Series leader, Beth Crumpton (Storey Racing) looked like she was going to return to past form after looking strong for much of the race and staying out front with only Sophie Wright (Renvale RT) for company but her hopes were dashed by an impressive Ffion James.
James (Abergavenny RC) who, after making her way back to the front of the race after an earlier altercation with a marker, caught and attacked bith Crumpton and Wright on the final lap of the race, opening up a gap of over 10 seconds to the chasing pair.
Wright managed to come home in second, just ahead of Crumpton who finished on the remaining step of the podium!
It was great to have such close & fast racing on such a technical course. There were 4 of us who could've won towards the end & there was no margin for error at all. I just couldn’t quite hold on for the win in the last lap & got over hauled by two strong girls. I’m happy to be back on the podium & look forward to another tough battle in Bradford
5 of us got away almost immediately and stayed together for the first few laps. I stayed near the back, playing it a bit tactical as I wasn't sure how I was feeling. A gap seemed to form to Beth at one point and I was feeling good so knew I needed to chase it down straight away. I tried to get past one of the other girls after a descent but without meaning to she swerved across and I had nowhere to go other than into a post!
I got back on relatively quickly after the crash, only losing maybe 15-20 seconds but I was down in 5th place. From then on I knew I couldn't hold back and just had to go flat out to the finish! I timed it almost perfectly, picking riders off until I caught Beth with about half a lap to go. I was tempted to sit on her wheel and leave it till closer to the finish, but I then thought about how close it was in Shrewsbury and didn't want that disappointment again! I also knew Sophie Wright was very close behind. So when I caught Beth, I went straight past and went flat out to the finish! And it worked
I felt like I was on it throughout the whole race and made sure I didn't let Beth go out of sight. When Ffion came past I saw she overtook Beth and I stayed controlled then attacked Beth on a bumpy straight with about half a lap to go. I knew I'd secured 2nd place until a slightly stressful moment when my gears seized in the large rear sprocket so I had to sprint in the saddle with my cadence going crazy to the finish line in a tiny gear but luckily held onto 2nd.
My aims for the rest if the season are to be selected for the world champs and podium at the national Champs as a first year under 23.
After the practise lap I was really impressed with the venue at Cyclopark and couldn’t believe I had never heard of this place before. We made our way around the course and I was feeling pretty happy about what it had to offer; Off camber sections, steps, sand, hurdles, switch backs, steep climbs what more could you ask for- oh and a lot less mud. I was really happy with how the bike was running and my choice of Vittoria tyres, so as the morning racing was now underway it was just the case of wrapping up warm and watching others tackle the course. I love the time you get to spend chatting away to friends and generally catching up it helps keep all the racing relaxed and positive.
The start was a long tarmac section that lasted a few minutes before leading into the course. I had decided to keep my start pretty relaxed and ride into the race gradually. I found myself quite far back but it was not long until I was making my way back through.
The course was so flowing and I was loving all the different sections, there was always something interesting to look forward to. Each lap I was finding myself riding each section better and better and I was trying to focus on riding smooth to conserve as much as energy as I could. I had decided to stick with my two Terreno Mud Vittoria tires for the race and found this gave me the perfect grip for the muddy, slippy corners and the steep climbs especially the trickier muddy off-camber sections.
I was happy to finish still feeling pretty good as I had been feeling fatigue over the past few months, I always think that if you finish a race with a smile then the result is just a bonus and I am pretty pleased with a 26th place overall and 8th Elite Woman.
|Position||Name||Club name||Rider status||Category||Time||Points|
|1.||Ffion James||Abergavenny Road Club||Finished||Senior||00:44:21:650||100|
|2.||Sophie Wright||Renvale RT||Finished||Senior||00:44:32:000||80|
|3.||Bethany Crumpton||Storey Racing||Finished||Senior||00:44:33:300||70|
|4.||Anna Kay||EDCO Continental||Finished||Senior||00:44:46:050||60|
|5.||Hannah Payton||Team Kinesis UK||Finished||Senior||00:45:59:200||55|
|6.||Amira Mellor||PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ER...||Finished||Senior||00:46:24:500||50|
|7.||Sophie Thackray||PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ER...||Finished||Senior||00:46:33:900||45|
|8.||Louise Heywood-Mahé||Les Filles Queen of the Mounta...||Finished||Senior||00:47:26:300||40|
|9.||Rebecca Preece||Leisure Lakes Bikes.com||Finished||Senior||00:47:46:000||35|
|10.||Emily Ashwood||WXC World Racing||Finished||Junior||00:47:46:700||30|
|11.||Xan Crees||Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com||Finished||Junior||00:49:11:050||27|
|16.||Clare Ross||Brixton Cycles Club||Finished||Senior||00:50:46:900||16|
|17.||Poppy Wildman||SF Racing||Finished||Junior||00:51:10:550||14|
|18.||Lauren Higham||LIV AWOL||Finished||Junior||00:51:19:200||13|
|19.||Elspeth Grace||Kinetic Cycles / Welwyn Racing||Finished||Junior||00:51:27:000||12|
|21.||Nicole Clarke||Birkenhead North End CC||Finished||Junior||00:52:23:550||10|
|22.||Claire Beaumont||ViCiOUS VELO||Finished||Senior||00:52:54:100||9|
|23.||Emily Bridson||LIV AWOL||Finished||Junior||00:53:05:650||8|
|24.||Alderney Baker||Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com||Finished||Junior||00:54:01:250||7|
|25.||Charlotte Heywood-Mahé||Les Filles Queen of the Mounta...||Finished||Senior||---||6|
|26.||Rosie Brown||Cotswold Cycles-TREK||Finished||Senior||---||5|
|27.||Adeline Moreau||Sunday Echappée||Finished||Senior||---||4|
|28.||Madeleine Gammons||Team Vision Innovative Leisure||Finished||Senior||---||3|
|29.||Lydia Brookes||Les Filles Queen of the Mounta...||Finished||Senior||---||2|
|30.||Emma Jane Hornsby||VC Londres||Finished||Senior||---||1|
|31.||Cecilia Hime||St Ives CC||Finished||Junior||---||0|
|32.||Katie Scotter||ViCiOUS VELO||Finished||Senior||---||0|
|33.||Laura Wilkey||Crawley Wheelers||Finished||Senior||---||0|
|34.||Olivia Campbell||Dulwich Paragon CC||Finished||Senior||---||0|
|---||Connie Hayes||LIV AWOL||Did not finish||Junior||---||0|
|---||Sarah Lomas||LIV AWOL||Did not finish||Senior||---||0|