Had the rain forecast from 14:00 to 21:00 ever have come, the tight circuit next to Peterborough’s 12th Century cathedral would have been very different and the three corners might well have given the riders some serious problems. However, despite a few grey spells the rain never did fall and for much of the afternoon the sizable crowds that began gathering around the start some three hours before the races even began basked in hot sunshine; in the dry, the circuit proved to be far less technical than it had at first appeared and permitted a very fast race indeed.
Only the final corner leading into the finishing straight caused any issues, mostly due to a slightly narrowed section at the end of the fast lead-in along Bourges Boulevard – with 45 riders piling into the bend together during the early laps, any spectators who believe the women aren’t as aggressive as the men during a race could have heard some distinctly aggressive language shouted by riders who were forced uncomfortably close to the barriers going into the corner, but there were mercifully no crashes.
The first round of the 2014 Matrix Tour Series took place in Stoke-on-Trent last week and was dominated by Katie Archibald of Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International, who powered away from the peloton and then lapped many of her rivals before winning solo. Archibald wasn’t it Peterborough, so as second-placed rider Starley-Primal’s Eileen Roe started the race in the Series leader’s jersey and decided she’d rather like to keep it, riding an aggressive race with plenty of attacks to make sure it remained hers. She wasn’t allowed to keep it without a fight, though: Matrix-Vulpine’s Harriet Owen won on this circuit back in 2012 and showed once again that she’s a formidable rider on such a fast parcours, looking several times as though she might launch a challenge for victory before finally settling for third, while Archibald’s team mate Nikki Juniper made sure Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours were represented on the podium with second place.
Roe’s triumph gives her 39 points won so far, an 11-point advantage over Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours) and 15 points ahead of Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott). The next round of the Series takes place on the 29th of May in Edinburgh where, when she was 13 years old and the proud holder of a brand new racing licence, Roe began her career racing on the city’s velodrome – she will doubtless be looking to keep hold of the jersey in front of fans who’ve followed her ever since, but she’ll face stiff competition from super-strong Glaswegian Archibald.
Louise Mahe, of Team Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport, won the Sprints jersey for the race and leads the classification overall with 12 points gained so far. Clemence Copie (Team Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) was second and her team mate Louise Mahe was third. Katie Archibald picked up 10 sprint points in the first round and thus is in second place in the overall Sprints classification, while Katie Curtis (Starley-Primal) has 7 points and is third. With four riders – Juniper, 6th place Joiner, 8th place Lauren Creamer and 10th place Gabriella Shaw – in the top ten, Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours were the most successful team and also lead the overall Teams competition with 98 points in total compared to Matrix-Vulpine’s 79 and Starley-Primal’s 56.
Matrix Series Round 2 Top Ten
1 Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal Pro Cycling)
2 Nikki Juniper (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
3 Harriet Owen (Matrix-Vulpine)
4 Jasmine Diotti (Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa)
5 Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott)
6 Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
7 Clemence Copie (Team MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport)
8 Lauren Creamer (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
9 Sigrid Jochems (Matrix-Vulpine)
10 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
Overall Standings after Round 2
1 Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal Pro Cycling) 39
2 Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 28
3 Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott) 24
4 Natalie Creswick (Team Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) 23
5 Harriet Owen (Matrix-Vulpine) 21
6 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 20
7 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 20
8 Nikki Juniper (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 19
9 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 18
10 Corrine Hall (Matrix-Vulpine) 18
The race in pictures
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