Report & Photo Album: Women’s Curlew Cup RR

Photo report and results from the Women’s Curlew Cup Road Race at Stamfordham in Northumberland last weekend

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Sarah Storey’s Rider Report about her sprint victory …

Being held for the first time, and alongside the men’s Premier Calendar race of the Beaumont Trophy, the Curlew Cup was one of the longer events for the women in the National Road Series, covering 55 miles around the undulating circuit that started and finished in the village of Stamfordham. The weather during the week had been horrific in parts of the region and when we arrived there was plenty of debris on the circuit and a rather exciting looking water feature just after the short rise from the start!

The women’s race was to complete four laps of the shorter circuit, whilst the men were taken on a longer circuit to incorporate the Ryles climb. I know there were a few women who would have loved to have seen our race take in the big circuit too!

The Big Photo Album from the Curlew Cup

The race started with another small field and after a rather pedestrian first lap I decided to test my legs and see if I had the speed to take the first of three sprints that were up for grabs on the finish line each lap. To my surprise no one came round me and I took the points so it looked as though the legs were good and I started to work out when a good time for an attack would be. Keeping the pace high after the sprint, I had Cath Williamson, Eileen Roe and Sarah Byrne for company at the front, so I decided to attack as we turned left into the headwind, where the road goes gradually uphill for a couple of kilometres.

The plan worked and I took four other riders with me and managed to build up a 30 second lead by the top of the climb. Cath Williamson, Eileen Roe and Bex Heath were all driving the pace too and by the time I took the points on the line for the end of the second lap, we were 1 minute 30 ahead and could just ride to the pace of the chasers and take a bit of a breather. The break worked well, with Cath, Eileen and Bex all putting in strong turns and as we took the bell, Cath had the final prime sown up and it was all down to the final kilometre to sort out who would take the win.

I found myself on the front as we crossed the 1 kilometre to go mark and so ended up leading it out. I never expected to have enough speed for the win, so put my head down and didn’t dare look round until I could see the line approaching. When I finally sneaked a look, there was a gap and I realised I had won! I couldn’t have been happier and no one was more surprised than me to find I had a better gallop on me than I realised!

The Video Report  (BCpremiercalendar)

The Photo Report

Sarah Storey (above) has won the Curlew Cup in a sprint from the break of five. Catherine Williamson was second and Helen Wyman third (provisional)

With only 32 starters, it was a poor field in numbers that supported this new event but the quality was there as well. Series leader Sarah Storey, Helen Wyman who so comprehensively won the Johnson GP Series race in Stoke. And international rider Catherine Williamson who has represented Great Britain many times on the road.

The race was held on a 13.9 mile circuit over four laps in race of 55 miles and after the first lap it was all together as Sarah Storey Below) lead the sprint out for a prime as the rain started to fall.

Lap two and a break had formed with Sarah Storey, Helen Wyman, Catherine Williamson, Elieen Roe and Rebecca Heath. They had well over two minutes lead on a chasing group of eight with what was left of the peloton many more minutes behind.

Series leader Sarah Storey leads through the finish at the halfway point of the race.

The chase group … 

The peloton led here by Jessie Walker of Matrix Fitness Prendas.

At the bell lap, there was little change in the race and coming through the finish, Catherine Williamson had gapped her breakaway companions but it was going to take a mighty effort to escape from the likes of Storey and Wyman.

Sarah exclaimed afterwards “I can sprint” before explaining how she wanted to try something different and winning a group sprint was ideal preparation for the Paralympics.

Result Provisional

1. Sarah Storey
2. Catherine Williamson
3. Helen Wyman
4. Elieen Rowe
5. Rebecca Heath
6. Annie Simpson
7. Corrine Hall
8. S McNamara
9. Tracey Best
10. Iona Sewell
11. Sarah Brooke
12. Sarah Bryne
13. Penny Rowson
14. Hannah Walker
15. Jessie Walker
16. Amy Hill
17. Emily Barnes
18. Laura Wasley
19. Gabby Shaw
20. Rebecca Hunt
21. Louise Borthwick
22. Anna Christian
23. Karen Poole
24. Zoe Armstrong
25. Lauren Creamer


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