Sunday's road race -- one of only three open road races for women in the southeast region this year -- was a nice change from the usual circuit racing format of the LWCR. Round 9 saw 19 starters and finishers on a warm sunny day befitting late July.
Right from the start the Look Mum No Hands team, especially Charlotte Easton, enforced the pace, and the field was soon strung out into single file before hitting the steepest hill on the course. This hill, which has a gradient of 17%, combined with a very rough road surface, could easily have split up the bunch, but everyone re-grouped on the following downhill section.
Not long into the race Nicola Juniper (Inverse/Cyclaim) and Jo McRae (Look Mum No Hands) attacked hard and opened up a considerable gap. However, after about a lap, first Jo and then Nicola were caught by the bunch, which was still moving fast due to the pace set by, among others, the Kingston Wheelers' Emily Bagnall and Lisa Gunn. Anna Grundy (Look Mum No Hands) made everyone work hard on the hill, but despite some additional attacks, no-one managed to get away.
In the end it all came down to a bunch sprint. Jo led out her teammate Anna, but Kim Ashton, who had looked strong throughout, managed to accelerate away from the other women and took a clear victory. Karla Boddy (High Wycombe CC) also finished strongly, overtaking Astrid Wingler (London Phoenix) who just about managed to hang on to third. With most women crossing the line close together, the riders could only be separated using video evidence.
The podium from left to right: 2nd place Karla Boddy (High Wycombe CC), winner Kim Ashton (Caesarian CC), 3rd place Astrid Wingler (London Phoenix).
Thanks to the London Phoenix for promoting this race as part of the Surrey League calendar. With many riders in the region now racing as third category riders, open road races such as these have a bright future in the southeast.
With one race left, Look Mum No Hands RT's Lydia Boylan has won the league as nobody else can catch her. Second place and onwards are up for grabs however! The final race is at Crystal Palace on August 9.
1st 2 Kimberley Ashton Caesarian CC 2W 1hr 55mins
2nd 1 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC 2W @ s.t. *
3rd 5 Astrid Wingler London Phoenix CC 2W @ s.t. *
4th 19 Nicola Juniper Inverse / Cyclaim RT 1W @ s.t. *
5th 17 Emma Craddock Southdown Bikes 2W @ s.t.
6th 9 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands 1W @ s.t. *
7th 6 Anna Grundy Look Mum No Hands 1W @ s.t. *
8th 14 Emily Bagnall Kingston Wheelers 2W @ s.t. *
9th 3 Dyanne Holland Inverse / Cyclaim RT 2W @ s.t. *
10th 8 Charlotte Easton Look Mum No Hands 1W @ s.t. *
11th 12 Vikki Filsell Pearson Cycles 2W @ s.t. *
12th 18 Nikola Butler Inverse / Cyclaim RT 3W @ s.t. *
13th 4 Lisa Gunn Kingston Wheelers 3W @ s.t. *
14th 11 Coralie Glaunes Pearson Cycles 3W @ s.t. *
15th 13 Tabitha Rendall Team Larkfield Cycles 3W @ s.t. *
16th 15 Jo McRae Look Mum No Hands 2W @ s.t. *
17th 20 Tracy Corbett London Dynamo 2W @ 1 lap *
18th 7 Helen McKay Look Mum No Hands 2W @ 1 lap *
19th 16 Sarah Odell Pearson Cycles 3W @ 1 lap *
* denotes league rider