Team News – Pearl Izumi Women’s Team Track Champs


Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International girls come away from Track Champs with Two Golds and a Silver from four endurance events

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Team News – Pearl Izumi Women’s Team Track Champs

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In a National Track Championships that boasted a field worthy of a World Championship the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International girls took an impressive 2 golds and a silver from four endurance events.

The action was kick-started on Day One with a superb opening qualifier from Katie Archibald, Ciara Horne, Dame Sarah Storey and Anna Turvey in the team pursuit. After qualifying the girls managed to work together to produce an outstanding result in the finals coming second to the Wiggle Honda team, with a fantastic time of 4.33.657 despite being unable to practice together, demonstrating how talented the girls are and how well they perform as a team. The team’s silver medal in the team pursuit however proved to be just the start of a fantastic five days of racing.

Day two was the 500m time trial, which acted as a supplementary event for the team to test the speed element of their training, meaning the girls were not expected to challenge the sprinters in this particular race. It was a particularly useful race for Katie Archibald, who is able to use the race as a focus within the omnium. Katie gave a convincing ride, coming in with a time of 37.209, less than 3 seconds behind overall winner Jess Varnish riding for Team V-Sprint racing, which placed Katie 10th. Ciara Horne came in closely behind Katie at 15th with a time of 38.489, Dame Sarah finished 19th with a time of 38.935 and Anna Turvey finished 20th thanks to a superb time of 39.226.


Day Three had a lot to live up to after the previous two days but the team managed to deliver exceptional results in the individual pursuit, most notably Katie Archibald’s very special gold medal final against Laura Trott riding for Wiggle Honda, which saw Katie finish nearly 2 and a half seconds ahead of Laura Trott with a winning time of 3:34.869 – described by team captain Dame Sarah Storey as “super impressive”.

The top 8 was in fact dominated by the girls from Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International and Wiggle Honda, with an equal split of the teams appearing in the top places. Alongside winner Katie Archibald three other team members finished in the top 8, with Ciara Horne riding a personal best time of 3.38.814, Sarah Storey riding a strong second ride coming in at 3.40.912 to elevate herself from 7th to 6th place, and Anna Turvey riding an incredible time of 3.45.907 making her 8th.

With just one night’s rest the team were back the next day for Day Four’s action in the scratch race, which promised to be a hotly contested race due to the presence of Corrine Hall riding for Matrix Fitness, Emily Kay of Team USN and Wiggle Honda racers Dani King, Laura Trott and Elinor Barker among the starting line-up. Dame Sarah Storey, Charline Joiner, Ciara Horne and Katie Archibald launched an aggressive start in the scratch, working as a team to hold the lead for the first 15 laps of the total 60, ensuring the other riders were kept at a rapid pace.

The 16th lap saw a brief breakaway for Dame Sarah, enabling Katie Archibald to move up through the peloton in order for her to proceed to launch her own subsequent break away during lap 24 along with five other riders. From lap 28 onwards this small group rode away from the peloton, leading to their riding being described as “personification of sheer class” by Hugh Porter, the commentator for the night. As Katie Archibald approached lap 42 the six woman peloton remained 2 laps ahead of the rest of the riders, meaning the order the 6 girls finished in the concluding sprint would determine the rankings.

Then, in a brave move, Dame Sarah broke away from the pack alone with just 14 laps remaining. Within just 9 laps she clawed back a lap from the other riders, ensuring she would finish 6th overall. With 2 laps to go Katie Archibald crossed the line in 3rd place, and approaching the line for the final sprint she was in 1st place. After a stunning final lap Katie Archibald secured 4th place after an incredibly tight contest, an achievement which she was “chuffed” about. Charline Joiner, noted that the winning time of 18.25 was in fact “the same speed as the men’s” showing just how aggressive the race had been.

Day Five commenced less than 15 hours after the evening session of Day Four, leaving little time for any rest or contemplation for the team. The final of the 25km points race saw Dame Sarah Storey, Ciara Horne, Katie Archibald and Charline Joiner competing in an extremely tense race to the very end.


Working strategically as a team, the girls remained aware of each other on the track, riding intelligently to ensure their team mates chances were not hampered by any unpredictable movements. First attack of the race was by Sarah shortly after the first sprint points had been contested. Quickly gapping the field and gaining half a lap Story rode almost 30 laps solo to finally take a lap and gain 20 points on the field. With more attacks going in and riders trying to get even, the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International girls remained vigilant and Sarah managed to get in another move to take a second lap, whilst Ciara also took a lap.

With Katie continuously scoring points during the sprints, the team were well placed with 3 riders in the hunt for medals. Charline rode an intelligent race ensuring she was always near her team mates to provide support and a wheel to follow during the attacks. By the final sprint Sarah’s lead couldn’t be overturned and the fight was for the minor places. Finishing as National Champion wasn’t something Sarah had expected prior to the start of the race and she says after, “It’s a huge surprise and quite overwhelming and I feel fortunate enough to have ridden alongside such amazing team mates.”

Overall, the five day National Track Championships proved to be very rewarding for the team, who worked together to produce a stunning set of results, including three trips to the podium and a personal best time, made possible by the team pulling together and flying round the track. Team Director Barney Storey described the girls as riding “incredibly well throughout the Championships”, adding, “to finish with 2 National titles plus a silver medal was fantastic riding by the team”.

The team can now look forward to upcoming training camps and a new race season schedule, alongside welcoming Joanna Rowsell MBE to the team, in what promises to be an action packed and medal winning race season.

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