News: Lucy Garner adds European title to Worlds

East Midlands rider, Lucy Garner (Node 4) has won the European Junior Women’s Road Race title in Holland (Sunday)

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Current World Junior Road Race Champion for Women, Lucy Garner, used her sprint to win the European title on Sunday, August 12.

Lucy Garner winning in the Johnson Health Tech GP series this year wearing those rainbow stripes.

The race over a distance of 80 kilometres began with the French team on neutral service bikes after the French bikes were stolen during the night and two riders from GB in the race, Emily Kay and Lucy Garner. With riders from 21 countries taking part, the race was never going to be a push over for the world champion who was well marked as she is in every race she rides with those rainbow bands.

The wind, as ever in Holland, was the main obstacle for the riders and the first lap passed by at an average of 39kph without any major breaks but crashes, like the crashfest in the Junior Men’s race, saw many riders chances of success wiped out and with as many as 30 riders involved in one of the crashes, the peloton was split in two at one point. The crashes were certainly having their effect on the speed of the race and the average for the second lap dropped to 36kph and a bunch kick was looking more and more likely.

That didn’t stop some brave riders from having a go though. Ana Maria Covrig had a go on her own with Manon Bourdiaux and Ksenia Dobrynina bridging the gap to join her and that put three riders in the lead. The move though didn’t stick and the peloton had soon dragged them back before they got the bell for the last of the four laps.

Sanguineti and Boucher decided it was the right time to go but the peloton decided otherwise before more and more riders had a go at trying to get away including one from the host country Holland in a group of three, Lucja Pietrzak, Nicky and Caroline Baur Zijlaard.

Their lead was only small, 10 or 15 seconds and it was yoyoing up and down before they were caught in sight of the line as the Ukraine team tried to line the finish up for their rider only for Lucy Garner to rocket out of the peloton to win ahead of Anna Stricker (Italy) in pretty second place and Kirsten Koppens in third.

After her win in the Senior Women’s Circuit Championship in Sheffield recently, Lucy was obviously in good form and she now has titles from Britain, Europe and World to her name… Who knows, in four years time, it may well be Lucy leading the GB team in the road race at the Rio Olympics!

Speaking to Lucy by phone after the race, she explained that despite the crashes in her race, she was able to avoid them and get to the finish ready to show her sprint off yet again on a flat course that suited both her and Emily Kay.

“We did quite well out there and everyone was quite nervous. It is a big championship so it was understandable. I was so happy with that win, dead emotional coming over the line and on the podium!”

Lucy on the podium. Photo

Whilst Lucy managed to stay upright, Emily Kay from the Halesowen was not so lucky and she did fall during the race as Lucy explained. “She crashed on the last corner. I didn’t see it but heard it and it sounded really bad. Emily is okay though and I think its just annoying for her to get caught up in a crash so close to the finish.”

Describing the finish, Lucy said to VeloUK “The Italians tried to do a lead out for one of their riders but with a k to go, that sort of ended and it was just everyone fighting for their position but luckily I was on a good wheel and had space to move around. I was trying to ride my own race out there and not looking out for anyone I knew was sprinting.”

“I just wanted to get second wheel into the final bend because it was 300 to 400 metres from there to the finish so that was too early to go so I didn’t want to be on the front. Luckily (so modest Lucy!) I came out of there on second wheel and just went for the line.”

With the Olympics about to finish, VeloUK asked Lucy was Rio (Olympics) her next big challenge after the success she has had as a junior? “Definitely. I just love riding my bike and it’s what I want to do. It will be hard next year because I am moving up to senior so I’ll be looking to mix in and see how I compete against them. I am really looking forward to the next four years and we’ll just see how it goes.”

“The amount of success we have had on the road and track has been phenomenal. I don’t think anyone would have thought it would be so great; it has been amazing and you can tell its having an effect because when I go out training on the road and people are beeping their horns and giving me more space. There are also so many more people out on their bikes, it is great to see.”

Lucy explained how her last race before the next Junior Worlds , again in Holland but this time a hilly region (Limburg) of the country, will be a Team Series at Darley Moor and besides that, the young lady in the rainbow stripes will be concentrating on her training at the Worlds.


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