Angela Hibb’s Tour of Northumberland

Angela Hibbs originally wrote this report for her Fusion RT-Fierlan team’s website, and NS would like to thank her and the team for giving us permission to reproduce it here.

Tour of Northumberland 2-day Stage Race – Sunday 27 March and Monday 28 March, 2016

Stage 1

stage 2 win

Angela wins Stage 2 – having already won Stage 1 (© Chris Maher, supplied by Angela)

The weather was typical North East weather, windy with heavy showers and cold for the start of Stage 1 on Easter Sunday. The course was 45 miles long consisting of 4 ½ laps of an undulating circuit with some big potential potholes for punctures. With Angela being local, knowing the roads and where these were helped with avoiding them.

The women’s race was run alongside the men’s 3/4 race so all set off as a group of 80 riders (with 20 women racing). It was fast from the get go and strung the field out, it was survival until the race got stopped due to the E 1/2’s getting stopped ahead of the race and told off for dangerous riding across the road! The riders were not that happy as three of the women had managed to hang in and had a break from the rest of the women’s field, but what can one do?!

Take 2 and the race went off fast again, again with three of the women riders (Fusion RT Fierlan’s Angela, Amy Gornall from Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa and Karen Poole from Team Vertex) keeping up with the pace, it settled down a bit but there were consistent attacks coming from the bunch which they responded to.

The weather made parts of the course very tough, with a strong headwind and slippy corners when the rain showed up, keeping everyone on their toes. The repeated attacks happened throughout, on the women’s last lap it was still Angela, Amy and Karen in the bunch. Angela wanted to avoid a sprint for the line at all costs, so looked to up the pace early, the others sat on her wheel, no way were they were going to take it on. So Angela decided to just go for it and at least make it a tired sprint for everyone.

With about 1.5k to go Angela put her foot down and went into TT mode hoping they wouldn’t have the power to come past her and sure enough no wheels appeared next to her and she crossed the line first (earning a 10 second bonus) with Amy in 2nd and Karen in third. Anna Turvey from Team Ford Ecoboost was 4th in the following group about 6 minutes back.

Stage 2

northumberland podium GC

L-R: Karen Poole, Angela Hibbs, Gemma Sargent (© Chris Maher, supplied by Angela)

At the start of Stage 2 the following day the weather was kinder for a change, with the wind dropped and forecast to be dry, happy days! A hillier course of 5 ¾ laps over 44 miles.

It was a less eventful start to the race, with the short sharp incline coming early in the lap most approached with caution after the previous day’s racing. Again, plenty of attacks off the front but not many stuck with Angela’s focus on Karen Poole and Gemma Sargent’s wheels as it was just three women that managed to stick with the men’s pace and riding style.

The laps passed by quite uneventfully until the penultimate lap up the short sharp rise when one of the male riders seemed to just come to a stop and fall off right in front of Angela, two-thirds of the way up the 16% incline, landing on her foot, ripping her velotise shoecover and taking the chain of another male rider who was in front of Angela, who also then came to a stop.

Angela managed to involuntary trackstand for a (very) short while and got her foot back over the pedal and negotiate the very small gap that was between the carnage in front of her and reach the crest of the hill but lost some ground on Karen who had avoided the incident being on the other side of the road during the climb. After quickly closing the gap and getting her heart rate back down ready for the next uphill drag the rest of the lap was less eventful and so it came to the last half lap.

With legs feeling good and confident of TT’ing it away from Gemma and Karen at the end Angela picked her spot after the final left-hand bend when the road drops and there is about 2-2.5miles of undulating road left and put her foot down opening up a large gap quickly and coming across the finish line solo.

podium shower

Chris Maher, supplied by Angela)

Tour of Northumberland
E/1/2/3/4
Stage 1
1 Angela Hibbs (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2) 10pts
2 Amy Gornall (Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa; Cat. 2) 8pts
3 Karen Poole (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 2) 7pts
4 Anna Turvey (Tyneside Vagabonds CC; Cat. 3) 6pts
5 Rachel Crighton (Team 22; Cat. 2) 5pts
6 Sarah Bradford (Jadan; Cat. 2) 4pts
7 Charlotte Alston (Team 22; Cat. 2) 3pts
8 Gemma Sargent (Aprire-HSS; Cat. 2) 2pts
9 Jenn Batey (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 3) 1pt
10 Hannah Farran (Manilla; Cat. 3) 1pt
11 Elizabeth Denby (Team 22; Cat. 3), 12 Katharine Broadbent (GBCycles.co.uk; Cat. 3), 13 Flora Gillies (Team 22; Cat. 1), 14 Nikki Metcalfe (Manilla Cycling; Cat. 2), 15 Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers; Cat. 3)
Stage 2
1 Angela Hibbs (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2) 10pts
2 Karen Poole (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 2) 8pts
3 Gemma Sargent (Aprire-HSS; Cat. 2) 7pts
4 Anna Turvey (Tyneside Vagabonds CC; Cat. 3) 6pts
5 Sarah Bradford (Jadan; Cat. 2) 5pts
6 Rachel Crighton (Team 22; Cat. 2) 4pts
7 Hannah Farran (Manilla; Cat. 3) 3pts
8 Charlotte Alston (Team 22; Cat. 2) 2pts
9 Jenn Batey (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 3) 1pt
10 Katharine Broadbent (GBCycles.co.uk; Cat. 3) 1pt
11 Nikki Metcalfe (Manilla Cycling; Cat. 2), 12 Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers; Cat. 3)
Overall
1 Angela Hibbs (Fusion RT-Fierlan; Cat. 2) 30pts
2 Karen Poole (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 2) 25pts
3 Gemma Sargent (Aprire-HSS; Cat. 2) 21pts
4 Anna Turvey (Tyneside Vagabonds CC; Cat. 3) 17pts
5 Sarah Bradford (Jadan; Cat. 2) 14pts
6 Rachel Crighton (Team 22; Cat. 2) 12pts
7 Charlotte Alston (Team 22; Cat. 2) 10pts
8 Jennifer Batey (Vertex-pedalpowersport.com; Cat. 3) 8pts
9 Hannah Farran (Manilla; Cat. 3) 7pts
10 Katharine Broadbent (GBCycles.co.uk; Cat. 3) 6pts
11 Nikki Metcalfe (Manilla Cycling; Cat. 2) 5pts
12 Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers; Cat. 3) 4pts

Chris Maher Photography