Racing with friends crucial for Verulam Reallymoving’s newest signing Ella Ruggles

PUBLISHED: 06:36 13 March 2020

Ella Ruggles in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.

Ella Ruggles in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.

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Ella Ruggles says riding with friends was the main reason for her switch from hometown club Hitchin Nomads to Verulam Reallymoving.

Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.

The Hitchin Girls School pupil has been racing against Beth Watson for a number of years but is looking forward now to riding with her friend at the St Albans-based cycling race team in pursuit of bigger and better results.

She said: 'I'd been racing against Beth in Milton Keynes and other places and I liked their team. I saw what they had to offer and I ride with Beth all the time anyway.

'The race we did [two weeks ago] was myself and Beth working together tactically. We knew when to attack because there was the two of us.

'On that day I felt strong so I led her out.

Ella Ruggles in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.Ella Ruggles in action for Verulam Reallymoving at the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series.

'It's not as hard [as being on your own] and there isn't as much pressure when you're riding together. You still want to do well but you also want to do the team proud.'

And the lack of pressure also comes from within, with Ruggles happy to take her time settling into her new environment.

'I would like to do a few of the nationals but there is no real goal,' she said. 'I just want to try my best.

'I enjoy cyclo-cross so I'll do that at the end of the year although by that time I will have moved up into the juniors. That will be a step up.

Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving.Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving.

'[The goals aren't] as much as other members of the team but I'll still have team-mates to push me through races.'

But while packing out her list of achievements, or palmares as it is known in cycling, isn't high on the agenda, that hasn't stopped the good results flowing already.

She placed third in the U16 race if the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Youth Spring Series, as did Watson in the U14 category.

The younger Verulam star had broken away with two others, Amelia Cebak of Team MK and Welwyn Wheelers' Ellen Phillips and after building a considerable lead, it came down to a final sprint between the trio.

Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving.Beth Watson in action for Verulam Reallymoving.

Phillips ended up taking the win ahead of Cebak in second.

One day earlier Watson was fourth in a youth race held at the Lee Valley cyclopark.

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