Stage 1: Prologue Time Trial
Saturday morning saw the first stage of the twenty-fifth 3 Days of Bedford, a short and sharp 2.73 km time trial starting in Great Barford. As the first of the eighty six riders rode the 5 km plus to the start line from the race HQ the early blues sky clouded over. Starting at minute intervals, the riders from Team Ford EcoBoost led the way.
Amy Hill (Cycle Team OnForm) was the first rider to break the five minute barrier, stopping the clock at 4:49. Hill’s team mates Gemma Sargent and Anna Henderson were the next to challenge, with 4:59 and 4:56 respectively, being good enough to give Cycle Team OnForm all the podium places with 66 riders to go.
The next riders to challenge the five minute barrier were Aprire Cycles-HSS hire’s Amy Jones with a time which, at 4:59, would equal Sargent for a share of third place. Then Jones’s team mate Joscelin Lowden set 4:53 and jumped into second place, pushing Henderson in to third and Sargent and Jones off of the podium. The only other rider to challenge the 5 minute barrier was Alice Lethbridge of Lovelo Squadra Donne; her time of 4:59 would make fourth place a three way tie.
With no challenge from the remaining Liv AWOL or Isle of Man riders, Hill was confirmed the winner and the wearer of the yellow jersey for the afternoon’s road stage. The young riders white jersey was taken by Lorna Bowler with a time of 5:14.
1 Amy Hill (Team OnForm) 4’49”
2 Jos Lowden (Aprire-HSS) 4’53”
3 Anna Henderson (Team OnForm) 4’56”
4 Alice Lethbridge (Lovelo Squadra Donne) 4’59”
5 Amy Jones (Aprire-HSS) ST
6 Gemma Sargent (Team OnForm) ST
7 Tamara Davenne (Vision Innovative Leisure) 5’02”
8 Helen McKay (Les Filles-Queen of the Mountains) 5’03”
9 Charlotte Broughton (Ford Ecoboost) ST
10 Steph Clayton (Twickenham CC) 5’04”
Best Young Rider
17 Lorna Bowler (Backstedt/HotChillee) 5’14”
(Text and photos © Simon F. Blackwell)