Garner and Kay triumph at West Flanders Provincial Championships

Garner and Kay triumph at West Flanders Provincial Championships

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Great Britain’s Grace Garner and Emily Kay produced outstanding displays in Belgium to win the novice and junior West Flanders Ladies Youth Provincial Championships respectively.

British Cycling Olympic Talent Team Programme rider Garner crossed the line ahead of colleague Charlotte Broughton after the duo had earlier formed part of a five-rider breakaway two laps into the 57-kilometre race in Kortrijk.

Kay, who was part of the team that helped Lucy Garner to her second junior road world championship win last year, saw off the challenge of Floortje Mackaij and Kaat Van Der Meulen to triumph and with that complete a superb day for Great Britain’s rising stars.

The result comes on the back of a fourth place finish for Garner in the 50-kilometre novice race at Saturday’s Omloop van Strijen. In the junior race, British Cycling Olympic Development Programme rider Kay recorded second place in the province of South Holland.

There were also top ten finishes for Elizabeth Holden (5th), Lucy Shaw (7th), Megan Barker (8th) and Abigail Dentus (9th) in the novice race and in the junior category sixth for Hayley Jones.

A 40-rider field was present on the start line for the 14-lap novice race but a furious pace early on saw ten riders dropped as Garner and Broughton attacked to help develop the break from which the podium would eventually come from - with Lenny Druyts, Alitcia Eijssen and Kylie Waterreus for company.

The breakaway quickly built a two minute lead as the remaining five Talent Team riders policed the peloton before losing Dickinson.

Attack after attack came from the main bunch before Elizabeth Holden was able to profit and get away, toiling for three laps ride alone before bridging to Lenny Druyts, who had dropped from the lead group following a mechanical issue, the pair one minute back from the front.

Ahead, several attacks in the break came to nothing as the front four stayed together with three laps remaining. There was still time for Lucy Shaw to burst out of the peloton attempting to bridge the minute gap to Holden and Druyts.

With one lap to go the four leaders were looking to the sprint finish, 90 seconds ahead of the two chasers with Shaw close behind at a further 20 seconds.

The finale saw Garner and Broughton work together perfectly to cross the line first and second. A minute further back, smooth pedalling from Holden edged out the Belgian national champion Lenny Druyts for fifth.

Fast moving Shaw just failed to make contact finishing just five seconds behind in seventh. Megan Barker and Abigail Dentus completed a satisfying day for the Great Britain by dropping the remnants of the peloton on the last lap to come home together in eighth and ninth.

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