Traditionally one of the most popular events in the Women’s Team Series, this year’s edition of the Duncan Murray Wines Women’s Road Race is now one of the longest-standing women’s races in the UK thanks to the 12-year backing of Duncan Murray.
The course, with each lap around 20km in length, never fails to impress and offers a little bit of everything – a long blast down a straight A-road where riders who enjoy time trials can sometimes gain a lead, some tight and twisty back roads with plenty of sharp and gravel-strewn corners for those who rely on bike-handling skills and a couple of challenging climbs just make sure that anyone who does gain a lead will be hard-pressed to retain it.
Last year, Brother UK-Fusion team mates Molly Patch and Ruth Shier took the top two places after powering up the final climb and putting a few bike lengths between themselves and the bunch, with Francesca Cutts (then with CC London) taking third. Fusion were in control for much of the race this time around, always taking charge at the front of the bunch alongside their strongest rivals Team LDN (featuring Cutts, who seems to get stronger every race, Kerry Middleton who won the Berkhamsted CC RR two weeks ago and the excellent Helen Ralston), but with the peloton flying round the course (perhaps to try to avoid the forecast heavy rain*) there was little chance of anyone getting away this time.
As the bunch reached the final climb, the pace quickened as all the front riders tried to grab an advantage, but it wasn’t possible and several of them realised they hadn’t got the legs to contest it so made the wise decision to ease off and free up space for those that had. Fusion’s April Tacey and Georgia Bullard, two young riders who have displayed enormous potential over the last couple of years, proved themselves strongest in the final hundred metres and crossed the line mere centimetres ahead of third-placed Ione Johnson – another 1-1 for the team. We caught up with April and Georgia back at race HQ to hear what they had to say…
*The rain waited until the awards ceremony was over, then moved into “tropical monsoon” mode and drenched everyone on the way out!
1 April Tacey (Brother UK Fusion)
2 Georgia Bullard (Brother UK Fusion)
3 Ione Johnson (Team OnForm)
4 Hannah Lancaster (Ellmore Digital Composite)
5 Phoebe Martin (RST/Cycle Division)
6 Ellen Barker (Team IOM)
7 Francesca Cutts (Team LDN)
8 Corinne Side (Team OnForm)
9 Kerry Middleton (Team LDN)
10 Leah Ball (TW1)
11 Olivia Bentley (Vision Innovative Leisure), 12 Gaby Homer (Team OnForm), 13 Polly Mason (Ellmore Digital Composite), 14 Gemma Melton (Ellmore Digital Composite), 15 Isabel Darvill (Datalynx-Parenesis), 16 Elizabeth Marvelly (Liv AWOL), 17 Helen Ralston (Team LDN), 18 Madeleine Gammons (Datalynx-Parenesis), 19 Xan Crees (Empella Cyclo-Cross.com), 20 Melissa Greaves (TW1), 21 Becky Storie (Team IOM), 22 Bexy Dew (Army Cycling Union), 23 Holly Hoy (Team OnForm), 24 Emily Looker (Team IOM), 25 Laura Tissiman (Crimson Orientation Marketing), 26 Ellie Mackman (Ellmore Digital Composite), 27 Alison Lilley (Ellmore Digital Composite), 28 Alderney Baker (Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com), 29 Jessica Woodworth (Team OnForm), 30 Poppy Vildren (Liv AWOL Spok’d) , 31 Lauren Johnston (Avid Sport), 32 Fiona Redding (Brother UK Fusion), 33 Hannah Howitt (Team IOM), 34 Claire Hammond (TW1), 35 Ria Mobbs (Crimson Orientation Marketing), 36 Joanneke Jansen (Vision Innovative Leisure), 37 Jess Carridge (Team IOM), 38 Katie Helsby (Ellmore Digital Composite), 39 Laura Pittard (Vision Innovative Leisure), 40 Gabriella Nordin (TW1), 41 Louise Scupham (Liv AWOL), 42 Amy Marks (Team LDN), 43 Alexandra Hamilton (TW1), 44 Victoria Strila (TW1), 45 Jessica Hobson-Taylor (Crimson Orientation Marketing), 46 Olive Holliday (Ellmore Digital Composite,
DNF Lauren Humphreys (Team Boompods)
1 Brother UK Fusion 301pts, 2 Team OnForm 259pts, 3 Team LDN 179pts, 4 Team IOM 161pts, 5 TW1 119pts, 6 RST/Cycle Division 90pts, 7 Vision Innovative Leisure 82pts, 8 Datalynx-Parenesis 80pts, 9 Liv Awol Spok’d 75pts, 10 Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com 60pts, 11 Crimson Orientation Marketing RT 53pts, 12 Avid Sport 22pts, 13 Team Boompods 16pts
1 Team OnForm 1562pts, 2 Team LDN 879pts, 3 Brother.uk Fusion 771pts, 4 TW1 671pts, 5 Vision Innovative Leisure 592pts, 6 Boompods 497pts, 7 Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.com 445pts, 8 Liv AWOL Spok’d 434pts, 9 Cycle Team OnForm Juniors 365pts, 10 Avid Sport 329pts, 11 Team IOM 313pts, 12 Les Filles 304pts, 13 Datalynx Parenesis 276pts, 14 RST/Cycle Division 234pts, 15 Bianchi Dama 231pts, 16 1904 RT 202pts, 17 LIV CC Halo Films 131pts, 18 Crimson Orientation Marketing RT 53pts, 19 Team 22 51pts, 20 Scarpa Racing 13pts, 21 Jam Cycling RT 7pts