A large field containing some of the UK's best female road racers lined up at the start gantry for the Women’s Criterium at the Smithfield Nocturne on the evening of Saturday 11th June.
From the gun the head of the peloton, which included Annie Simpson (Horizon Fitness) and Lucy Garner (Motorpoint Cycling) set a blistering pace. Such was the speed of the race that riders were being dropped even on the opening laps, with a few racers eventually being lapped a couple of times by the front runners.
On lap 3 Lucy Garner and her Motorpoint Cycling teammate Hannah Barnes, made a distinct break off the front, thus leading to even greater fragmentation of the field.
The two young Motorpoint Cycling stars were joined by Helen Wyman (Horizon Fitness) who had to try and play a tactical game knowing the explosive sprinting power of her two rivals.
Hannah Barnes takes the victory with teammate Lucy Garner right behind. Photo courtesy of Dave Hayward.
Behind this breakaway group, riders from the other leading teams of For Viored Brookvex, Condor Cycles and individuals such as Corrine Hall (Team Corridori) and Natalie Cresswick (Abus Nutrixxion) worked hard to bring back the escapees. For a brief moment it looked like their chase had been successful, only for Helen Wyman to put the hammer down and cause the group to split again.
Meanwhile, for the rest of the field it was a case of hanging on and surviving the relentless pace driven by the leading riders.
Even if some of the local girls were out of contention for the podium there was still scope for races to take place within the race.
Look Mum No Hands! RT in the thick of it, in front of the big crowd. Photo courtesy of Dave Hayward.
Further back, royal battles were fought between riders from Look Mum No Hands RT, London Dynamo, Kingston Wheelers CC and Pearson CC as women fought to bag those all-important points for their ranking in the London Women’s League.
All this provided great entertainment for the roaring crowds, as people were out in their droves to watch great racing that brightened up this cloudy Saturday night. Every time the women zoomed by, folks banged on the hoardings enthusiastically, which in turn spurred the riders to dig in that bit deeper.
After 30 minutes of an impressive display of women’s criterium racing in London, moves were made to determine the winner. Current National Criterium Champion Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint Cycling) sprinted clear of the trio to cross the finish line as the winner, for the third year running, of the Smithfield Nocturne Women’s Criterium. Lucy Garner (Motorpoint Cycling) and Helen Wyman (Horizon Fitness) gallantly filled the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.
Helen Wyman was presented with the Bean About Town Rider of the Day prize. Coralie Glaunes (Pearson CC) was awarded a pack of quality coffee beans from Bean About Town as a Lanterne Rouge prize.
The podium, from left to right: Lucy Garner, Hannah Barnes, Helen Wyman. Photo courtesy of Connie Stevens.
In league standings, Lydia Boylan and Emily Bagnall are tied for first, with the leadership going to Lydia based on her higher placings in league races. Look Mum No Hands! RT maintains its command as top team in the league.
1 Hannah Barnes Motorpoint Cycling *
2 Lucy Garner Motorpoint Cycling *
3 Helen Wyman Kona/ FSA Factory Team
4 Annie Simpson Horizon Fitness - Prendas Ciclismo
5 Amy Roberts For Viored Brookvex
6 Alice Barnes Motorpoint Cycling *
7 Nicola Juniper PCA Ciclos Uno
8 Harriet Owen Motorpoint Cycling *
9 Natalie Creswick Abus Nutrixxion
10 Ella Sadler-Andrews Horizon Fitness - Prendas Ciclismo
11 Rohan Battison For Viored Brookvex
12 Julie Krasniak For Viored Brookvex
13 Corrine Hall Team Corridori
14 Estelle Rogers Condor Cycles
15 Ceri Dipple Twenty3c-Orbea
16 Joanne McRae Look Mum No Hands *
17 Stephanie May Team Quest - The Bike Shop
18 Delia Beddis Condor Cycles
19 Emily Bagnall Kingston Whls CC *
20 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands *
21 Louise Mahe Mulebar Girl *
22 Charlotte Easton Look Mum No Hands *
23 Rachel Przybylski Condor Cycles
24 Caroline Harding AW Cycles *
25 Louise Moriarty Look Mum No Hands *
26 Hannah Walker Motorpoint Cycling *
27 Lisa Gunn Kingston Whls CC *
28 Emma Craddock Southdowns Bikes Cycling Club
29 Louise Fellingham London Dynamo/Prologue *
30 Tracy Corbett London Dynamo/Prologue *
31 Collyn Ahart London Dynamo/Prologue *
32 Ruby Miller Threads.com/DFT Cycling Team
33 Monica Da Polenza AW Cycles *
34 Coralie Glaunes Pearson Cycling Club *
35 Vikki Filsell Pearson Cycling Club *
36 Pan Pan Fan Look Mum No Hands *
*denotes LWCR league affiliated rider