The 2022 National Road Series began with bang on Sunday with some enthralling racing at the iconic Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Pro-Noctis, as Becky Storrie and Luke Lamperti both claimed maiden victories at the race.
Becky Storrie (CAMS-Basso) confirmed her billing as one of the pre-race favourites as she took a fine solo win in the women’s race.
The first of eight 13-kilometre laps was a cagey one, with riders seemingly intent on conserving their energies for the battle ahead.
Lucy Gadd (Storey Racing) remained at the fore for the opening laps, with Danni Shrosbree (CAMS-Basso) and Sammie Stuart (Team LDN-Brother UK) joining her in a potential break from the front. Storrie went up to join and the peloton quickly snuffed out the dangerous move.
As the race wore on, CAMS-Basso remained at the front of affairs, keen to dictate the race, but it was Stuart who made a surge off the front, growing a 32-second advantage by the end of lap six before being reeled back in.
On the penultimate lap, Storrie charged her way back to the front up the cobbled Michaelgate climb and took the bell with a slight advantage.
She quickly etched out a 30-second gap and maintained the margin all the way back into Lincoln, her race already won as she celebrated up Michaelgate for the final time.
Behind, Alice McWilliam (Bianchi HUNT Morvélo) and Jessie Carridge (Brother UK-Orientation Marketing) took career-best results to round out the podium, with Carridge also the highest placed Elite Development Team finisher. Beth Maciver (Alba Development Road Team) was the best-placed under-23 rider as the young Scot finished fourth.
Speaking after the race, Storrie said: “It stayed together more than I thought actually, so I had to make it count when I was going to go, so I’m glad I did!
“It’s a great start to the National Road Series for us as a team. We worked really hard and a lot of the girls did a lot of work - I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m really pleased to have started the season this way.”
Storrie’s win means she now leads the individual National Road Series standings while her team also enjoys a commanding lead in the team classification on 70 points. Team Boompods are in second, 32 points behind.
The next round of the women’s National Road Series takes place on Sunday 19 June at the Women’s CiCLE Classic.
A tense men’s race saw no rider or team able to make a defining claim for victory until the very closing stages of a hard-fought 166km encounter.
Damien Clayton (WiV SunGod) and Ed Morgan (Wales Racing Academy) were the first riders to establish a break, escaping in the opening half of the race, but it was short-lived.
A lap or so later, Clayton was in another move with teammate Rob Scott, William Truelove (Wales Racing Academy) and Team Inspired’s Harry Birchill, which proved to be the most significant break of the day.
As the race entered its second half, the break was slowly reeled in, leaving just Scott and Birchill out front, who were caught on the 11th lap by a chasing group.
Conor McGoldrick (Richardsons Trek DAS) managed to pull a few lengths clear of the leading group up Michaelgate but was swallowed up on the final lap by a reduced bunch.
Lamperti, Ben Perry, Jim Brown (both WiV SunGod) and Alex Richardson (Le Col) led on the final time up Michaelgate, and it was the US national criterium champion Lamperti who had the strength to pull clear and take a hard-earned victory, crossing the line a few lengths ahead of Perry.
Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic winner Finn Crockett (Weldtite Pro Cycling) took third while Jim Brown (WiV SunGod) was the top finishing under-23 rider in fourth.
Conor McGoldrick (Richardsons Trek DAS) was the highest placed Elite Development Team finisher in 12th.
Speaking afterwards, Lamperti said: “It’s good to come here with a British team and show what the guys can do.
“It’s quite attritional, UK racing isn’t quite as controlled, it’s full all the time. You have to be attentive all day, so it’s mentally tiring and physically [tiring].
“With Michaelgate, it adds up – it’s only one minute but you do it 13 times and it adds up in the legs. You definitely feel it by the last lap!”
Lamperti now holds the individual National Road Series lead, while WiV SunGod and Trinity Racing are tied for the lead of the team competition on 62 points each. Richard sons-Trek DAS are the best-placed Elite Development Team in sixth.
The next round of the men’s National Road Series is on Sunday 3 July, with the return of the Stockton Grand Prix.
For more reporting and reaction on the National Road Series, head to The British Continental.