Tour Series Redditch – Alice in Wonderland

Gordon Wiseman’s feature report on the Women’s Tour Series race in Redditch on Tuesday night

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Tour Series Redditch – Alice in Wonderland

from – Gordon Wiseman

After all the talk, hope and expectations, Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling Team) started this year’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix series in exactly the same way as she last completed a round of the prestigious televised series – at Stevenage last June – by stamping her authority on the whole field

The perceived wisdom is that Redditch offers the riders probably the most demanding circuit of the year with the 1.4km length providing a sharp fast decent, equally tough uphill section and a very tight and demanding chicane at the end of the fast finishing straight. But once she’d put her best foot down, Barnes simply rode away from the rest of the field.

Redditch offered near perfect racing conditions and a huge crowd lined most of the circuit. The race into the first corner chicane immediately started the process of splitting the field and by the end of the third lap a small group that included Barnes and another pre-race favourite – Katie Archibald (Team WNT) – were slowly building a gap over the rest of the chasers.

The end of lap 5 finished the first of the evening sprints and it was Archibald who won the first of jersey points of the evening with Barnes filling her rear wheel. But by the end of the next circuit Alice had made her move and from that point onwards she quickly built up a gap that stretched to nearly 30 seconds.

Archibald linked up with her Rio Olympic Team Pursuit gold medalling winning team-mate Elinor Barker in their chase of Barnes but with the Welsh track World Champion this time racing in the colours of Team Breeze they seemed wary of each other’s moves and that only seemed to work even more to Barnes advantage.

With the laps counting down and only an apparent mechanical problem being capable of getting in the way of Barnes taking the chequered flag, Archibald and Barker did start to make inroads into the Drops rider’s lead but it seemed they’d never be able to do enough to stop Alice again standing on the top step of the winner’s podium.

And on exiting the final bend at the top of climb, after just shy of 43 minutes racing Alice had enough time to saviour ever one of the final metres of Her race as she started her winner’s salute as she crossed the finishing line. Behind her, Archibald had saved enough to out-sprint her Rio team-mate Barker.

With Barnes being supported by Rebecca Durrell (fourth) and Lucy Shaw (seventh) Drops also won the evening’s team competition, the 2016 team runners-up confirming their goal of moving to the number one team position at the end of the series.

Alice Barnes – “That just seemed to happen really. After the first sprint Katie and I raced into the next corner together but I managed to open a small gap. I know I can pick up a bit of speed going through corners and I kind of just did that, looked behind and saw I’d got a bit more of a gap and so I kept pressing on. The three of us’ Archibald and Elinor Barker – ‘were all on our own so we were all doing the same amount of work and so I thought it really just depended on who could go the hardest.

“I did keep looking around to see where everyone was as I didn’t want to kill myself if there was no need. The gap kept on growing and although I think it may have started to come down towards the end, the crowds were so loud I couldn’t hear the PA so I didn’t know how close they were getting”.

Katie Archibald – “I wasn’t really all that pleased with my own performance. I think I got to drawn in trying to attack El and I just thought, a bit arrogantly I suppose, that the pair of us would drag Alice back but that just proved to be wrong so I guess it’s a slap on the wrist for me. It was nice to win a sprint out of two but it was not the result we were really after”.

Elinor Barker – “I’m really pleased with my result tonight, perhaps not the last sprint but, overall? Yeah, it was good. I messed up a bit with my gear choice but Katie was really strong. It was a bit of a battle between us and I thought with our combined strength we’d pull Alice back but perhaps she’ – Katie – ‘was riding with her team tactics in mind and I know Katie is fiercely loyal when supporting her team”.
… continued after advert



Individual Race Result
1 Alice Barnes Drops
2 Katie Archibald Team WNT
3 Elinor Barker Team Breeze
4 Rebecca Durrell Drops
5 Eileen Roe Team WNT
6 Lydia Boylan Team WNT
7 Lucy Shaw Drops
8 Emily Nelson Team Breeze
9 Megan Barker Team Breeze
10 Charmaine Porter Team Ford EcoBoost
11 Manon Lloyd Team Breeze
12 Annie Simpson Drops
13 Alice Sharpe NCC Group Kuota Torelli
14 Neah Evans Storey Racing
15 Jennifer George Storey Racing
16 Gaby Shaw Team WNT
17 Lauren Dolan Liv Epic
18 Amy Hill Team OnForm
19 Julie Erskin Team OnForm
20 Anna Henderson Team OnForm
21 Rebecca Goodson VeloSchils Interbike
22 Lauren Humphreys Aprire HSS Hire
23 Annasley Park Drops
24 Lauren Creamer NCC Group Kuota Torelli
25 Sian Botteley Team OnForm
26 Lauren Murphy Liv Epic
27 Gwenno Hughes NCC Group Kuota Torelli
28 Madeleine Gammons VeloSchils Interbike
29 Lizzy Bennett Liv Epic
30 Mel Brand Team Ford EcoBoost
31 Jenny Holl Team Jadan Weldtite p.b Vive
32 Jessica Woodworth Team OnForm
33 Charlotte Broughton Team Ford EcoBoost
34 Lorna Bowler Team Jadan Weldtite p.b
35 Joscelin Lowden Aprire HSS Hire
36 Steph Clayton Sunsport Velo 14
37 Fiona Redding Sunsport Velo 14
38 Bethany Taylor Team RGB Building Supplies
39 Steph Mottram NCC Group Kuota Torelli
40 Kelly Murphy Team Ford EcoBoost
41 Monica Dew Storey Racing
42 Joanne Clay VeloSchils Interbike
43 Beth Crumpton Storey Racing
44 Sophie Thackray NCC Group Kuota Torelli
45 Amber Joseph Storey Racing
46 Alice Staniford Team RGB Building Supplies
47 Rosie Walsh Sunsport Velo
48 Emily Tillet Liv Epic
49 Louise Scupham Team Jadan Weldtite p.b Vive Le Velo
50 Julie Elder Aprire HSS Hire
51 Felicity Gledhill Sunsport Velo
52 Emily Kay Team WNT
53 Connie Hudson Liv Epic
54 Nicola Soden VeloSchils Interbike
55 Jenny Corser Team RGB Building Supplies
56 Sandra Mackay VeloSchils Interbike
57 Rhona Callander Team Jadan Weldtite
58 Emma Lewis Aprire HSS Hir
59 Adele Martin Team Ford EcoBoost

Brother Fastest Lap
Alice Barnes, GBR, Drops, 2:09.881

Team Standings, post-Round One
1 Drops 96
2 Team WNT 95
3 Team Breeze 88
4 Team OnForm 51
5 NCC Group Kuota Torelli 44
6 Storey Racing 43
7 Liv Epic 36
8 Team Ford EcoBoost 35
9 VeloSchils Interbike 23
10 Aprire HSS Hire 15
11 Team Jadan Weldtite p.b Vive Le Velo 7



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