Round Six of the Women’s Road Series
Lizzie Armitstead returns home to race in this year’s Women’s Otley Grand Prix.
Local girl Lizzie who rides on the continent for Boels Dolmans Cycling Team returns to participate in this year’s event. Preparing herself now for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the end of the month, has tapered her training towards that Gold Medal whilst her team mates ride this year’s Giro Rosa.
The Tour De France passes through Oltey on stage one just after the Grand Depart, so this year’s event is extra special with many events planned on the run up to 5th July.
Series leader Nicola Juniper is down to ride, but Katie Archibald isn’t listed to start the race. Third in the series Laura Trott has been entered into the race along with fourth place Gabby Shaw, who’s hungry for the title.
A late afternoon start to the race in the presence of Tour De France Legend Bernard Hinault, and Le Tour Director Christian Pruhomme with over ten thousand spectators lining the course got underway with Series Leader Nicola Juniper at the head of race.
Taking over the lead, to the delight of the crowd was Armitstead by lap two. Getting in on the action behind Lizzie was Pearl Izumi’s Gaby Shaw, not fazed by the crowds shouting.
Armitstead was using her strength and ability to ride hard on the front, with similar tactics to last weekend’s Nationals. The field had grew in length and by lap four had split into at least four groups.
A few attacks had been tried, even with the high pace, but Armitstead was joined at the front by Pearl Izumi’s Dame Helen Storey. Juniper (Team Echelon) was beginning to get distanced in group two on the road along with her closest rival Gaby Shaw. Wiggle Honda’s Laura Trott hadn’t taken a start in this race, nor her team mate Elinor Barker.
By lap six, the pair had extended their lead to twenty-six seconds, and that extended to forty-seven seconds by lap eight.
Towards the last few laps, they seemed to be the beginnings of a chase, and the leaders began lapping the field. But as the bell lap approached, Armitstead and Storey were well clear.
Coming into the final straight, Lizzy Armistead had plenty of time to check behind and prepare herself for the cruise across the line, arms aloft. Storey then arrived and waived to the applauding crowd as she cross the line in second.
The lapped field then crossed the line, before the next group with Juniper and Shaw both sprinting for third position. Gaby Shaw had though that she had done enough of a sprint to beat Juniper, and seemed quite pleased that she had got third place, but Juniper kept accelerating across the line to clinch the third place, denying Shaw from narrowing the series lead between them both.
1 Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) 37-41
2 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) at 16sec
3 Nicola Juniper (Echelon Rotor) at 2-14
4 Gaby Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) at same time
5 Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing Team)
6 Anna Walker (Epic Cycles-Scott)
7 Melissa Lowther (Matrix Fitness-Vulpine)
8 Elizabeth Holden (RST Racing Team)
9 Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness-Vulpine)
10 Delia Beddis (Les Filles RT) all same time
Women’s Road Race Standings after Round Six
1 Nicola Juniper139Team Echelon
2 Katie Archibald 135Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
3 Laura Trott 101Wiggle Honda
4 Gabriella Shaw 80Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
5 Danielle King 64Wiggle Honda
6 Grace Garner 58RST Racing Team
7 Elinor Barker 55Wiggle Honda
8 Lydia Boylan50Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
9 Alexie Shaw 49Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
10 Abigail Dentus 42Team de Ver
11 Molly Weaver 40Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
11 Lowri Devey 40Abergavenny RC
13 Megan Barker 37M&D Cycles/Scimitar Sports/Fusion Sports RT
14 Jessie Walker36Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
15 Jo Tindley33Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
16 Amy Roberts 31Wiggle Honda
16 Chloe Frazer31Deeside Thistle
18 Hannah Walker 29Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
19 Hayley Jones 28Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
19 Harriet Owen 28Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
19 Rebecca Womersley 28WyndyMilla – Reynolds
19 Anna Christian28Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
Nicola Juniper extends her lead in the Women’s Road Race Series after round six.
The odds are getting more favourable now for Juniper to carry the title to the end, as sadly, the Sheffield Grand Prix mid week race later in July has just been cancelled due to lack of entrants.
Results by British Cycling
Women’s Road Race Standings TBC
The next round of the Women’s Road Race Series is the Essex Giro 2day 12-13 July.