Matrix GP Series – Woking Report

With its four corners and one hairpin, had it have rained the final round of the Matrix Grand Prix series on Tuesday night could have been something of an anticlimax – the parcours is a technical one, and all it would have taken would have been for spectators to stay home and the riders might have raced conservatively. That didn’t happen, thoughr: Woking bathed in glorious sunshine and thousands of people turned out, so the riders – who still had plenty to play for, with the overall standings far from decided – made sure the Series went out with a bang.

Following Katie Archibald’s two dominant victories at Stoke-on-Trent and Edinburgh for Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International, many people believed the 20-year-old Scotswoman to be logical choice for eventual overall victor; however, Archibald didn’t race at Peterborough, Redditch or Stoke, which prevented her challenging for the 2014 title. Starley-Primal’s Eileen Roe, who won in Peterborough, had been leading the overall standings ever since, but with Charline Joiner only three points behind her and enjoying the support of the super-strong Pearl Izumi team, she knew she’d have a fight on her hands to remain in the lead at this round. Meanwhile, plenty of action remained on the cards in the other classifications too: Helen Wyman (Matrix-Vulpine) had a 2-point lead over Archibald in the Sprints competition after Redditch and ten over third-place Amy Roberts (Wiggle-Honda) which, in Archibald’s absence, made her position look secure, but Wyman’s not the kind of rider to work out the minimum she has to do to hang on to a title when she could give the fans something more interesting to watch instead. In the Team Classification, Pearl Izumi’s 191 points to Matrix-Vulpine’s 141 also looked unassailable, but since the squad had one the classification in very round so far their rivals weren’t going to roll over and allow them to walk away with it.

W-R

Local team WyndyMilla-Reynolds gave their fans much to be excited about (image: © Laurence Arnold)

WyndyMilla-Reynolds are based locally and spent much of the race livening up proceedings, much to the delight of their supporters. Most notable was Tamiko Butler, who attacked time and time again: her efforts won her the Combativity prize, in addition to helping to drive the pace up to 39kph,very high on a circuit such as this, which in turn meant that by the final laps only the twelve riders who’d got off the front remained in contention. If there was a Defensive prize too it would surely have gone to Katie Curtis of Starley-Primal, who fought for her team leader Eileen Roe and made sure she was there ready to respond to every attack Butler and the rest made – and, despite working so hard in such a fast race, remained with her right to the end and made it into the group of twelve that got off the front in the final laps. Just around the hairpin leading into the finishing straight on the final lap, the leaders ran into a group of slower riders off the back of the peloton, a situation that Starley-Primal managed to use to their advantage – with assistance from Curtis, Roe got through still on the front, while Roberts, Grace Garner (RST), Clemence Copie (Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) and Pearl-Izumi team mates Joiner and Gabriella Shaw were not quite so fast. The difference was mere tenths of a second, but it counted: the sprint was still going to be difficult, but Roe had the tiniest of advantages and now all she needed to do was pedal faster than the rest rather than take a gamble on finding the best line. She did it, winning the round and retaining her overall lead to win the Series. Right behind were Roberts for second and Garner for third.

Results and more photos below

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Eileen Roe and Katie Curtis (image: © Laurence Arnold)

Helen Wyman won the Sprints classification for the round and thus overall, extending her total to 30 points – an advantage of ten over Archibald. Curtis took second in the classification for the round, meaning that she jumped into third place overall in the competition with 18 points; Roe and Louise Mahe (Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) also leap-frogged Roberts for fourth and fifth, each with 15 points to 10. With sixth and seventh in the top ten compared to Starley-Primal’s first and fourth, Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours couldn’t take the Teams prize for this round, but they nevertheless slightly extended their final advantage to 227 points over Matrix-Vulpine’s 169.

Top Ten Woking
1 Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal)
2 Amy Roberts (Wiggle-Honda)
3 Grace Garner (RST)
4 Katie Curtis (Starley-Primal)
5 Clemence Copie (MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport)
6 Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
7 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
8 Laura Greenhalgh (Twickenham CC)
9 Lydia Boylan (Velosport -Pasta Montegrappa)
10 Jo Tindley (Matrix-Vulpine)

Top Ten Overall
1 Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal) 104
2 Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 91
3 Amy Roberts (Wiggle-Honda) 69
4 Katie Curtis (Starley-Primal) 69
5 Helen Wyman (Matrix-Vulpine) 66
6 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 66
7 Lydia Boylan (Velosport -Pasta Montegrappa) 53
8 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 50
9 Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott) 49
10 Clemence Copie (MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport) 46

Top Ten Overall Sprint Classification
1 Helen Wyman (Matrix-Vulpine) 30
2 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 20
3 Katie Curtis (Starley-Primal) 18
4 Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal) 15
5 Louise Mahe (MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport) 15
6 Amy Roberts (Wiggle-Honda) 10
7 Lydia Boylan (Velosport -Pasta Montegrappa) 8
8 Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott) 7
9 Clemence Copie (MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport) 5
10 Jo Tindley (Matrix-Vulpine) 4

Overall Teams Classification
1 Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International 227
2 Matrix-Vupine 169
3 Starley-Primal 136
4 MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport 88
5 Velosport-Pasta Montgrappa 73
6 RST 64
7 Epic-Scott 49
8 WyndyMilla-Reynolds 46
9 GBCycles.co.uk 3
Full results