On Saturday we had a five strong team of Gabby,Lizzy,Liz, Vicky, and Hannah racing in the Essex Giro, the second round of the National Womens Road Series . We had the added pressure of defending the overall leaders jersey thanks to Lizzys incredible win in the Tour of the Wolds so we knew that we were going to be heavily marked by the other leading teams.
Our five riders fought hard, marking the early moves and chasing back breaks. They met the pressure from their rivals head on and but for bad luck would almost certainly have got more from the result.
Gabby had this to say:
"With Lizzy in the series leader’s jersey our plan was to protect the jersey and keep it in the team. Hannah, Liz, Vicki and I were to stay near the front of the peloton and marshal the race to make sure no potentially threatening attacks got away. Storey Racing, Ford Ecoboost and Team OnForm kept sending riders off the front but SunsportVelo RT were quick to respond to everything. Unfortunately our series leader came down in a crash just over halfway through the race. She managed to get back to the bunch thanks to a stellar effort from Liz but unfortunately missed the crucial breakaway which went on to challenge for the race win. Despite being battered from the crash and her rear brakes rubbing against the rim Lizzy still managed a fine 11th place. We lost the jersey to Storey Racing’s Chanel Mason who managed to get up the road in the winning break of 3 riders. Although we didn’t get the end result we wanted we rode the race with fantastic cohesion as a team and came away with plenty of positives to take with us in to the rest of the season! Lizzy is currently sitting 2nd in the overall series standing and there are still plenty of rounds left with opportunities to claw the jersey back!"
On Sunday, Lizzy tackled round three of the RTTC Classic series on an incredibly demanding 37mile course, taking in Worcestershire's Stanford bank, the infamous Ankerdine Hill and, to kill everyone off, finishing atop the Shelsley Walsh motor hill climb course. Here's what she said.
"After Essex I was unsure as to whether I would be able to start as the pain from my crash was so bad, but I managed to relieve it mostly with stretching and so it thankfully wasn't too troublesome. However, I was suffering like a dog with fatigue! I knew the course was hard but I had been unable to rekkie it and so I didn't realise quite how tough it was going to be! I just tried to be consistent and not push too hard at the beginning and burn out! I was really pleased to come away with 2nd given the less than ideal preparation! Hayley Simmonds once again took the top spot with a fantastic margin with Jackie Field rounding out the podium. Thanks to the organisers, Beacon RCC, for putting on such a fantastic race on a really testing course!"
On the 29th April we will be over in Yorkshire for one of the season highlights,the Tour de Yorkshire. Our riders will be Lizzy, Gabby, Seonaid, Liz, Hannah and Rosie. This is likely to be our stiffest challenge of the season and we are really relishing the prospect of mixing it up with some of the biggest and best names in world cycling. All of our riders are in peak form and our early season results have given us a great belief that we can play a major part in what promises to be a thrilling race.
We will have a full report and gallery shortly afterwards including rider interviews and first hand accounts of all of the action.
Following our success in the Tour of the Wolds and our entry into the Tour De Yorkshire we found ourselves the focus of attention for the BBC when their Look North regional news programme asked to do a feature on us to be included in their Tour De Yorkshire preview show. A reporter and camera man came along to the Yorkshire Day at the Races on Good Friday where they interviewed our riders, had a good look at our bike and kit and then filmed the race. The bonus of course was that Felicity took the win, so they also got some top step podium footage at the end!
Its a big congratulations to our sprint sensation Felicity. She has had an outstanding start to the season bagging several wins and accumulating enough ranking points in the process to get her Second Cat licence. Well done Felicity, you are a star!
"I won! I won! I don't have to go to school anymore."
~Eddy Merckx, after winning his first bike race
Next up in the One Question hot seat is Liz. Liz is well travelled and is often spotted on social media riding her bike in some far flung location, so this question is especially for her.
Q. Where is the best place you have ever ridden your bike?
A. New Zealand
In preparation for next weeks Tour De Yorkshire our riders have been testing out the course. On separate days and by coincidence both Rosie and Seonaid posted photos taken in the same spot on the Cote De Lofthouse. Great minds!
Posted on 24th April 2017 at 12:00pm.