For Viored’s Sarah Storey cemented her place at the top of the Women’s National Road Series with a win in round three in Aughton.
The Capernwray Women’s Road Race, established for over a decade now, had 26 starters ready to take on 49.5 miles of riding over five-and-a-half laps of the circuit.
And with 21 of the entrants not starting the race, it gave some of the other riders a chance to pick up some important points.
The strong riders broke off as a bunch on the first lap going up Sunnybank Hill as the race started to split up early on.
On the second lap, the 13 riders that made the break continued to pull away from the rest of the field and with four laps to go, there was a 15 second gap which stretched back to Gabby Shaw. A minute and a half separated Gabby from the rest of the pack.
It was much the same three laps from the end with the Sunnybank hill grinding the stragglers down as the race wore on.
With two to go, there was a leading bunch of seven riders, with the top seven of the final standings all involved. They led from Claire Galloway (For Viored), Laura Massey (Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT) and Laura Murray (Velocity 44 Stirling by around 15 seconds.
Then on the final lap, it came down to a battle between Storey and Abergavenny RC’s Tamina Oliver as they broke away at the bottom of the climb. This opened up a gap of a minute and ten seconds on Sarah Byrne (unattached) with another ten seconds back to Rebecca Heath (VC St Raphael).
The battle for top spot came right down to the last right-hand bend before the uphill finish and it was Storey who got in front.
But it was a great result for Tamina Oliver who described this as her best ever result on the road.
What they said
"We wanted to keep the pace high on the first few laps especially through the narrow section and try to make a race of it," said winner Sarah Storey. "By the second lap the group had whittled down to 13, Claire (Galloway) had done some big turns on the front, she's been riding really well recently after the tour in South Africa and it paid off today, she gave me a springboard to attack with 2 laps to go.
"The climb was hard even though its stepped, it does ease off in a couple of places. Myself and Gabby (Shaw) came out here during the week to have a look at it and to work out the pacing on the climb and see if we could attack on it and it worked out really well.
"I lost her from the front group but she worked really hard for me, looking after me and getting me round but We all play out part in the team. I rode the Smithfield Nocturne last night which was the fastest crit I think I've ever ridden, my peak power last night was over 1000 Watts.
"We finished that, jumped in the car and came straight up here to the hotel. I had my breakfast in the car coming over here this morning. It was a good win today, I believe I keep hold of the series lead which is a first for myself and the team."
Runner-up Tamina Oliver said: "I'm pretty happy with second, it wasn't a bad ride today. I loved the course and the climb. When Sarah and myself attacked we apparently had had the same idea as each other when we were going to go, so just as I got going she was just going.
"The racing is still a learning process for me, I've ridden for around a season but haven't really raced before, I've got bikes but only really used them for commuting but I've always loved speed and my partner let me have a go on his road bike and the racing came from that.
"My first season was just training using a book written by Nicole Cooke, I used the training schedules from that, got a turbo trainer and took things from there."
1 Sarah Storey (For Viored) 2:11:45
2 Tamina Oliver (Abergavenny RC) 2:11:56
3 Sarah Byrne (unattached) 2:13:19
4 Rebecca Heath (VC St Raphael) 2:14:13
5 Penny Rowson (Matrix Fitness) 2:14:14
6 Lowri Bunn (Abergavenny RC) 2:14:18
7 Laura Massey (Vivelo-Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT) 2:14:21
8 Molly Weaver (Scott Contessa) 2:14:25
9 Claire Galloway (For Viored) 2:15:17
10 Laura Murray (Velocity 44 Stirling) 2:17:01
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.