Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo to take place in June — Last week’s results: Odd Down Series, Imperial Series, World Cup Namur, BPost Bank Trofee Essen, Cyclocross van het Waasland, British ‘cross — Photo of the Week — More to come…
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Tour of Cambridgeshire
A new event organised by Tom Caldwell (who also organises the Circuit of the Fens and the St. Ives Criterium), the Tour of Cambridgeshire will take place this June – and as a gran fondo, it offers riders who don’t hold racing licences a chance to get a feel of what it’s like to be a professional racing on closed roads with a police escort.
The event, for which 10,000 places have been made available, begins with a 25km individual time trial on the 6th, with a 134km gran fondo on the following day. Entry is more affordable than many sportives at £34 for the TT and £56 for the road race; entrants who pay for both in the same transaction will qualify for a discount of £10.
Cambridgeshire is not known for its hills, but the events start at the Peterborough Arena and cross far lumpier terrain with numerous short, steep climbs before heading out onto the flat roads further south. Flat does not mean boring, however – the county’s country roads twist and turn to avoid the watercourses and drainage channels and taking the corners at speed is a challenge. Some sections can expose riders to strong winds, much like the great Dutch races: recreational riders can take things at any pace that suits, but things will be more competitive for the riders in the first group to set off (all of whom will hold race licences).
The event is open to female and male riders, with a prize currently standing at £1500 for each winner.
Last Week’s Results
Round 2 of the Odd Down Winter Series and Round 3 of the Imperial Winter Series both took place last weekend, with a race for Cats. 2/3/4 at the former and Cats. 1/2/3 at the latter. Results are still to be published.
World Cup #4 – Namur #4
The earlier-than-expected return of Marianne Vos delighted fans who knew that a combination of the World Champion’s remarkable bike-handling and the tricky Namur parcours, with its steep climbs and sudden drop-offs, meant they were going to see some impressive riding. The riders knew, while Vos has spent the last couple of months training on the road rather than in the mud, that she was still the one to beat: she is, after all, Vos.
Many eyes will have been on Sanne Cant, who gives Vos a run for her money in most races; however, Cant had admitted she was tired following her two earlier races this week and it became apparent early on that she was not at her best, soon dropping out of contention. Katherine Compton looked like a challenger too, but it wasn’t too long before the race started to take on the familiar shape we’ve all seen before – Vos way out in front, handling the bike and running sections with her usual class and speed as the rest of the field did what they could to limit their losses.
Then, as the race neared its end, an unusual sight. Vos was, clearly, tired, and even made a rare mistake when she misjudged a line and caught her front tyre in the netting fence. Katerina Nash, who had put a great deal of effort into distancing the main pack and catching the Dutch superstar knew that if she dug deep now she had a chance to beat the rider many call the greatest cyclist of all time. She did so, and although Vos kept fighting, Nash was the stronger rider in the final lap and won by an impressive 34″.
Four British riders lined up at the start. Helen Wyman, whose abilities in the running sections on a technical parcours such as this one placed her among the favourites, had the best result with ninth place at 46’48”. Gaby Day and Amira Mellor were 28th (51’11”) and 29th (51’36”) while Hannah Payton, who had been plagued with bad luck including a mechanical issue that seemed to dog her right from the start, was 43rd.
1 Katerina Nash 44’15”
2 Marianne Vos 44’49”
3 Katherine Compton 45’22”
4 Ellen Van Loy 46’02”
5 Pauline Ferrand Prevot 46’07”
6 Sanne Cant 46’22”
7 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre 46’31”
8 Eva Lechner 46’36”
9 Helen Wyman 46’48”
10 Sabrina Stultiens 46’53”
28 Gaby Durrin 51’11”
29 Amira Mellor 51’36”
43 Hannah Payton OTL
BPost Bank Trofee #5 – Essen 20.12.14
Brits Nikki Harris and National Champion Helen Wyman – who as usual was able to see lines through the mud that nobody else could, and rode where others ran! – both got into the top ten, taking fourth place (41’25”) and eighth place (42’26”) respectively. Sophie De Boer won with a time of 40’07”, beating second-placed Sanne Cant by 32″.
Also representing Britain was Sarah Lomas, who took a series of good results on the domestic ‘cross circuit last year including a good selection of victories. She finished in 27th place.
Hans Van Der Maarel kindly provided us with a report and photos.
1 Sophie De Boer 40’07”
2 Sanne Cant 40’39”
3 Ellen Van Loy 41’12”
4 Nikki Harris 41’25”
5 Loes Sels 41’39”
6 Pavla Havlikova 41’47”
7 Githa Michiels 41’59”
8 Helen Wyman 42’26”
9 Lucinda Brand 42’37”
10 Jolien Verschueren 42’41”
27 Sarah Lomas (OTL)
Cyclocross van het Waasland 17.12.14
Hannah Payton had a good race, placing tenth out of 26 finishers. Her time of 47’42” left her well adrift of winner Sanne Cant (44′), but the riders she beat (Katrien Thijs, Margriet Kloppenberg, Christine Vardaros and more) is further proof that she’s one of the stars of future British ‘cross.
1 Sanne Cant 44’00”
2 Sophie De Boer 44’13”
3 Elle Anderson 44’33”
4 Ellen Van Loy 45’02”
5 Loes Sels 45’07”
6 Femke Van Den Driessche 45’47”
7 Alice Maria Arzuffi 45’58”
8 Maud Kaptheijns 46’54”
9 Elena Valentini 47’26”
10 Hannah Payton 47’42”
There were a handful of women’s cyclocross races around Britain over the weekend; once again, results are not yet available.
Photo of the Week