Eileen Roe won this yearâ€™s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series in the way every champion wants to be crowned â€“ winning from the front
Report – Roe seals series win in Woking
by Gordon Wiseman
Taking her second win of the year, the Commonwealth Games bound Scottish rider outsprinted the cream of the Matrix Fitness regulars with a powerful drive to the line at Woking after her Starley Primal team had fought a tough tactical battle with Series rival â€“ and Commonwealth Games team-mate â€“ Charline Joiner and her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International squad.
Still struggling to catch her breath as she climbed off her bike after winning the race, Eileen gasped â€œâ€œThat was just so amazing, I canâ€™t believe Iâ€™ve won!â€
One of the ever present venues on the Matrix Fitness calendar, the 1.4km Woking race is held on one of the most technical circuits of the year with sharp corners, two hairpin bends and a long, slightly uphill finishing straight and any winner, every winner, always knows theyâ€™ve had to work hard for their winnerâ€™s laurels.
Going into the final race of the year, Roe had just a three point lead over Joiner and with double points available the Series win was still realistically possible for probably the top half dozen or so riders.
From the opening laps, the tactical battle between Pearl Izumi and Starley Primal was evident to the huge crowd that lined the circuit but that meant other teams had the chance to put their riders at the front as the Series leaders watched each otherâ€™s every move.
Lydia Boylan (Velosport â€“ Pasta Montegrappa), Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling) and young Grace Garner (RST Racing Team) all took turns to lead the race whilst Helen Wyman (Matrix Fitness â€“ Vulpine) watched any move towards the front on the Sprint laps as she hunted â€“ and scored – the final points she needed to win the Sprint standings.
But whilst all this action was taking place, for lap after lap Roe followed Joinerâ€™s wheel and Joiner followed Roeâ€™s, each being encouraged by their respective team mangerâ€™s keep each other in sight whilst their team mates kept their leading rider safely close to the front.
With 30 minutes racing covered, the front group was down to less than 20 riders and the words â€œsprint finishâ€ seemed to be on every ones lips. But Tamiko Butler (WyndyMilla â€“ Reynolds) hadnâ€™t read the script and as the race moved into the final 5 laps it looked like the Trinidad and Tobago road race champion â€“ racing in the UK as she also prepares for the Commonwealth Games – was going to steal the show.
As she tired up the rising finishing straight with three laps to go, but having done enough to take the Combatively award for the night, the front of the race regrouped for the final show down.
Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) lead across the line going into the final lap closely followed by team-mate Gabbie Day and Starley Primalâ€™s Katie Curtis as they tried to hold the front for their respective team leaders.
At the back end of the circuit, just two corners away from the finishing line, the front group came across some back markers and it was Katie Curtis (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) who took the initiative and started to lead out Roe, the two riders shouting instructions and encouragement to each other as the finishing line beckoned.
As the road started to rise, Roe jumped off the back wheel of Curtis to take a clear win from Amy Roberts and the rapid â€“ now where have we heard that before? â€“ Grace Garner with Joiner back in sixth place.
Eileen Roe (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) â€“ â€œThat was just so amazing, I canâ€™t believe Iâ€™ve won! It was tactics throughout the whole race today. We knew that Charline had to make a few attacks because leaving it to a bunch sprint with only a few points between us was always going to be a bit risky”.
“I was told throughout the race that I wasnâ€™t to leave her side and thatâ€™s what I did. Really, I had the advantage as I was in the overall lead and so didnâ€™t have to do anything apart from watch her.”
â€œKatieâ€™ â€“ Curtis â€“ â€˜helped me loads and she worked absolutely amazingly and Iâ€™ll never be able to thank her enough. I couldnâ€™t have asked for more from a team-mate. Going into the last corners when we came across some back markers I was roaring at her. Sarah Storey went wide and Charline was on her wheel and when that happened Katie jumped inside and I followed her”.
“I screamed at her â€˜give it everythingâ€™ and when we got the gap, coming out of the last bend we were going left then right as we went through the back markers. Then coming up to the finish it was a hard drag, some head wind and that only made the finish harder.”
â€œComing into this race, all day Iâ€™ve been so nervous. I was given the day off work by my boss and since the Nocturne, winning today is all Iâ€™ve been thinking of. At the Nocturne it was my turn to support Katie but today, Katie again worked brilliantly for me as she has done all Series, all the team have”.
â€œIâ€™m really, really very pleased. Today, that was pressure. Now that pressureâ€™s off I can start to think about the Commonwealth Games, I really canâ€™t waitâ€.
Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling) â€“ â€œI was very happy with my race until the last corner when we got mixed up with some back markers. The race had been very tactical at the front between Pearl and Starley but then getting mixed up like that, I think that made a difference in the end”.
â€œIâ€™m pleased with the result overall but obviously Iâ€™d have preferred to have got my second win after the result at Redditch. I came here to win so youâ€™re never really happy when you havenâ€™t got what you came forâ€.
Grace Garner (RST Racing Team) â€“ â€œThird tonight, Iâ€™m really very pleased. I only did my first Matrix race at Redditch so to have got one third place finish out of two rides, Iâ€™m very pleased with that. I now move to a training block for the Europeans, going to a training camp next week and then focus on the team pursuit for the Euro track champsâ€.
Charline Joiner (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) â€“ â€œI was in a perfect position coming into the last corner, sitting on Sarahâ€™s wheel but we took a different line to Eileen and Katie and then we caught the back of another bunch. You canâ€™t change things like that so I guess thatâ€™s just life.
â€œIâ€™m really, really pleased with the way the Series has gone but at the same time very disappointed not to have won overall. But we won the team prize at every round! The team is so strong as a team and the individual riders within the team so it could have been any one of us who could have won”.
â€œAfter the start to my yearâ€™ â€“ Charline dramatically broke her back in a fall at an early season training camp â€“ â€˜I canâ€™t really have asked for more. Really the season has all been about the Commonwealths but the Matrix Series has been great from my training and fitness as I lost three months after my accident. But I really always enjoy riding in this Series and I aim to do so again next year, hopefully with the same Pearl Izumi teamâ€.
Helen Wyman (Matrix Fitness â€“ Vulpine) â€“ â€œWhoâ€™d have thought it, â€˜Helen Wyman, sprinterâ€™! I wasnâ€™t going for the win overall and as we got mixed up at the end it was carnage and by then Iâ€™d got what I started the race for.”
“Todayâ€™s wasnâ€™t my kind of course so for me today was about getting the final points I needed to win outright the Sprinterâ€™s jersey and then getting home safe. My proper training now starts on Monday when I start preparing for the next winter season”.
â€œI think tonight I got second in both sprints but I only had to get one point and that meant being fifth in one sprint. But Iâ€™m more than pleased with that result. I took the jersey last week by default and then I took it in my own right after Redditch.”
“Weâ€™re going back to Belgium tonight. Some of the team will be racing over the next couple of weeks but for me thereâ€™s no races for three weeks as I start my winterâ€™s training.”
“As well as my bronze medal in the Worldâ€™s, last season I was second in the World rankings and I won 15 races and so I want to do that again and more in the season to come. I want to win the Koppenberg Cross again â€“ itâ€™s got equal prize money next time â€“ as well as do well in the Europeans and thereâ€™s the World Cup round in Milton Keynes as wellâ€.
Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series Tuesday 10 June 2014
Round Five, Woking
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
2) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda
3) Grace Garner, GBR, RST Racing Team
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
5) Clemence Copie, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport
6) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
7) Gabriella Shaw, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
8) Laura Greenhalgh, GBR, Twickenham CC
9) Lydia Boylan, GBR, Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
10) Jo Tindley, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
Round Five Sprint Winner: Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
Round Five Team Winner: Starley Primal Pro Cycling
Final Overall Individual Standings, post-Round Five
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 104pts
2) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 91pts
3) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda, 69pts
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 69pts
5) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 69pts
Final Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Five
1) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 30pts
2) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 20pts
3) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 18pts
Final Overall Team Standings, post-Round Five
1) Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 227pts
2) Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 169pts
3) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 136pts
4) Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 88pts
5) Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa, 73pts
6) RST Racing Team, 64pts
7) Epic Cycles – Scott WRT, 49pts
8) WyndyMilla Reynolds, 46pts
9) GBcycles.co.uk, 3pts
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