All images ©chrismaher.co.uk
Round Two of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series
Round two of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series returned to the Stockton Cycling Festival for the forth year.
Part of a whole weekend of cycling activities, The Elite Circuit Race starts on the Friday Evening around the High Street in Stockton-On-Tees. The Saturday has a number of Sportive Rides that suit most abilities. On Sunday, The Sky Ride runs in conjunction with the Elite Road Series Velo29-Altura Grand Prix. The Grand Prix Series is the second half of the British Cycling calendar, and the Velo29 Altura Stockton Grand Prix resumes the racing season after the National Championships.
Round one of the Elite Circuit Series was held in Otley prior to the Le Tour Yorkshire Grand Depart. Combining a Women’s Event that was won by local girl Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans), Several Youth & Novice Races, and finishing the evening with Round One of the Elite Circuit Race Series that Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) won. Over 10000 spectators lined the course in a carnival atmosphere, and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and Tour de France Legend Bernard Hinault watched the nights racing.
In-between the first two rounds of the Circuit Series, the National Circuit Championships were held in Hull, mid-week. Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) went on to win the National Jersey, whilst Eileen Roe (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) took the Women’s Jersey.
Adam Blythe wasn’t down to ride the race tonight, nor second place man Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor JLT) but last years winner here in Stockton, George Atkins (Team Raleigh) is looking to defend his win.
George Atkins out sprints Scott Thwaites (NetApp Endura) to secure his second win in a row here in Stockton. Winning by a bikes length, the evening had started off with a delay from the previous race.
Team Raleigh were the dominant force, but that didn’t stop the other riders from trying to make a break.
The course had been modified from the previous race, cut short, but additional laps were added.
With early breaks from Alex Blain (Team Raleigh) Matt Cronshaw (Velosure Giordana), Dean Downing (NFTO Pro Cycling) and David Lines (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) nothing seem to stick.
Ian Wilkinson, Matthew Boulo and Alex Blains (Team Raleigh) all had a go on the front, but in the later stages, it was Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) that seemed to get the furthest ahead.
As the final few laps were approaching, the leading group were lapping the back riders, and in the final few corners towards the finish line, Hadley took a longer route around these stragglers to come in forth for the sprint. Dean Downing who rode a solid race throughout lead the group in for third position. Whilst the first local rider was Alex Bottomley (Wheelbase Altura) who came in further down on the night.
- George AtkinsTeam Raleigh
- Scott ThwaitesNetApp Endura
- Dean DowningNFTO Pro Cycling
- Richard HandleyRapha Condor JLT
- Alex BlainTeam Raleigh
- David LinesStarley Primal Pro Cycling
- Matt CronshawVelosure Giordana
- Alex PatonPedal Heaven Colbornes RT
- Gruffudd LewisPedal Heaven Colbornes RT
- Matthieu BouloTeam Raleigh
Standings TBC after round two.
Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races
Colne Grand Prix
Beverley Grand Prix
Sheffield Grand Prix
Wales Open Criterium
British Cycling Elite Circuit Series Home Page
My photos are regularly updated on https://www.flickr.com/photos/23913935@N07/
All images ©Chris Maher / CyclingShorts.cc 2014
All images ©Chris Maher / CyclingShorts.cc 2014
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.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk
Round Five of the Women’s Road Series returned to Northumberland for the third edition of the Curlew Cup. Won initially by Dame Sarah Storey in 2012, then Hannah Barnes in 2013, it follows the course of the Men’s Beaumont Trophy, but usually only on the smaller of the two circuits of Thirteen miles.
This year the Women’s event incorporates one of the larger twenty-two mile circuits that take’s in the double stepped Ryals climb on the last of the four circuits. If the race reaches here in a group, then it’s surely going to be the key point in the race. After the climb, it’s then a flat final run of around four miles to the finish line in Stamfordham.
A sunny 9.15am start for the girls in Stamfordham. Only forty or so riders took to the start line (out of seventy-six registered).
Series Leader Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon) and her closest rival Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) were the focus for the day. No Wiggle Honda ladies present in this round, but still plenty of quality riders from Matrix Fitness Vulpine, Epic Cycles Scott WRT and Velosport Pasta Montegrappa to name but a few.
Team Jadan continue their development with Sam Thoy and Annabel Sill riding the course and the National Series for the first time.
A neutralised first climb out of Stamfordham, saw the girls safely away. Sat on the back where Pearl Izumi’s Katie Archibald & Dame Sarah Storey.
Forty minutes later the group returned and were still all intact. Archibald and (Charline) Joiner headed the group, and series leader Nicola Juniper close at hand.
It was clear that Juniper’s objective was to mark any moves by Archibald, whose Pearl Izumi team mates including Joiner (returning to road racing for the first time since her training accident in Spain), were going to make it hard and use their numbers to control the race. Joiner took the first prime of the race.
On the third climb out of Stamfordham, Epic Cycles started to make a move but nothing really came of it. Joiner once again took the prime.
On the final small lap out of Stamfordham, it was Velosport Pasta Monegrappa’s turn to escape from the group and try and form a working group. But once again they were brought back together. Joiner took the final prime in the race.
Around the backside of the course as the pace increased, the field then began to split, and coming back into Stamfordham for the final large Ryals lap, the group had split in half with smaller pockets of riders trailing behind. This was where the race began to form.
With the main contenders all in the leading group, now down to about twenty, Pearl Izumi began to take control.
As the Ryals approached, the field were reduced further, to around eight riders.
It was Dame Helen Storey that cranked the pace to full gas, for the last run into Stamfordham. This left team-mate and GC contender Archibald a clear path to sprint for the finish line.
Series leader Juniper wasn’t going to let her get away easily and followed her in to a close second. Third on the day went to Matrix Fitness Vulpine’s Jessie Walker, just ahead of both Gemma Neill and Gabby Shaw.
Things nearly went horribly wrong for Series Leader Nicola Juniper who’s car broke-down on route, and left her One-Hundred and Fifty miles short of where she wanted to be!
I spoke to Nicola after the race and asked her about her thoughts on the season so far.
She had won the first Series race, the Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir in a two girl sprint, up to the finish line, against Alexi Shaw (Epic Cycles Scott WRT), she had come fourth, in round two; the Cheshire Classic with another climb to the finish.
She spoke about being pleased that she still had the lead. She had done her homework and knew that there was a two point difference between first and second positions, so her objective was to mark her closest rival (Archibald) today. It’s no secret that the Pearl Izumi girls and the Wiggle Honda girls want to use their team tactics to take the overall series, Nicola said they would have to work for it, if that’s what they wanted to do. She was going to chip away at the remaining rounds, but wouldn’t be disappointed if one on the younger girls took away the lead.
She has great admiration for both Katie and Laura, her closest rivals. They’re both “World Class” athletes she pointed out, “They both ride the track, and the road”. “I’m getting older,” she laughed. “As long as I’m riding my bike, I’m quite happy”. And when talking to the other girls about racing, they all show the same passion.
Nicola told me her objectives this year were to do a ten, and a twenty (Time Trial, that is), and the Nocturne that she won a week or so ago! So has good reason to be ‘quite happy’ with things at the moment.
Nicola is down to ride the Otley GP on Wednesday 2nd July for round six. It looks like she will be up against Laura Trott who’s lying third so far, no Katie Archibald on the entry list yet.
There are another five rounds to go in the series, a couple of two-days and a couple of circuit races. The next race in the North here, is the Ryedale GP out of Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, on Sunday 20th July. It includes the National Junior Women’s Road Race Championships.
Nicola Juniper retains her lead in the Women’s Road Race Series after round five, but Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International’s Katie Archibald is closing-in, in second place. Wiggle Honda’s Laura Trott remains in third place.
1 Katie Archibald 2:24.35 – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
2 Nicola Juniper 0.01 – Team Echelon
3 Jessie Walker 0.01 – Matrix Fitness Vulpine
4 Gemma Neill 0.01 – Un-attached
5 Gabby Shaw 0.01 – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
6 Alexi Shaw 0.01 – Epic Cylcles Scott WRT
7 Rebecca Rimmington 0.03 – Merlin Cycles
8 Julie Erskine 0.03 – Velosport
9 Anna Ewing 0.03 – VW Breda
10 Jane Barr 0.03 – Velocity
11 Anna Christian 0.04 – WyndyMilla Reynolds
12 Chloe Frazer 0.04 – Deeside Thistle
13 Emma Grant 0.05 – Tibco
14 Lucy Coldwell 0.05 – Velosport
15 Dame Sarah Storey 0.12 – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
16 Hannah Walker 0.52 – Epic Cycles Scott WRT
17 Lauren Creamer 0.52 – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
18 Elizabeth Holden 0.53 – RST Racing Team
19 Charline Joiner 0.53 – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
20 Eve Dixon 0.53 – Team 22
35 Sam Thoy 15.21 – Team Jadan
36 Annabel Sill 15.21 – Team Jadan
Prime Charline JoinerPearl Izumi Sports Tours International
Ave Speed 32.476 Kph
Women’s Road Race Standings after Round Five
1 Nicola Juniper – 139 – Team Echelon
2 Katie Archibald – 135 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
3 Laura Trott – 101 – Wiggle Honda
4 Gabriella Shaw – 80 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
5 Danielle King – 64 – Wiggle Honda
6 Grace Garner – 58 – RST Racing Team
7 Elinor Barker – 55 – Wiggle Honda
8 Lydia Boylan – 50 – Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
9 Alexie Shaw – 49 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
10 Abigail Dentus – 42 – Team de Ver
11 Molly Weaver – 40 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
11 Lowri Devey – 40 – Abergavenny RC
13 Megan Barker – 37 – M&D Cycles/Scimitar Sports/Fusion Sports RT
14 Jessie Walker – 36 – Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
15 Jo Tindley – 33 – Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
16 Amy Roberts – 31 – Wiggle Honda
16 Chloe Frazer – 31 – Deeside Thistle
18 Hannah Walker – 29 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
19 Hayley Jones – 28 – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
19 Harriet Owen – 28 – Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
19 Rebecca Womersley – 28 – WyndyMilla – Reynolds
19 Anna Christian – 28 – Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
Results by British Cycling
Women’s Road Race Standings TBC
The next round of the Women’s Road Race Series is the Otley GP on Wednesday 2nd July.
Images ©chrismaher.co.uk/Cycling Shorts – photos are regularly updated on flicker.com
Round Four in the Women’s Road Race Series was held in Lancashire. Over a two day period the race was split into three events. A one mile individual time trial prologue, A fourty-five minute criterium and an eighty-one kilometre circuit race.
Wiggle Honda’s Laura Trott won both the individual time trial and the criterium to hold the blue leaders jersey over-night. Pearl Izumi’s Katie Archibald was a close second, followed by RST Racing Team’s Grace Garner in third.
A damp start to the final event brought an early end for several riders in the first couple of circuits. This didn’t affect the top placed girls, and a couple of attacks by Archibald, Storey and Dani King split the peleton into three groups. A mechanical for Storey, saw her drop back from a leading group of around thirty girls by lap five.
The main group remained together for a couple of laps, with Storey maintaining her deficit at around two-twenty, but unable to re-join the leaders.
A chat the evening before amongst the Wiggle girls, had come up with a plan to make a surprise attack from within the group. Mid way through the race, the girls found themselves stuck in the middle, with no-one wanting to attack. So with this game plan in mind they launched a drive up the “Little Rise” on the course. Trott, then King, then Elinor Barker went away from the bunch and this was the decisive move that shaped the final out-come.
Talking to Laura after the race, she said about their game plan, “This is the perfect situation”. “I looked behind an it was just the three of us. I looked behind again and Katie had joined us”. “We just worked then as a Team Pursuit”. “With Dani and Elinor counter attacking (Archibald) all the way to the end, I just got a free ride to the finish”.
The Wiggle Girls then led the race leader into the final sprint for the line, with Archibald chasing them down. Trott had the freshest legs to follow, then lunged for the line, beating Archibald for the third successive time.
Surf & Turf 2Day Final overall.
1 Laura Trott Wiggle Honda 03:00:53
2 Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:00:12
3 Danielle King Wiggle Honda 00:00:23
4 Elinor Barker Wiggle Honda 00:00:31
5 Grace Garner RST Racing Team 00:02:21
6 Lydia Boylan Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa 00:02:27
7 Nicola Juniper Private Member 00:02:28
8 Jo Tindley Matrix Fitness – Vulpine 00:02:29
9 Megan Barker M and D Cycles/Scimitar Sports/ Fusion Sports RT 00:02:29
10 Rebecca Womersley WyndyMilla – Reynolds 00:02:30
11 Emily Nelson Fusion Development Racing Team 00:02:30
12 Elizabeth Malins Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:02:30
13 Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:02:31
14 Abigail Dentus Team De ver 00:02:31
15 Melissa Lowther Matrix Fitness – Vulpine 00:02:31
16 Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:02:32
17 Lucy Shaw Solihull CC 00:02:32
18 Rebecca Rimmington Merlin Cycles 00:02:33
19 Eve Dixon Team 22 00:02:34
20 Jane Barr Velocity 44 Stirling 00:02:34
Stage two 81 Kms or 13 laps of 6.2 Kms.
1 Laura Trott Wiggle Honda 02:07:08
2 Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 02:07:08
3 Danielle King Wiggle Honda 02:07:10
4 Elinor Barker Wiggle Honda 02:07:13
5 Grace Garner RST Racing Team 02:09:08
6 Megan Barker M and D Cycles/Scimitar Sports/ Fusion Sports RT 02:09:08
7 Nicola Juniper Private Member 02:09:08
8 Rebecca Womersley WyndyMilla – Reynolds 02:09:08
9 Abigail Dentus Team De ver 02:09:08
10 Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 02:09:08
Stage one 45 min Criterium.
1 Laura Trott Wiggle Honda 00:51:50
2 Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:51:55
3 Grace Garner RST Racing Team 00:51:57
4 Danielle King Wiggle Honda 00:52:00
5 Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:52:00
6 Elinor Barker Wiggle Honda 00:52:00
7 Lydia Boylan Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa 00:52:00
8 Claire Thomas Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa 00:52:00
9 Nicola Juniper Private Member 00:52:00
10 Jo Tindley Matrix Fitness – Vulpine 00:52:00
Prologue Time Trial 1.6Kms.
1 Laura Trott Wiggle Honda 00:02:05
2 Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:02:07
3 Grace Garner RST Racing Team 00:02:09
4 Danielle King Wiggle Honda 00:02:09
5 Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:02:10
6 Elinor Barker Wiggle Honda 00:02:11
7 Lydia Boylan Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa 00:02:12
8 Claire Thomas Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa 00:02:13
9 Nicola Juniper Private Member 00:02:13
10 Jo Tindley Matrix Fitness – Vulpine 00:02:14
Results by British Cycling
Women’s Road Race Standings TBC
The next round of the Women’s Road Race Series in the Curlew Cup is in Northumberland on Sunday 22nd June.