Harriet Owen took her first ever Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series victory in Peterborough, winning Round Two of the 2012 Series from a three rider break.
Also in the lead group was Oxford heroine Annie Simpson, who took second on the road to keep her Series lead by just two points over Hannah Barnes, the third member of the victorious escape.
The trio escaped early on in the race, moving clear in response to an attack by Owen’s Node4 – Giordana Racing teammate, Junior World Champion, Lucy Garner. The three worked well together to build their lead, which was never threatened.
Coming into the finale, Owen outsprinted Simpson and Barnes, with Series leader Simpson full of praise for the winner, admitting afterwards that Owen was the stronger rider and had deserved to win.
“Harriet’s a very deserved winner, she’s so strong and she went at the end and I couldn’t hold her,” said Simpson. “I knew to keep the overall I had to beat Hannah Barnes and I was just thinking that as I was sprinting.
“That was much harder than Oxford, the course was more demanding than Oxford. We really had to keep pushing as we went so early I wasn’t feeling my best at all tonight; in Oxford I felt really good but tonight I was glad I was in a break with some really strong riders.
“I didn’t really enjoy it, but it’s nice to be over and to have kept the jersey. I kept both jerseys and I couldn’t ask for anything more really.”
Speaking afterwards Harriet Owen was much in demand from the media, including a live appearance on BBC Look East before the start of the men’s Halfords Tour Series event.
“I just went eyeballs out and hoped that someone would come with me, and it stuck. We all worked really well together so got quite a good lead,” said Owen.
“I knew I felt quite good, but I knew Hannah Barnes had a good sprint and Annie would go for a long one as well, so I had to chance it and go for a long one as if I could get the gap I’d be able to hold it, and it paid off!”
Simpson’s lead is just two points over Barnes, with Node4 – Giordana Racing Lucy Garner and Corrine Hall third and fourth on 32 and 28 points respectively, while defending champion Helen Wyman lies fifth on 26 points.
The Matrix Fitness – Prendas rider keeps hold of the Sprints Jersey, with an extended lead also over Barnes, but her team lost the lead of the team’s standings after Node4 – Giordana put three riders in the top ten for a dominant performance.
Highlights of Round Two can be seen as a part of The Halfords Tour Series on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 29 May. Round Three of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series takes place at 5:30pm in Colchester on Thursday 7 June.
Round Two Individual Result
1. Harriet Own, Node4 - Giordana Racing
2. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas
3. Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles
4. Lucy Garner, Node4 - Giordana Racing
5. Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic
6. Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!
7. Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls
8. Emily Kay, Scott Contessa Epic
9. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
10. Corrine Hall, Node4 - Giordana Racing
Round Two Team Winners: Node4 - Giordana Racing
Overall Individual Standings, post Round Two
1. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 39pts
2. Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles, 37pts
3. Lucy Garner, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 32pts
4. Corrine Hall, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 28pts
5. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing, 26pts
6. Harriet Owen, Node4 - Giordana, 25pts
7. Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands, 25pts
8. Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic, 22pts
9. Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael, 18pts
10. Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls, 18pts
Overall Team Standings, post-Round Two
1. Node4 - Giordana Racing, 85pts
2. Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 69pts
3. Look Mum No Hands!, 41pts
4. Scott Contessa Epic, 40pts
5. VC St Raphael, 32pts
6. Mule Bar Girls, 30pts
7. Abergavenny Road Club, 15pts
8. Vivelo Bikes/Inverse/Cyclaim RT, 11pts
9. Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
10. WyndyMilla UK Youth, 6pts
Sprints winner Peterborough: Annie Simpson (Matrix Fitness - Prendas)
Sprints standings, post Round Two:
1. Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 16pts
2. Harriet Owen, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 8pts
3. Hannah Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles, 7pts