Report: Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series

The rainbow stripes of Lucy Garner were the first across the line in the Women’s race at Woking on Tuesday afternoon.

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Event Press Release

Junior World Champion Lucy Garner took the victory in Woking for the second successive season, heading the challenge of American Ruth Winder and Matrix Fitness – Prendas’ Penny Rowson at the end of Round Four of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series.

With Series leader Annie Simpson coming home safely in seventh in the chasing bunch, directly ahead of overall rivals Helen Wyman and Corrine Hall, the white jersey remained on the shoulders of the rider who took victory in Round One in Oxford in May.

The BIG Photo album of the Women’s Racing

Speaking afterwards, Annie Simpson said;

“It was really hard tonight, I just never seemed to get into the race if I am honest. The pace was really high from the start. Crashes started happening and I managed to stay out of trouble and I just knew that I had to beat Corrine Hall who’s in second place overall which I did thankfully.

“My team were fantastic tonight, the best I have ever seen them ride. Every single one of them – counter-attacking; I was so proud of them, they were fantastic. Little Jessie, only 17 years old throwing herself off the front. We have an amazing team.”

A fast pace from the outset slowly whittled down the field to a select group of around 20 riders with no attack allowed to gain more than a brief advantage. Eventually three riders did go clear, with Garner taking Winder and Rowson away to fight out the finish.

On the long uphill drag to the line, Garner gradually drew level with, and then overhauled Winder, having exited the final the final hairpin bend in third spot.

“It feel amazing, it’s awesome,” said World Champion Garner. “I didn’t really know what to expect this year as the races have been so much more attacking that I didn’t know how it was going to pan out but luckily it was how I liked it tonight.”

Going into Round Five in Stoke-on-Trent and Simpson has led both standings since Round One in Oxford in May, and she’s unwilling to ease up now.

“I feel like I’ve come this far now and I’ve realised that I can do it. I am looking forward to Stoke as that’s a really important round for us, that’s where Matrix Fitness are from. We’ve won it the last two years and we really want to make our mark. I need to rest up now, forget that I didn’t have the legs tonight and focus on making our mark on Thursday.

“To finish with two jerseys would be a dream. I’ve come this far, I am not willing to give (the sprints jersey) up at all.”

With 20 points up for grabs in Stoke-on-Trent’s final round, Simpson leads by 12 points from Node4 – Giordana Racing’s Corrine Hall, with defending champion Helen Wyman the only other rider capable of catching her, a further four points in arrears.

The Matrix Fitness – Prendas rider also enjoys an eight point lead in the Sprints classification over VC St Raphael’s Jo Tindley the only rider who can catch her, but would need to take both intermediate sprints to do so.

Matrix Fitness – Prendas have pulled ten points clear in the team standings, but with a maximum of three riders scoring all is still to play for between themselves and Node4 – Giordana, both of whom will be on home roads in Stoke-on-Trent.

Report in Pictures

Series leader Annie Simpson was 7th on the night in Woking and leads Corrine Hall by 12 points

Lucy Garner in the winner’s spot yet again proudly shows off her rainbow stripes after winning in Woking.

Lucy outsprinters American visitor Ruth Winder in a decisive sprint victory. Matrix Fitness Prendas rider Penny Rowson is an excellent third.

Last year’s series winner Helen Wyman on the attack during the race at Woking.

Still a junior, Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness Prendas) has a go within sight of the finish but the bunch in full flight swept her up and denied her a brave victory. 

Jo Tindley, second in the Sprints competition and wearing the jersey as Annie Simpson is leading the series overall as well, is an example of how riders who might not make it onto the GB programme (whoops…, they don’t have a women’s road programme!)  can carry on racing and be successful in their own right. There are many others, Penny Rowson is another, Harriett Owen, Corrine Hall and many others. Jo crashed on the final lap but will back in Stoke-on-Trent to go for the win!

Despite having a great sprint as she showed in the London Nocturne, Hannah Barnes, the British Circuit Race Champion (Women) has a go at getting away with Penny Rowson on her wheel. Hannah however fell and then had her sister Alice (Twenty3c-Orbea) crash into her. Hannah said afterwards — “I caught Alice as she fell…. aw, sisterly love!)

Big crowd watches as Lucy Garner, well short of the line, has time to start getting those arms in the air and celebrate a victory she so obviously enjoyed.

Early in the race, Corrine Hall of Node 4 on the attack makes the riders behind suffer.

Alice Barnes (Twenty3c-Orbea) and series leader Annie Simpson (Matrix Fitness-Prendas) following the wheels during the race.

Annie Simpson also leads the Sprint competition. 

Round Four, Woking, Provisional Results

Round Four Individual Result (top ten)
1. Lucy Garner, Node4 – Giordana Racing
2. Ruth Winder, Team VanderKitten
3. Penny Rowson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
4. Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic
5. Eileen Roe, Team Ibis Cycles
6. Hannah Walker, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
7. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas
8. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
9. Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing
10. Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls

Round Four Team Winners: Matrix Fitness – Prendas

Overall Individual Standings, post Round Four (top ten)
1. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 68pts
2. Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 56pts
3. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing, 52pts
4. Penny Rowson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 45pts
5. Laura Massey, Vivelo Bikes / Inverse / Cyclaim, 38pts
6. Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls, 38pts
7. Harriet Owen, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 37pts
8. Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles, 37pts
9. Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael, 36pts
10. Hannah Walker, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 29pts
11. Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!, 28pts
12. Alice Barnes, – Orbea, 20pts
13. Adel Tyson-Bloor, VC St Raphael, 17pts
14. Jo McRae, Look Mum No Hands!, 16pts
15. Adele Carter, Team Hope Factory Racing, 13pts
16. Lyndsey Glazier, Team Hope Factory Racing, 8pts
17. Emily Bagnall, WyndyMilla UK Yout, 7pts
18. Grace Garner, RST Racing Team Trigon, 5pts

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Four
1. Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 155pts
2. Node4 – Giordana Racing, 145pts
3. VC St Raphael, 76pts
4. Mule Bar Girls, 73pts
5. WyndyMilla UK Youth, 7pts

Sprints winner Woking: Ruth Winder (Team VanderKitten)

Sprints standings, post Round Woking
1. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 24pts
2. Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael, 16pts
3. Hannah Walker, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 13pts
4. Ruth Winder, Team VanderKitten, 12pts
5. Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles, 12pts
6. Lucy Garner, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 8pts
7. Harriet Owen, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 8pts
8. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing, 5pts
9. Eileen Roe, Team Ibis Cycles, 3pts
10. Corrine Hall, Node4 – Giordana Racing, 3pts
11. Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic, 2pts
12. Natalie Creswick, Mule Bar Girls, 2pts
13. Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!, 2pts
14. Jo McRae, Look Mum No Hands!, 2pts
15. Tamina Oliver, Abergavenny Road Club, 2pts
16. Penny Rowson, Matrix Fitness – Prendas, 1pt
17. Adela Carter, Team Hope Factory Racing, 1pt


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