Lancashire Hills with Lucy Martin

Lucy Martin Reaching Summit of Shayley Brow Training for 2012 Lotto-Decca Tour – © Paul Francis Cooper

 

On the first Sunday of the London Olympic Games, years of anticipation, hope and preparation came to fruition for Lucy Martin. As a member of Great Britain’s Women’s Olympic Road Race team, with Emma Pooley and Nicole Cooke, she gave her all on a treacherous, rain soaked, Box Hill Circuit, delivering a well orchestrated plan to help the team’s fourth member, Lizzie Armitstead, to take silver on the Mall and Great Britain’s first medal of the Games.

 

In so doing, she became the second cycling Olympian from her hometown of Widnes, Cheshire, since John Geddes secured bronze on the Melbourne track as part of a GB team pursuit team, which included Mike Gambrill, Don Burgess and nineteen-year old Tom Simpson in the 1956 Olympics.

 

Representing her country in the home Olympics marks the highest point so far in Martin’s cycling career, which started when she was fifteen years old, her potential spotted by British Cycling’s talent identification team on a visit to her secondary school. Although she had competed as a club swimmer and school runner, she had never before been involved in cycling, and, doubting that she could meet British Cycling requirements, almost missed the vital assessment session because of a timetable clash with another subject.

 

Recruited into the junior talent development team, she joined the Olympic Development Programme after winning the National Junior Road Race Championship in 2008.

 

Now an established professional women’s road racer based in Girona, Spain, with what she describes as the dream-like experience of taking part in the home Olympics behind her, she is very aware that the time is right to focus on new athletic and career targets.

Image © Paul Francis Cooper

 

I joined her on Lancashire’s lanes whilst she was out on a training ride in preparation for last weekend’s Belgian three-day stage race, the Lotto-Decca Tour. And she told me. “My three-weeks in the Olympic village were amazing – I had to pinch myself as I rubbed shoulders with the world’s greatest, like Usain Bolt. The crowds and excitement of the road race, and Lizzie winning the medal will stay with me forever. But coming home to my family in Widnes has been a really welcome chance to calm down and plan for the future.”

 

The third stage of the Lotto-Decca Tour involves two ascents of the Kapelmur Cobble, infamous as a regular feature in the Tour of Flanders. And Lucy’s training session took in an impressively fast ascent of Billinge’s Shayley Brow, which, with its 14% maximum gradient, is also a regular lung-tester for St Helens pro-rider Jonny McEvoy (Endura Racing) and Liverpool’s Mark McNally (An Post Sean-Kelly), regular winter training partners of Lucy when the three friends are home from racing and training abroad.

 

And her work on Shayley Brow went to good use in the tough final stage of the Lotto-Decca on Monday. Chasing an early break, she pulled hard at the front of the bunch for much of the stage, providing strong support for her team’s sprinter, Holland’s Kirsten Wild, who narrowly missed a podium placing with a bravely contested, but frustrating, fourth general classification position.

 

In career terms, Lucy’s next major target is to negotiate a new professional contract, having learned recently that her current team, AA Drinks-Leontein.nl, (which also includes  Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley and GB National Road Race winner, Sharon Laws on its team-list) will lose its sponsor at the end of the season.

 

Eyeing a number of options for 2013, she is hoping for greater interest in women’s cycling and the personal opportunity to switch from her current, mainly support, position to a team role in which she will be able to chase her own podium places more regularly.

 

 

 

Tour of Britain 2011 – Stage 6 – Taunton to Wells Image Gallery

 

[flagallery gid=4 name=”Gallery”]

 

The Tour of Britain 2011
Stage 6 Summary
Taunton to Wells 16 Sep 2011

** Indicates Under 23 riders
 

Stage

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Alexandre Pichot (Team Europcar)
  3. Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp)

Overall

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp)
  3. Daniel Lloyd (Team Garmin – Cervelo)

Points

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  3. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)

Mountains

  1. Jonathan Tiernan Locke (Rapha Condor – Sharp)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Stephen Cummings (Sky ProCycling)

Sprints

  1. Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post – Sean Kelly)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Lars Boom (Rabobank)

 

Written & edited by Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

Tour of Britain 2011 – Stage 5 – Exeter to Exmouth Image Gallery

 

[flagallery gid=3 name=”Gallery”]

 
I decided to take a few days off work to go and watch and shoot some photos of the Tour of Britain stage 5 and 6. I decided not to go to start or finish as it’s not so easy to get backwards and forwards from one location to another without get stuck in the tour traffic. I hope you enjoy them!

Paul.

 
The Tour of Britain 2011
Stage 5 Summary
Exeter to Exmouth 15 Sep 2011

** Indicates Under 23 riders
 

Stage

  1. Mark Renshaw (HTC Highroad)
  2. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
  3. Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare)

Overall

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  3. Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare)

Points

  1. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  2. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
  3. Lars Boom (Rabobank)

Mountains

  1. Jonathan Tiernan Locke (Rapha Condor – Sharp)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Stephen Cummings (Sky ProCycling)

Sprints

  1. Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post – Sean Kelly)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Andrew Fenn** (An Post – Sean Kelly)

 

Written by Paul Sloper & Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

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