The final round of the British Cycling Junior Women’s Road Series kicked off the action at the popular N-Fuse North West Youth and Junior Tour, with a 3.8k prologue along the promenade at Morecambe Bay.
Winners of the two previous rounds - Anna Shackley (Team 22) and Abi Smith (RFDA) - were matched fairly closely in the series standings overall, with Shackley holding a 11-point lead and aiming to set a benchmark for the weekend with strong prologue performances.
But it was Team On Form’s track specialist Sophie Lewis, recently back from medal-winning performances at the Junior World Track Championships with the British Cycling Academy, who came out on top with a dominant performance.
Lewis took the win from teammate Katie Scott by just two seconds, with Shackley finishing third, a further second back. Smith finished a very credible fourth, just five seconds behind the winner.
“I’ve done lots of TT practice recently so I have a good idea about intensity and pacing," revealed Lewis after her run. "Following an easy recovery week after the track worlds I didn’t know what kind of form I had coming into this but I felt really good.”
With just 11 seconds covering the top six riders the weekend is set up nicely for a GC battle over the coming two road stages, Sunday's stage seeing the riders tackle the challenging Quernmore Road climb no fewer than 12 times in the course of a 40km road stage.