The BIG photo album from the Bedford 2 Day as well as talking to the top three in the race, Ciara Horne, Elinor Barker and Lucy Garner
RELATED LINK: Bedford 2 Day Report & Results
Recap – Lucy Garner, through her team’s performance in the Team Time Trial and Lucy’s sprint for the bonuses during the races, led after day 1 before defending champion Sarah Storey pulled out a great time trial to lead into the final stage.
That was held on a brute of a circuit with a big hill and Elinor Barker broke away from her rivals halfway into the race and with a lap to go, led by around 40 seconds. She seemed to have stage and overall wrapped up at that point, but Ciara Horne chasing alone, made great gains on the final lap to win the overall by a single second after finishing second.
The BIG Photo Album from the final stage of the Bedford 2 Day
What the riders had to say:
Ciara Horne: Asked to describe how the solo chase came about, Ciara who was guesting for Node4, explained “I’d led Lucy out for one of the sprints because I’m not a sprinter and so it made sense to race for her. She’s the Junior Women’s World Champion so is exceptionally strong ; so I led her out for a sprint and then we heard there was a rider one minute twenty up the road”.
“So, I thought if I get on the front and try and drag the group along a bit we could try and save Lucy and protect her but they let me go so it kind of back fired! When I kept hearing the time gap was dropping, I was like ‘I’m going to try and close it’.”
“I was hearing 30 seconds, 20 seconds and I could see I was catching her and I was like ‘come on legs’. I haven’t really done much road as I’m more a pursuiter and I love the Points race as well on the track. I love time trials too and that would be my strongest discipline so I time trialled it home but I was never so glad to see a descent on that final lap as I was dying!”
“I loved the course, it was awesome. It was really challenging which help split it up.
Ciara guested for the Node4 because of the team series rules about riders racing for a team and as Ciara was not in a registered women’s team for the series, she joined them and came away with the victory for them.
Ciara recently won the British University champs in the time trial and has also broken the Individual Pursuit record for the Uni champs with a 3.42.3. Due to racing in Belgium in May, Ciara will miss the ‘10’ championships but will contest the ‘25’ champs a few weeks later.
Youngster Going Places – Elinor Barker
Last year, it was Lucy Garner who was winning senior races and went on to win the Junior World title. Will it be Elinor Barker this year? The young lady attacked halfway through the final stage and just managed to hang on and hold off Ciara Horne who was gaining on her fast.
Despite making it look easy, Elinor says it was actually really hard. “I knew the wind on the bowl and the hill was going to be really hard so I saved myself on the rest of the circuit so I could hit it there and make up the most time.”
“I was feeling a bit worse at the beginning of the attack and at the end. So, at the beginning, I was hoping that someone would come with me but once I got into it though, I found my rhythm and carried on.”
“We (Scott Epic) knew we had four riders in the top ten so we were feeling pretty confident and wanted to get somebody up the road but it wasn’t necessarily going to be me. We have a really strong bunch of girls so it could have been any of us. It’s just timing and then they controlled the group really well for me.”
“I was aware that Ciara was closing. Every time I got to a different point on the course, they’d give me a smaller time difference which wasn’t very good to hear!”
Elinor explained that the difference between this year and last is at the start of her season last year (first year junior), she was really nervous. The young Welsh rider though has gained confidence from the races she has done, both here and internationally, and instead of wasting energy being nervous, now focuses on preparing properly for her events.
After wins in Holland and in Britain, and showing she can climb in the race at Millbrook, Elinor is fast making a name for herself and with the Worlds this year on a hilly circuit, who knows, perhaps she will succeed Lucy as World champion in Holland. We wish her lots of luck in achieving that goal.
Lucy Garner: The World Junior Road Race Champion
Leading at the end of day 1, Lucy explained before the race started, she wasn’t sure how the race would pan out for her. “I didn’t know how I was going to do in the race because it can depend on the team time trial”.
“We were all really shocked that we won that but happy of course. It would have been nice to get a stage win even though there were no bonuses on them. I was happy with my riding yesterday getting a lot of time bonuses and that really helped towards my overall coming into day 2.”
Lucy explained how winning the bunch kick on the last stage was good for the confidence and she puts that down to teammate Corrine Hall who led Lucy out. “It was a really strong lead out, she did nearly the whole lap and after that, I couldn’t let her down!”
Lucy has just returned from racing internationally where she had a stage win in the event won by Elinor and says its early days in the season. She admits that there is plenty of training to do before the big goals of the year, of which the Road Worlds is one. “I’m getting there” she said before adding that racing in the Rainbow stripes is still taking a bit of getting used to … unsurprisingly, Lucy is herself being followed around the peloton a lot!
Good luck to Lucy for 2012.