Feature Report – Women’s London Nocturne


Nicola Juniper uses her knowledge of former Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team-mates to take an impressive win at the end of a shortened Elite Women’s Crit at the Jupiter London Nocturne

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Feature Report – Women’s London Nocturne –
(By Gordon Wiseman)

Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon-ROTOR) used knowledge of her former Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team-mates to take an impressive win at the end of a shortened Elite Women’s Crit at the Jupiter London Nocturne on a late Saturday night.

2014_NicolaJuniper“I’m absolutely stoked for that” Nicola gasped just minutes after crossing the finishing line, “I’ve podiumed here before in five years but that was only for third so to get the win tonight, that’s really something”.

A field of over 70 riders lined up for what some argue is the premier race on the women’s calendar but the spectacle this year was shortened to just 30 minutes racing after a bad crash in one of the earlier races on the programme. But once the racing got under way – not until after 9pm – there was no holding back as the riders were determined to put on a high octane race to entertain the huge crowds that lined nearly every yard of the circuit.

From the off, Pearl Izumi, Starley Primal and Matrix Fitness jerseys tried to dominate but, riding on her own, Brentford’s Nicola Juniper was not intimidated by being out numbered, despite the presence in the front group of Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) who’d caused so much damage in her visits to the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series this year.

With the field lapping in around 1 min 40secs, within 15 minutes racing back markers were being lapped as a long string of riders filled the back and home straights. But with just 5 laps to go – so she couldn’t take a lap out to get her bike sorted – Archibald, after showing her power at the front, hit the barriers after trying to pass some backmarkers and braking too hard and had to pit to try to get her bars straightened. But with the ‘no laps out’ rule being imposed that was her race finished.

This left the trio of Juniper, Gabbie Shaw (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) and Starley Primal’s Katie Curtis more than 10 seconds clear of the rest of the field and as Curtis then drifted back slightly, Juniper and Shaw were left to fight out to the finish.

Coming into the final bend, after Shaw had left her all on the road trying to break what she feared was the better sprinter’s morale, Juniper sat on her wheel to sprint pass and take the chequered flag by clear air. Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon-ROTOR) – “I’m stoked, really pleased. I’ve just left ‘Boot Out BC’ – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International – ‘so I know how they ride and but they know how I ride. It was really good to see the girls again and to race with them so I knew it was going to be an interesting race”.

“It was quite funny really, every time Katie’ – Archibald – ‘went on the front I was on her wheel and I was being told to sit on. And every time I went on the front she was on my wheel and was told to sit on. So we were both sort of watching each other. Unfortunately Katie looked round at the wrong time and hit a barrier and you never like to see that but I guess that’s racing.”

“After the break went, Katie’ – Curtis – ‘was already gone and Gabby’ – Shaw – ‘jumped and I jumped with her, the pair of us bridged the gap and just worked together. I don’t know what was happening with the peloton, they just didn’t seem to be gaining on us, perhaps they just thought we’d gone”.

“I raced Gabbie the other week at Hillingdon and we sprinted for a prime and it was a photo finish and she got it so I knew she’s a good sprinter. So it just worked out tonight that as we came out of the last corner I was on her wheel and, you know what it’s like, everyone plays silly when they’re coming to a sprint finish, so I just sat on her wheel, she went, I had a jump and I got it. It was a couple of bikes lengths I guess”.

“So I’m absolutely stoked for that. I’ve podiumed here before in five years but that was only for third so to get the win tonight, that’s really something. I couldn’t race last year because I had shingles so that makes tonight’s win even that much better”.
Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) – “That was just too close. I felt really strong and the race started to whittle down quite quickly, it really started to break up quite early which was really good for us and played to our advantage.”

“There were a lot of very strong riders out there and we were looking at trying to get a few riders up into the front group. Then unfortunately Katie’ – Archibald – ‘crashed when there wasn’t long to go so I then I saw I had the opportunity to go and pushed on. I knew I had to make sure Nicola’ – Juniper – ‘didn’t get away. I guess it was a chance to make a team advantage out of possibly a team loss. But that’s bike racing I guess”.

“It’s good to have had such a great result but really I’m pretty gutted I didn’t get the win. I know Nicola really well and I know she’s got a great sprint on her so I knew that would always be tricky so I had to keep the pace high for the last few laps”.

“I’m disappointed but at the same time really happy to have made the podium and it’s a really great result for the team. We couldn’t have asked for a better season seeing that we’re a brand new team and it’s really all just come together. I couldn’t ask for better team-mates and we all really gel together and that must show because we’re getting the results”.

Katie Curtis (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) – “I nearly had them on the last lap. I was trying my hardest so I’m really pleased. It was good team work. Eileen (Roe) really helped me out, taking me through the group, helped me when I was attacking and covering my wheel. I’ve been working for her as she’s been in the leader’s jersey in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series so tonight it was good to get her support”.

Elite Women’s Criterium
1 Nicola Juniper Echelon Rotor 28:52.384
2 Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
3 Katie Curtis Starley Primal Pro Cycling
4 Grace Garner RST Racing Team
5 Amy Roberts Wiggle Honda
6 Eileen Roe Starley Primal Pro Cycling
7 Laura Greenhalgh Twickenham CC
8 Louise Mahe Team Mulebar Girl
9 Annasley Park RST Racing Team
10 Lydia Boylan Velosport Pasta Montegrappa
11 Jessie Walker Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
12 Clemence Copie Team Mulebar Girl
13 Louise Borthwick Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
14 Jo Tindley Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
15 Claire Thomas Velosport Pasta Montegrappa
16 Jasmine Dotti Velosport Pasta Montegrappa
17 Hannah Walker Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
18 Rebecca Womersley Wyndymilla Reynolds
19 Mhairi Mackenzie London Phoenix
20 Tamiko Butler Wyndymilla Reynolds
21 Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub BikeScience
22 Helen Wyman Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
23 Natalie Creswick Team Mulebar Girl
24 Helen Ralston Les Filles RT
25 Tanya Griffiths Starley Primal Pro Cycling
26 Harriet Owen Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
27 Lucy Chittenden East St Cycles
28 Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
29 Dani Christmas SPEG Project 51
30 Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
31 Charline Joiner Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
32 Paige Milward Bike Pure – Lemond – Aspire Velotech
33 Emily Nelson Fusion RT
34 Keira McVitty Wyndymilla Reynolds
35 Mary Costelleo Wyndymilla Reynolds
36 Sigrid Jochems Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
37 Abbie Dentus De very cycles
38 Penny Rowson Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
39 Hannah Payton Wyndymilla Reynolds
40 Clare Gillott Les Filles Race Team
41 Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team
42 Jennifer Taylor Starley Primal Pro Cycling
43 Jennifer Crouch London Dynamo
44 Hisayo Kaneko Boom Cycle
45 Darrelle Parker Boomcycle Race Team
46 Laura Cheesman RP Racing
47 Nicola Engelbach Les Filles RT
48 Anna Marie Hughes Bike Pure – LeMond – Aspire Velotech RT
49 Chloe Weller Starley Primal Pro Cycling
50 Sam Burman Team WNT
51 Rebecca Carter Wyndymilla
52 Emma Towers Twickenham CC
53 Adel Tuson-Bloor Team Mulebar Girl
54 Tracy Corbett London Dynamo
55 Lucy Harper Bike Pure LeMond Aspire Velotech
56 Maeve Savage London Dynamo
57 Francesca Morgans-Slader Bike Pure/Le Mond/Aspire Velotech RT
58 Hester Stembridge Bike Pure/lemond/velotech
59 Victoria Williams Team WNT
60 Emily Barnes Team Mulebar Girl
61 Elanor Cadzow Bonito Squadra Corse
62 Rose Osborne High Wycombe CC
63 Clover Murray Braintree Velo
64 Vivienne Martin CC LONDON
65 Claire Richardson London Dynamo
66 Alexandra Sheehan Team Merlin Cycles


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