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King Wins at Capernwray
Event: Capernwray Women's RR, 12th June 2011
Promoted by: Lune RCC
Event HQ: Aughton Village Hall, Nr Lancaster, Lancs
Report: Richard Seipp
A pleasantly warm and sunny day greeted the 35 starters of the Capernwray Women's Road Race at Aughton Village Hall. This race, as well as being part of the National Women's Series, also
incorporated the North West Region Women's Road Race Championships.
The field had been depleted somewhat by the fact that some of the entered field had raced the Smithfield Nocturne in London the night before although a few riders had somehow managed to cram in both races, heading north immediately after the Nocturne to make the start of the Capernwray.
A neutralised rollout took the riders the 3 miles from HQ to the circuit and the race started with a long straight descent into Arkholme before the tough undulating circuit really kicked in. The peloton began shelling riders out the back almost immediately and within about 2 laps of the 6 lap race, the main bunch was down to about 20 riders.
At this point the bunch reached a truce of sorts; the increasingly strong winds meant that riders were unwilling to commit to launching a breakaway and even on the numerous undulations and the main climb of Sunnybank, the race stayed mostly together, with Horizon Fitness and Motorpoint the two obviously strongest teams present.
A few small gaps appeared in the peloton from time to time but despite a few exploratory changes of pace it became obvious that no decisive break was going to be made and that the bunch were all capable of staying together on this harsh circuit with its rolling roads, narrow lanes and the block headwind on the back straight.
By the time the riders started on the bell lap the weather was closing in rapidly, the wind picking up and grey clouds a foretaste of the rain to come. Half way round the final lap a procession of vintage tractors interrupted proceedings and, with the lead cars and bunch unable to get past them, the race was briefly neutralised, the riders rolling along at about 15mph behind the tractors.
Within a mile or so they turned off and the race was resumed but by now the riders were all looking at each other and the rolling roads to the bottom of Sunnybank went by uneventfully. The riders started the final climb up Sunnybank with Horizon Fitness massing towards the front, the riders still looking at each other and playing the waiting game.
Lynn Hamel (Herbalife-Wheelbase) put in a brave early move up the hill but that was countered immediately and she soon found herself boxed in as Horizon lead out Dani King to perfection; she crossed the line, arms aloft, a bike length ahead of Emma Grant with Lucy Garner in third.
Jo Rowsell (Horizon Fitness) seventh overall and first in the North West Regional Champs, on her third road race of the week after two rounds of the Tour Series at Stoke and Oldham, said "It's unusual to have a sprint finish on this circuit, it's normally very split up by the end but every time I tried to attack I was met by a block headwind and then we were stuck behind the tractors for a bit so it was all together at the end. Dani is our strongest sprinter though and she's been going well all week so we worked for her and she got the win!
Race winner Dani King said "Originally the plan was not to ride after two Tour Series races this week. So really I was looking at this as a training ride. The first lap I wanted to see who was going well, and who was willing to put in the work.
In the second lap on the climb I started to work harder, digging in on the climb, trying to make it a hard race. I kept on trying hard, pushing on wherever possible.
Rather than a breakaway forming, the peloton stayed together, but at the expense of some riders who fell off the back. (33 riders pared down to 14 in the last lap)
My team mates Jo and Penny from Horizon also pushed hard throughout the race, with help from the two Abergavenny girls, Lowri Bunn and Lauren Creamer, as well as Kara Chesworth and Emma Grant. I think this is a hard race, it's got a reputation as a tough course. It forces you to work hard unlike the flatter courses.
It was nice to win it, especially as when I competed on this course a Junior when I got dropped!"
1. Dani King (Horizon Fitness)
2. Emma Grant (For Viored Brookvex)
3. Lucy Garner (Motorpoint)
4. Lowri Bunn (Abergavenny RC)
5. Elinor Barker (Cardiff Ajax)
6. Lauren Creamer (Abergavenny RC)
7. Jo Rowsall (Horizon Fitness)
8. Sarah Byrne (VC St Raphael)
9. Penny Rowson (Horizon Fitness)
10. Charlotte Colclough (For Viored Brookvex)
North West Regional Ladies Championship.
1. Jo Rowsell (Horizon Fitness)
2. Lynn Hamel (Herballife/Wheelbase)
3. Eve Dixon ( MaxGear RT)
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs