Team News: Surrey League Women’s Team at the Women’s Team Series

Surrey League Women’s Team at the National Women’s Team Series at Coalville on the 11th of September

Mike Leonard writes …. Due to the journeys distance and travelling time it was decided to make the trip up to Coalville the day before, so late Saturday afternoon the girls saddled up for ride out to check the circuit. The course revealed itself to be quite challenging with the potential to be even tougher due to a strong wind that was being forecast all weekend.

In the pre-race team talk it became very clear that Catherine, Emily, Emma, Gina and Claire were very keen to try something today and so in what has to be said a small field for a National event , the girls set off full of confidence.  This confidence manifest itself very early when Emily attacked straight after the race had been de-neutralised and was quickly joined by Emma and Catherine who shortly dropped back leaving the duo out front alone.  Factoring in the wind, both new they would need additional riders to join them in sharing the workload when this wasn’t forthcoming they throttled back and re-joined the main pack.

The short sharp climb and the fast downwind section toward the end of the first lap saw the next big attack which resulted in splitting the pack.  A lead group of seven formed that included Emily and Emma with Catherine, Gina & Claire in the chasing pack, who quickly realised they had two team mates away decided not to contribute to the chase. The front group quickly organised themselves and got down to the business of pulling away opening up a considerable gap by the final stages.

With the original seven still together at the end of the final lap, it came down to who was the strongest on the same climb that created the split on lap one, the outcome of which saw Hannah Walker, Claire Leaver, Katie Colcough and Emily get the upper hand and crossing the line in that order, closely followed by Emma for fifth place.  In the battle of the second group, Gina crossed the line third to take tenth place overall, followed by Catherine 12th and Claire 17th moments later.

It turned out to be an epic day, racing in pretty much gale force winds. Two Surrey League riders Emily & Emma finishing in the top five, Gina with her first top ten position (obtaining her cat 2 licence) plus great team riding by Catherine & Claire. The girls won the team competition on the day with 294pts.

The Surrey League team secured joint 3rd in the overall team standings & I think I’m right in saying were the only team to compete in all nine National Team Series events. The team would like to take this opportunity to thank, John Mills for putting on another great series, all the event organisers without who the series wouldn’t happen & last but definitely not least, to Keith & Glyn of the Surrey League for their support not only of the Surrey League Women’s Team but also to grassroots southeast road racing in general.

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