Vulpine Matrix is one of the scrappy underdog teams in the Women’s Tour, up against international powerhouses like Marianne Vos’s Rabo Liv squad, Orica-GreenEdge and Wiggle-Honda.
One of just three elite British teams in the race, Vulpine Matrix is also the youngest. Four of the six riders in the Women’s Tour are still teenagers, though they have super-experienced and canny worlds cyclocross bronze medalist Helen Wyman as team leader to steer them right.
Sponsor Vulpine commissioned this little film about one of the youngsters, Jessie Walker, daughter of ex-pro Chris Walker. Only 19, the film shows her preparation for the Tour, including winning a race on her local roads of Yorkshire.
Vulpine boss Nick Hussey said: “This is a huge day for our young team, for women’s cycling in the UK and for women’s cycling Worldwide. I’m freaking out that I get to see the riders up against the best in the World. I hope they enjoy it as much I will!”
The Women’s Tour started in Oundle Northamptonshire this morning, and will take in five stages in the east of England, finishing in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.