Sarah Storey wins the Cheshire Classic in two up sprint with Molly Weaver after the pair had dominated the final three laps of the race.Â Â
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Corrine Hall (3rd), Sarah Storey (1st) and Molly Weaver (2nd)
In Brief: Winner of the team series event at Virgina Waters last week, Natalie Creswick tried to do the same today in Cheshire, attacking on the bypass section of the course and finding she was with two strong riders in Molly Weaver and Sarah Storey.
Unfortunately for Natalie, another attack in the break saw the trio reduced to two as Weaver and Storey forged ahead of the bunch where Matrix Fitness/Prendas were chasing. With a lap to go, the lead was over a minute and they extended that further before the finishing sprint where after a shake of hands, they fought for the victory on the steep slopes and it was Paralympic multi Gold medallist Sarah Storey who crossed the line, punching the air ahead of Molly.
Third, winning the bunch kick was Corrine Hall.
Photo Album – Live Pictures from the race
Sarah Story’s Race Report (team StoreySport)
If there is one race that is on my calendar every year, itâ€™s the Cheshire Classic, as you can always count on the fantastic Weaver Valley Cycling Club to put on a great event. In fact it was a member of the Weaver Valley Cycling Club that got me riding the track seven years ago, Paul West, and their road race was the first ever Road Race I entered outside of Para-cycling events.
The girls assemble for the speech by the chief commissaire
With results ranging from 40-something in that first year when I was off the back in the bunch sprint, to 2nd a couple of years ago after a seven strong break and just getting pipped on the line, I have enjoyed all sorts of different versions of the race. For 2012, I was lining up in my first road race of 2012, and my first wearing the For VioRed colours. As part of a 7 strong team we knew had strength in numbers and the chance of getting our riders either up in a break or providing a strong lead out should it all stay together.
The start of the race was really positive, with quite a few riders looking to whittle the peloton down and the For VioRed girls were ever present at the front of the group, staying out of trouble and looking out for any early escapees.
First time up the climb signified 10 laps to go and the race seemed to settle into a frustrating pattern of attacks on and at the top of the climb, then it all coming back together with the bunch too strong and always clawing their way back on as the riders up front seemed reluctant to attack the rise up the bypass to the roundabout. The bonus for us For VioRed riders was that as small numbers of riders were dropping off, we remained the largest team in the peloton and everyone took their turn to climb up front and cover the little attacks that were inevitably going to come at the top of the climb each lap.
First time to the climb and Sarah is at the front…
Abergavenny, Node 4, Scott Contessa and Mule Bar Girls were some of the teams all showing their strength towards the front of the race and whilst frustrating for those trying to force a break, the depth of talent in womenâ€™s racing in the UK means it will get ever harder to breakaway. With the pattern of the race being as it was, I had decided there was probably only one more chance for an attack as we came into the last four laps.
For VioRed were still the majority of the peloton and it was this really strong team performance, which gave me the perfect platform to stage the last escape attempt up the bypass as the pace again slowed. Coming into the hill for 3 laps to go, there was a decent gap and I had been joined by Molly Weaver and winner of last weekâ€™s Team Series race, Natalie Creswick. The move was looking to be decisive with three such strong riders and I worried when we lost Natalie that it would all come back together again, so kept pushing on.
Lauren Creamer wins theÂ Weaver Valley 50th Anniversary SprintÂ
Molly rode hard, especially as she was spinning out down the descent on her junior gears, she was a great rider to have in the break. I pulled some big turns out over the top of the climb and made sure we were strong riding up the bypass as I knew this was where we could pull out some more time on the bunch.
With the For VioRed girls doing a superb job at containing any attempts to attack me from the peloton behind, the final lap was a long slog and both Molly and I were on our knees and looking back at the computer power file was easy to see why, I had averaged somewhere not far off what I would expect to do in a time trial when there are no sudden changes of pace.
Crossing the line first, to finally win the Cheshire Classic, was an amazing feeling and being handed the trophy with so many illustrious names on there already was a fantastic moment. With the bunch fighting it out for the sprint for 3rd it was great to see my team mate Gaby Shaw coming inside the top ten for the second week in a row and finishing off what had been a strong performance for the team. With just two riders in the team Node 4 â€“ Giordana had an equally strong showing being the only other team placing two riders in the top ten.
Sarah leads the trio of herself, Molly Weaver and Natalie Creswick.Â
On a personal note it also rounded off a successful weekend after riding the Manchester and District Time Trial Associationâ€™s 25 mile event on the Jodrell Bank and Chelford course the day before and finishing 7th in the menâ€™s field. Finishing off my latest block of endurance overload training with a double header was always going to be a big test, but with the support of For VioRed and GB sponsor, CNP Nutrition, I have been able to find a perfect balance and maintain a strong immune system to cope with the workload and altitude sessions that have formed part of this latest block.
Linking back to the blog I wrote last week, about support network, the proof is in the people I get to write about week in week out. Without the support of these sponsors, event promoters and everyone who was cheering at the side of the road, winning these races and helping create my perfect run in to London 2012, would not be possible. Support not only comes from the core group of people I have around me all the time, but also from the wider cycling community and for that I am very grateful.
Molly leads Sarah with a lap to go on the finishing climb. Molly only started racing last year and at 18, is a future star in women’s racing if today’s showing is anything to go by.
Weaver Valley Cycling Club celebrate their 50th Anniversary this year and the 2012 edition of the race also marked the retirement from event organisation for the promoter of the Cheshire Classic in recent years, Terry Veal. The superb event is going to continue on the calendar, thanks to Andy Wood and I know I speak on behalf of all the women who have enjoyed riding the race, in thanking Terry and the Weaver Valley Cycling Club and their sponsors for their amazing support of womenâ€™s cycling.
The bunch at the bell lap. Comeback kid, Jo Tindley is on the right.
Sarah sprints clear of Molly who admitted afterwards that because Sarah did most of the work, Molly wasn’t going to contest the sprint.
Corrine Hall (centre) wins the bunch kick for 3rd just ahead of PennyRowson (right of pic)
1 Sarah Storey For Viored RT 2:12:29
2 Molly Weaver Scott Contessa Epic Cycles RT @0:03
3 Corrine Hall Node4 Giordana Womens Team @2:14
4 Penny Rowson Matrix Fitness Prendas st
5 Lowri Bunn Abergavenny RC Gateway Cycles st
6 Harriet Owen Node4 Giordana Womens Team st
7 Laura Massey Vivelo Bikes Inverse Cyclaim RT
8 Jenny Stanning Velocity 44 Stirling st
9 Gaby Shaw For Viored RT st
10 Jo Tindley VC St Raphael Hewitt Cycles Waite Contracts st
11 Lauren Creamer Abergavenny RC Gateway Cycles st
12 Lydia Boylan Look Mum No Hands! st
13 Annie Simpson Matrix Fitness Prendas st
14 Sarah Brook MuleBar Girl Ana Nichoola Madison st
15 Karen Poole Squadra Donne Shutt Velo Rapide Bikefood st
16 Anna Christian Scott Contessa Epic Cycles RT st
17 Laura Murray Velocity 44 Stirling st
18 Kimberley Ashton abergavenny RC Gateway Cycles st
19 Nicola Juniper Corvida Allpress Coffee st
20 Delia Beddis Vivelo Bikes Inverse Cyclaim RT
21 Gemma Neill Velocity 44 Stirling st
22 Hannah Walker Matrix Fitness Prendas st
23 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC RT Dolce Cynergy
24 Sarah Maidment Geoffrey Butler Cycles.co.uk
25 Kayleigh Brogan City of Edinburgh RT st
26 Brit Tate Dirtwheels Cycles Otley
27 Ella Hopkins For Viored RT st
28 Eve Dixon Champion Systems Maxgear Kyklos st
29 Natalie Creswick MuleBar Girl Ana Nichoola Madison st
30 Adela Carter Team Hope Factory Racing Ltd st
31 Adele Martin Geoffrey Butler Cycles.co.uk
32 Rebecca Heath VC St Raphael Hewitt Cycles Waite Contracts
33 Charlotte Colclough For Viored RT @4:54
34 Rebecca Curley For Viored RT st
35 Clemence Copie High Wycombe CC RT Dolce Cynergy st
36 Emily Barnes Condor Cycles Rapha @11:09
37 Iona Sewell Geoffrey Butler Cycles.co.uk @11:29
38 Nicole Walters Team Hope Factory Racing Ltd @12:44
39 Mary Evans High Wycombe CC RT Dolce Cynergy st
40 Ellie Gilham VC St Raphael Hewitt Cycles Waite Contracts st
41 Miriam Freemantle Team Hope Factory Racing Ltd st
42 Rachel Przybylski Wyndy Milla UK Youth st
43 Gail Aspden Squadra Donne Shutt Velo Rapide Bikefood @1 lap
44 Lisa Daly Sportcity Velo st
45 Sarah Gleave Vortex RT st
46 Victoria Ware Squadra Donne Shutt Velo Rapide Bikefood st
47 Lauren Brown Champion Systems Maxgear Kyklos st
48 Eleanor Jones VC St Raphael Hewitt Cycles Waite Contracts st
49 Frances White Champion Systems Maxgear Kyklos st
50 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RT st
51 Claire Rutherford Vivelo-Bikes Inverse Cyclaim RT
52 Saskia Hook Squadra Donne Shutt Velo Rapide Bikefood @2 laps
Weaver Valley 50th Anniversary Sprint
Lauren Creamer, Abergavenny RC Gateway Cycles
2nd Molly Weaver Scott Contessa Epic Cycles RT
3rd Laura Massey Vivelo Bikes Inverse Cyclaim RT
2011 Lucy Garner
2010 Jessica Booth
2009 Annie Last
2008 Sharon Laws
2007 Lizzie Armitstead
2006 Lorna Webb
2005 Rachel Heal
2004 Michele Ward
2003 Angela Hunter
2002 Julie Mann
2000 Nicole Cooke MBE
1999 Theresa Coltman
1998 Melanie Szubrycht
1997 Sally Boyden
1996 Megan Hughes
1995 Marie Purvis
1994 Maxine Johnson
1993 Marie Purvis
1992 Marie Purvis
1991 Louise Jones
1990 Mandy Jones
1989 Maria Blower
1988 Maria Blower
1987 Lisa Brambini
1986 Judith Painter
1985 Mandy Jones
1984 Margaret Herety
1983 Mandy Jones
1982 Margaret Swinnerton
1981 Catherine Swinnerton
1980 Jackie Harris