CC Sudbury decided it’d be a good thing if they used some of the money from their men’s race to organise a women’s race for the first time in 2015, and because they’re such top supporters of women’s cycling, they made sure the women were given equal billing and prizes – and said that even if they couldn’t get enough riders to sign up, they’d still have the race even if they made a loss.
That didn’t happen. With only weeks to go, the Women’s Team Series event due to take place on the same day was cancelled and all of a sudden there was so much interest in Sudbury the organisers actually had to extend entries to 60 places. What would have been a fairly small regional event rapidly grew into one of the biggest women’s cycling events ever seen in East Anglia.
After getting off to a slightly delayed start due to the women having to wait at the roadside after the neutralised zone for the men’s race to come through, which the riders took in good humour realising that the organisers had little option to do things any other way, it proved to be a very good race, despite a few issues with the large number of tractors bringing in the harvest and an obstructive lorry driver who almost caused the event to be temporarily neutralised: a parcours which proved to be far more challenging than many riders expected combined with a stiff wind meant that the peloton fractured into numerous groups within a few miles of the start, but around 25 strong riders made it into the first group and kept the pressure on all the way. Gradually, as the 81km took its toll, riders dropped away, but the lead group remained sizable as it rounded the final corner and began to sprint to the finish.
Laura Massey (Ikon-Mazda) won, which came as no real surprise – she’s a phenomenally strong rider with bike-handling expertise to match. It was not an easy win, however, and she faced a serious challenge from second-placed Rebecca Womersely and her Corley-Drops team mates, who lit up the race all the way with their tenacious determination to stay at the front (Tamiko Butler and Hannah Payton also finished in the top ten), and Clemence Copie who despite being the only Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International rider in the event took third.
CC Sudbury Women’s RR 2015
1 Laura Massey (Ikon-Mazda) 30pts
2 Rebecca Womersley (Corley-Drops.cc) 25pts
3 Clemence Copie (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 21pts
4 Tamiko Butler (Corley-Drops.cc) 0pts
5 Jennifer George (Les Filles) 14pts
6 Elizabeth-Jane Harris (Army Cycling Union) 12pts
7 Annabel Fisher (Bonito Squadra Corse) 10pts
8 Hannah Payton (Corley-Drops.cc) 8pts
9 Karla Boddy (Ikon-Mazda) 7pts
10 Mathilde Pauls (Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science) 6pts
11 Katy Simcock (Corley-Drops.cc) 5pts
12 Abigail Dentus (Velosport) 4pts
13 Georgina Panchaud (Cycleworks.co.uk) 3pts
14 Jessica Duffy (Feather Cycles) 2pts
15 Rebecca Carter (WNT) 1pt
16 Helen Ralston (Les Filles), 17 Chanel Mason (Army Cycling Union), 18 Helen Baillie-Strong, 19 Nicole Oh (Les Filles), 20 Abi Van Twisk (Corley-Drops.cc), 21 Chloe Weller (PMR@Toachim House), 22 Agata Woznicka, 23 Rebecca Johnson (Fast Test), 24 Sophie Edmondson (Feather Cycles), 25 Gemma Melton (Ipswich Bicycle Club), 26 Delia Beddis (Les Filles), 27 Emma Flattery (Kingston Wheelers), 28 Tracy Corbett (Les Filles), 29 Katherine Kimber (Essex Roads CC), 30 Annabel Sill (Jadan), 31 Johanna Brown (Walden Velo), 32 Coralie Glaunes (Les Filles), 33 Rachel Dunn (Welwyn Wheelers), 34 Gemma Hobson
DNF Anna Marie Hughes (Bonito Squadra Corse), Samantha Segger (Boxford Bike Club), Joy Lisney (Cambridge CC), Sandra Mackay (Carnac-Planet X), Iona Sewell (Carnac-Planet X), Nicola Soden (Carnac-Planet X), Emily Robertson (CC Luton), Lauren Kirchel (Chelmer CC), Helene Wight (Club Corley Cycles), Clover Murray (Corley-Drops.cc), Melanie Paddington (EHF Velopro), Martine Groen (Islington CC), Jane Dennyson (London Phoenix CC), Aoife Doherty (London Phoenix CC), Lucy Shaw (Matrix Pro Cycling)*, Louise Marsden (VC Norwich), Hayley Edwards (Velosport), Rose Osborne (WNT)
DNS Lucy Harper (Aprire-HSS), Charlotte Broughton (Corley-Drops.cc), Amy Gornall (Corley-Drops.cc), Vikki Filsell (Les Filles), Laura Cameron (London Phoenix CC)**, Michelle Sellars (London Phoenix CC), Charmaine Rees (Pearson CC), Eryn Nolan (Pretorius Bikes), Mandy Bunn (West Suffolk Wheelers & Tri Club)
*Lucy, who would have been a contender for a good position, was involved in a minor car accident on her way to the race. Fortunately she was uninjured. **With good reason – Laura, who won the VC Norwich RR in June, was left with a broken leg when an uninsured driver collided with her recently. Police tracked down the driver, Laura is now recovering. Get well soon, Laura!