Lucy Garner (Node4 Giordana) is 2012 National Women's Circuit Champion, winning a bunch sprint in front of huge crowds in the Sheffield city centre. Ibis Cycles’ Eileen Roe took silver ahead of Scott Contessa’s Amy Roberts.
There were 30 starters lined up outside Sheffield City Hall for the British Cycling Women’s National Circuit Championships sponsored by Baxi. Annie Simpson from Matrix began proceedings by jumping away immediately the flag had dropped and the young rider from Bingley strung the field out on the opening lap.
The defending champion Hannah Barnes then took over the lead and within two laps the whole field had split apart into two distinct groups.
With seven laps to go, local girl Jessie Walker showed her aggressive pedigree by attacking the lead group through the finishing straight. The favourites Lucy Garner and Hannah Barnes were sat comfortably in the bunch and on the next couple of laps, Walker paid for her earlier efforts by drifting to the rear of the strung out lead group.
With two laps to go the whole bunch sat up as they rode through the finishing straight with the women looking at one another waiting for the inevitable attack. At the bell, the pace had lifted and the field flew through the finishing straight to begin the final 1.5km lap.
Into the final corner with 200metres to go, Lucy Garner was at the head of the sprinting bunch and maintained that lead, battling with Hannah Barnes and Eileen Roe up to the line.
British Cycling caught up with Lucy straight after her win: “That was a very tough race tonight. It was really hard over the cobbles coming up past the city hall. I dread to think what it would have been like if it was wet. I’m glad it came down to a bunch sprint. Our team was really motivated because it’s the Nationals and we wanted to pull back any breaks.
“We committed to pulling all the breaks back and then with two laps to go, when the race looked like it was going to be a bunch sprint, they played into our hands.
“This jersey means a lot to me as it’s a senior championship win and I get to wear the National Championships jersey in all the circuit races next year. This is a really big night for me.”
Node4 Giordana men’s team manager Malcolm Elliott spoke on behalf of the women's team manager shortly after Garner’s win: “Node4 Giordana is absolutely delighted that Lucy Garner has won another National Championships jersey to add to her ever growing collection. It’s just fantastic that she’s been able to do that in front of a massive crowd in my home city of Sheffield.”
1. Lucy Garner (Node 4 Giordana) 42 mins 50 secs
2. Eileen Roe (Ibis Cycles) st
3. Amy Roberts (Scott Contessa) st
4. Elinor Barket (Scott Contessa) st
5. Hannah Barnes (Ibis Cycles) st
6. Emily Kay (Scott Contessa) st
7.Laura Massey (Abergavenny Road Club) st
8. Harriet Owen (Node4-Giordana) st
9. Tamina Oliver (Abergavenny Road Club) st
10.Louise Mahe (Mule Bar Girls) st
11. Adela Carter (Team Hope Factory Racing) st
12. Penny Rowson (Matrix Fitness - Prendas) st
13. Nicola Juniper (Eagle RC) st
14. Joanna Tindley (VC St Raphael) st
15. Hannah Walker (Matrix Fitness - Prendas) st
16. Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness - Prendas) st
17. Alice Barnes (Motorpoint Cycling) st
18. Corrine Hall (Node4 Giordana Racing Team) st
19. Joanne McRae (Look Mum No Hands) st