. No one wants to see anyone get hit by a car. It may be legal to cross the white line, but it can also cause accidents. As one team member so eloquently put it, “You may be able to bungy jump without a rope, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea”.

I wasn't really in this race because I got a call from TC, to say that there were some missing kittens. We had to track them down and save them from the evil professor. You can see from GC who else helped us on our mission. We sacrificed our race but got those kitties back home. 

Sunday - Stage 3 - TTT

We put in lots of practice in the 16 mins getting to the start. This TTT was fast and hard, TC sacrificed herself and got us off to a fast start. This was my favourite part of the racing: busting a gut with your mates, wearing colour-coordinated Velotoze - does it get any better? 

Well done to Team On Form who cemented their lead and won the TTT too. We were very happy to get joint 2nd with the mighty Ford-EcoBoost Team, and just pip the slick HSS-Aprire team by 1 second - tight as! Really shows how every second counted.

Sunday - Stage 4 - 80km Road Race

Interesting start with race cars in the peloton. Very windy day. Karla, Nic, Delia and Lou finished in the bunch and remained high up on GC, with KB sneaking into the top 10 despite having “sh*t legs”. Special mentions to Alice Lethbridge riding for Lovelo-Cinelli, and Emma Lewis (sometimes known as Amy Jones) of HSS-Aprire, who by many accounts were responsible for much of the pace-making which made this stage a lot safer. 

Don't know how race played out because TC and I got a call. A strongly-accented dictator of a country that doesn't exist was planning to kidnap our Queen and hold her for a ransom of 1 million Corgis. We moved fast. Can't reveal the details, but let's just say that Her Majesty didn't miss a minute of the Eastenders omnibus.        

Monday - Stage 5 - 77km Road Race

Another interesting start with fastest neutralised yet out of HQ. Another windy day. Lou attacked but was closely monitored, and with GC separated by very few seconds nothing was let go. Nic soon followed with another go at practicing her time-trialling to no avail. Karla, Nic, Delia and Lou once again finished in the bunch, maintaining their high GC places.

Phone rings. TC and I sprang into action. An alien life form, threatening to take over the world? We overhelmed those aliens with our cunning and caffinated gels. You say heros. Maybe, we say, chewing a toothpick standing in a badly-lit alley, some things are worth a DNF.  

GC - Overall

Well, at time of writing we're not 100% sure what the results are, but we think we may have got 2nd team overall, with Lou and Karla in top 10 on GC, Delia and Nic in top 15, but we won't know until results are finalised. Not sure if the Asbo tags were a help or hindrance to the race.

Helen the Shorter (McKay) 🐴

📷 Thanks to Huw Williams and some iPhones for the photos

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Les Filles RT welcome new title sponsor in 2017

As Les Filles Racing Team approaches their 5th season racing in the UK women’s peloton, they are pleased to announce some exciting news. 

The team have welcomed a title sponsor for the first time in their existence, and will race under the name of Les Filles Queen of the Mountains Racing Team.

Queen of the Mountains ( is a women’s specific performance cycling brand founded and owned by Alicia Bamford. They create beautiful cycling clothing designed by women, for women, and will be providing the team with innovatively designed, great looking, high performance race kit this season. 

Les Filles and Queen of the Mountains are looking forward to working together to promote awareness of women’s cycling and in turn, encourage more women to take up cycling as a sport and increase participation in women’s racing.

The team welcomes Louise Moriarty (from Look Mum no Hands! RT) in 2017.

Louise brings a wealth of experience (and sprinting prowess) to the team, having raced for Pro teams on the Continent, as well as racing in World Cups and World Championships on the track and road. She has a number of Irish National titles to her name, as well as winning the Ras na mBan general classification on two occasions. 

The rest of the racing team is made up of the usual suspects - Tracy Corbett, Delia Beddis, Helen McKay, Louise Mahe, Sophie Curle and Nicole Oh. They also have a number of part-time/semi-retired/social members, who you may or may not see on the race circuit this year, including Clem Copie (who is now based in Annecy), Laura Greenhalgh, and Alexie Shaw, as well as regular guest Jayne Paine. Coralie Glaunes and Clare Gillott continue as support crew.

Les Filles Queen of the Mountains RT are grateful for ongoing support from Imperial Cycles Workshop in Isleworth ( who have provided mechanical support, servicing and equipment to the team over the past 4 years. Jim Clarkson continues with keeping their website up-to-date (

The team will be racing in selected Elite and National level road events, starting with the opening round of the Women’s Team Series at Hog Hill on 12th March, for which they are defending champions. They will also be found at some local events en masse, including the Tuesday night Crystal Palace world champs.

For any team enquiries, please contact Team manager Nicole at

Twitter: @LesFillesRT
Facebook: LesFillesRT

Finally, Les Filles Queen of the Mountains RT are still looking to recruit a couple of riders for their race team, ideally (but not essentially) based around the London area. If you have experience racing at National level and would like to target this in 2017, value team work (on and off the bike), and like some fun mixed in with hard racing, please get in touch for more information.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


As you may or may not know, Les Filles Racing Team is a fully self-funded and self-run women’s racing team who complete at Elite and National level races. We are thankful to have the support of a few small companies and individuals who volunteer their time and/or services to help us out. One of these companies is Wildoo clothing, who supply us with our lovely race kit, and their subsidiary company Velopac have provided us with customised musettes and ridepacs this year. We have a limited number of these great products available to sell, and we plan to use any funds raised to pay for race entries for the team.

The Musettes come with an adjustable strap, zipper, are water-resistant and can be wiped down clean. The Ridepacs are extremely practical, big enough to fit your coins and cards AND iPhone6, but still fit snuggly in your jersey pocket. It is also made out of water-resistant material. You can check them out on

So if you are a fan of Les Filles, like the design, need a musette or ride wallet, or just want to support us in some way, get in touch. Supplies are limited!

The musettes are £20, ridepacs £25, or both for £40!
We can organise pick-up or postage (for a small charge)
Please contact us via email (, twitter or Facebook to purchase.

Here are a couple of photos of them in action at our training camp!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Women's Tour of Yorkshire

Les Filles RT are ready to support Louise Mahe, LAST YEAR’S WINNER, to battle with the best and smash up the streets of Yorkshire on Saturday! Well that’s the plan anyway, admittedly the Tour of Yorkshire is going to be one of the hardest races our team has ever done, but we will endeavour to do the Number 1 jersey proud (Disclaimer: we do not actually know if Lou gets the Number 1 jersey). 

We also have plenty of local family and friends to do proud and thank for making this possible. Competing in this sort of race is nothing short of a logistical nightmare when your team all have full time jobs, but such is the Yorkshire way, we’ve not been short of people offering to help out. Thanks everyone!

So other than LAST YEAR’s WINNER, who else are we bringing to battle?
·       Delia Beddis. She's from Otley too you know.
·       Clem Copie
·       Captain (Nicole) Oh
·       Laura Greenhalgh
·       Helen Ralston

Support comes in the way of mechanic George Kirkin (Imperial Cycles), honorary team manager and DS Michael Williams, as well as Terry Beddis, Helen McKay, Simon Shaw and Lexie Williams holding the (very important) reigns (and baby) as chief supporters/swannies/drivers.

You can watch us LIVE on Eurosport from 8.30am, or ITV4 from 10am.

The provisional start list can be found here:-

Wish is luck!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Training camp - our week in the "sun"

The Mallorcan weather gods were not kind to us this year, with just about everyday being wet and/or windy. Now, coming from the UK, this sounds like pretty standard fair, but on an island not accustomed to these conditions, the wet roads become slippery and treacherous, the strong gusty winds made the exposed descents slightly terrifying, and higher ground tended to attract sleet and snow. Needless to say, our optimistic program had to be modified and cut down significantly.

The week did not start well, when Captain Oh realised on putting on her kit and preparing to go out on a warm-up spin, that she had left her cycling shoes in London! The next morning we were greeted by hail. Then on Day 3, George our mechanic fell ill, and was bed-bound for most of the camp. Then Laura also fell ill. At least no one fell off their bikes.

We did manage some good rides in between the wrath of the weather gods. On Day 2 we embarked on a 120km ride along the Pipe Rd then up and over the Orient, where we stopped for lunch in a cafe with a sunny terrace and promptly stripped off our leg and arm warmers. This lasted about 10min before it clouded over and we were huddled around the open fire inside. On Day 4 we set out early on a beautiful sunny rolling ride out to the coast at Cala Ratjada and back, then sat smugly on the couch in the afternoon as it pissed it down once again. Then Day 6 brought us the mother of all rides. The annual Mallorca motor rally diverted our route to Valldemossa not once, but twice, the second occasion nearly left us in tears as we were told we had to turn around and ride back up and over the Pig (Puig Major) when we were just 35km from home. The 212km/2800m epic ride won’t be forgotten for some time. And I think we nearly killed Paino.

All this “lack of” riding left plenty of time for team bonding and there were plenty of laughs, washed down with truck-loads of wine. We took advantage of the free time to watch the cycling on tele (Go Cav & Wiggo!), make Welsh cakes and Sausage rolls, let out our competitive juices in Jungle Speed, hang out at Tolo’s, sit slug-like on the couch, and generally poke fun at everyone and everything.

So, bring on the race season. We’re ready for you… kind of…

Friday, 4 December 2015


Les Filles RT are entering into their 4th season and are proud to continue as an established team in the UK women’s peloton. One of the aims of the team is to provide opportunities for more mature (in age) riders, who are not interested in making cycling a career, to test themselves against the best in the country. They will again target Elite and National level road events, with the addition of several trips and races abroad.

Les Filles has essentially remained a London-based team to enable them to train and socialise together. As time-poor racers with full-time jobs and/or dependants, they will once again be faced with the challenge of balancing careers, family, training and racing.

Les Filles are grateful for ongoing support from Imperial Cycles Workshop in Isleworth (, who run the popular Imperial Winter Series, which had outstanding numbers in their women’s races last year. Wildoo ( have extended their support for 2016, supplying race kit and Velopac accessories ( Jim Clarkson continues with kit design and website (

Les Filles are pleased to announce their 2016 squad. They have retained the majority of their riders with a few exciting additions and personalities.

Clemence Copie joins from Pearl-Izumi Sports Tours International. Clem is a strong all-round rider with UCI experience, and brings some more Frenchness to the team.

Jen Crouch moves over from Team Velosport. A real powerhouse on both the track and road, expect Jen to feature in some fast finishes with her fearsome sprint.

Sophie Curle won the Surrey League in 2015 racing for Twickenham CC in her first season of road racing. She is keen to step up a level, and race with and learn from more experienced team members.

Louise Mahe joins from IKON-Mazda. Lou is a naturally gifted and technically skilled rider with an impressive palmares, which includes junior road race champion, inaugural Tour of Yorkshire winner, and 4th in the National Criterium Champs in 2015. She has just commenced her first year of teaching, which she has found far more challenging than racing!

We welcome back Alexie Shaw, also from IKON-Mazda, who departed the team in 2014. Lexie is expecting her first child in December, but is keen to get back on the bike and regain her fitness, fuelled by her natural competitive instinct and additional red blood cells.

Staying with the team in 2016 are Helen Ralston, Laura Greenhalgh, Delia Beddis, Tracy Corbett, and Nicole Oh, who will form the core of the road team along with the new recruits. Helen McKay is looking to build on her highly successful 2015 TT season, which saw her podium at the RTTC National Circuit Champs and win a silver medal at the UCI Amateur TT Championships in Denmark.

Coralie Glaunes and Clare Gillott will provide much needed off-the-bike support, taking on DS roles for target races, and providing organisational and race day support, as well as racing locally. Vikki Filsell is not quite ready for her 2nd retirement from racing, and may be seen at the odd event in 2016.

Team manager and captain Nicole Oh explains the strategy for 2016: 
"2015 was another fantastic year, with each rider playing an integral part in the team's successes* With a team bolstered by such strong and enthusiastic riders, we expect to continue to challenge at National and local races in the upcoming season. We plan to race hard and in good spirit. Bike racing is fun after all.” 
*We had a shed-load of fun and even managed some top results

For any team enquiries, please contact Nicole at

Twitter: @LesFillesRT
Facebook: LesFillesRT