National Road Race Series Round 2 - Hillingdon Grand Prix
Location: Hayes, Hillingdon
Event: 27 May 2012
Report: Snowdon Sports/Ed Rollason
Images: Ed Rollason
Node4 Giordana's Lucy Garner won round two of the women's national road race series, sprinting away from a group of six who had led the race for much of the 40 laps.
With the initial pace of the race high enough to keep the bunch mostly together, the Junior Road World Champion attacked repeatedly but was always chased down; the distinctive coloured bands of the world championship jersey acting like a magnet for the bunch.
However, with a third of the race gone a strong escape group formed. Initially Louise Mahe (Mulebar Girl) and Amy Roberts (Scott Contessa Epic) got clear, but were chased down by Nicola Juniper (Eagle RC), and the group soon swelled to six with Adel Tyson-Bloor (VC St Raphael/Hewitt Cycles), Garner and Elinor Barker (Scott Contessa Epic) also bridging the gap.
Working well together the six riders quickly extended their lead to over a minute as the bunch looked at one another, no-one willing to take on the responsibility for chasing. The bunch slowed to such as extent that at one point the commisaires were fearful of the six leaders taking a lap.
However, their situation finally dawned on them and attacks began to lift the pace of the main bunch. Hannah Barnes (Ibis Cycles) was forced to pull out with five laps to go, still feeling the effects of the collar bone break that brought her back from racing in Europe.
As the leading riders entered the final lap, a game of cat and mouse began. Several riders went early on the finishing straight but it was not be as the explosive power of the World Champion took her past her breakaway companions and onto the top step of the podium.
British Cycling spoke to Lucy Garner after her win.
"The plan was to sit in for the first half of the race and and then go for it in the second. But every time I attacked the bunch just seemed to come back together. Then 3 riders got away and me and Elinor managed to get across to them. Once we were there we worked really well together"
1 Lucy Garner (Node 4 Giordana Womens Race Team)
2 Elinor Barker (Scott Contessa Epic)
3 Louise Mahe (Mulebar Girl)