Emma Jeffers powered to the win in the finale of a cagey race and Jacob Scott capped a dominant night for WiV SunGod with a fine solo breakaway, as the National Circuit Series continued in Barnsley.
Clear skies and the warmth of a summer’s evening greeted the riders in Barnsley. It was a stark contrast to the weather that they had found in Stockton two weeks prior.
The series leader and winner from the previous round in Ilkley, Eluned King, was not on the start list in Barnsley. However, lining up instead was a strong field of motivated riders. Her Le Col - Wahoo teammate, Marjolein van’t Geloof, was ready to make the race hard, and former national champion, Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Red Chilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen) had a score to settle at this race, having missed out on the win in 2019.
The flag dropped and the race exploded into life straight away. Jo Tindley attacked from the gun, stretching out the bunch and gaining a small lead in the process. Tindley’s cornering skills are widely noted and she put them to good use on the tight circuit.
The bunch soon stretched into a long, thin line, and the pressure caused splits in the bunch, Amira Mellor (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus) notably caught on the wrong side at one point.
As the pace slowed, it seemed that the elastic had snapped - only 14 riders were left at the front of the race. The lone figure of Amy Gornall, Tindley’s teammate, was chasing hard and, as she made the junction, Pro Noctis had the numerical advantage in the front group.
There were notable attacks from Emma Jeffers (JRC-Interflon), the national circuit race champion Josie Nelson (Team Coop-Hitec Products), Sammie Stuart (CAMS-Basso Bikes), Beth Morrow (CAMS-Basso Bikes,) and Marjolein van’t Geloof (Le Col-Wahoo). However, nothing could break the front group and a bunch sprint was on the cards.
Coming into the final lap, Pro Noctis led the way with Lucy Ellmore, who put in a hard stint to move Jo Tindley into pole position. But as the bunch rounded the penultimate corner, it was Van’t Geloof who kicked first.
The early move caught the rest by surprise. Van’t Geloof powered up the drag to the finish line with the bunch splintering behind her. Suddenly, with 50 meters to go, the 17-year-old Jeffers dug deep with a final acceleration, coming around a fading Van’t Geloof to win by a wheel length. Tindley was on her wheel and comfortably took third.
The win means that Emma Jeffers also takes hold of the National Circuit Series lead as we head towards the latter half of the series, while Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/bHeidi Kjeldsen hold the lead in the team standings.
The men’s race started in much the same manner as the women’s - WiV SunGod had come to Barnsley with a plan, and they knew how to execute it. Starting on the front row, the team went from the gun.
Jake Scott led the bunch over the line on the first lap, with a long line of riders trying to get on terms with the pace being set by the men in blue.
It wasn’t long before the cracks formed and the bunch fell apart. Six riders moved clear, with Scott, Rob Scott, Toby Barnes, and Jim Brown (WiV SunGod) forging ahead with Finn Crockett (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) and Callum Thornley (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli) alongside them.
After 30 minutes of riding, the pace was too much for Thornley, who slowly faded from the front group. Just when it seemed that things would calm down, Jake Scott attacked hard.
He quickly gained a gap and, with three WiV SunGod teammates on the wheel of Crockett, the chase was severely limited. It was clear that Crockett would struggle to counter such an overwhelming numerical advantage on his own.
Jake Scott built up a commanding lead - at one point it reached 40 seconds - and his teammates behind took advantage of the situation. Rob Scott launched clear as well, and Crockett seemed to resign himself to fighting for a podium position as the peloton swallowed up the remains of the early break.
Jake Scott’s lead was never in doubt. As he crossed the line, he eased up and it felt like he could hardly believe the result. His WiV SunGod teammate, Rob Scott, crossed the line almost 30 seconds later and Brown led home the bunch sprint to cap an incredible team performance.
Jake Scott’s win places him firmly in the lead in the National Circuit Series with two rounds remaining and WiV SunGod are in a dominant position at the top of the team standings, ahead of Saint Piran and Wheelbase CabTech Castelli.
Emma Jeffers (JRC-INTERFLON Race Team)
Marjolein van’t Geloof (Le Col – Wahoo)
Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes by Heidi Kjeldsen)
Jacob Scott (WiV SunGod)
Rob Scott (WiV SunGod)
Jim Brown (WiV SunGod)