Road: Boddy wins Cheshire Classic

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Location: Northwich Road, Northwich, Cheshire
Event: 28 April 2013

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MG Maxifuel's Karla Boddy benefitted from flying under the radar, superb teamwork and a perfectly timed sprint to add her name to the illustrious list of winners at the Cheshire Classic, round two of the women's British road race series.

So close was the finish against Emma Grant, Boddy was shocked to learn of the win some time after crossing the line, but once it was confirmed - at the second time of asking - celebrations broke out in the team of three which had defied the numbers to take a popular win.

In the closing stages the win looked unlikely, but work on the front by teammates Mel Brand to bring a break back and then Charline Joiner to keep the pace high and prevent further escapes, allowed Boddy to arrive at the bottom of the finishing hill in a perfect position.

The sprint was led out by Grant - who came with only the win in mind following three months of racing in California - but while her positioning was perfect thanks to similar teamwork, her effort was momentarily premature.

Grant matched the early move by Amy Roberts who was overhauled easily, but as Grant tied up, Boddy lunged for the line and took the win without immediate celebration.

Grant's dejection was immediate, while metres further up the road, Boddy fell into the arms of her supporters to be told that her ambition of sealing her first national series win had been realised.

After the celebrations, a more composed Boddy had a moment to reflect on the victory, which she claimed was down to her impatience; despite having raced only a dozen national events, she felt the win had been some time coming.

"I absolutely loved winning that today." said Boddy, shortly before the prize presentation.

"I was determined to ride my own race because we only had a team of three against others of eight, so we had to follow wheels. I'm not a threat to anyone, I'm not seen that way in the peloton. My ace card would be that last 2-300 metres."

The peloton had recieved a muted warning to that effect earlier in the race as Boddy won the prime - something she claims was an accident - however in future races with an explosive element, such excuses may have lost their validity.

The women's national road race series continues at Hillingdon on June 9.

HOW THE RACE UNFOLDED
Round two of the British women's road race series started in cool conditions with a light breeze, ensuring the racers and the course would make all of the running.

Ten laps of a 7.7km circuit featuring some country lanes, a wide section of highway and the ascent of Acton - a steepening 10% grade, lasting around two minutes, known locally as the cliff - would stand between the start and the winner.

Early on there were some probing attacks, if nothing concrete, with the bunch in tact as up Acton Hill for the second time. By lap three, the groundwork for Gemma Neill's award for most aggresive rider of the day would be laid, as she took a slender gap alongside Natalie Creswick.

On lap four, Neill was alone and as speeds in the peloton dropped as low as 15mph at one point, her lead could increase to 51 seconds.

Tension and uncertainty caused crashes in the bunch, Adele Martin with a suspected broken collarbone, but the racers were galvanised before the mid-race prime.

Won by Boddy, what followed was an effectively neutralised 28km of racing, with the first leg-testing moments coming up the cliff as Penny Rowson launched one probing attack, followed by Amy Roberts, and a second with intent.

That only served as a warning the the peloton however, and with no opportunity or ability for an extended effort, the race was held together for a sprint on the final ascent.

Result:

1 Karla Boddy MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling
2 Emma Grant Matrix Fitness Racing Academy
3 Emily Kay Scott Contessa Epic
4 Amy Roberts Wiggle Honda
5 Gabriella Shaw Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
6 Charline Joiner MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling
7 Hannah Walker Matrix Fitness Racing Academy
8 Louise Mahe Team Mulebar Girl – Sigma Sport
9 Amy Hill Abergavenny Road Club
10 Kayleigh Brogan Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
11 Karen Poole GB Cycles.co.uk
12 Molly Weaver Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
13 Bethany Hayward Scott Contessa Epic
14 Jessie Walker Matrix Fitness Racing Academy
15 Natalie Grinczer Abergavenny Road Club
16 Laura Massey Abergavenny Road Club
17 Adel Tyson-Bloor VC St Raphael
18 Annabel Simpson Team Hope Factory Racing
19 Anne Ewing Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
20 Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team
21 Laura Wasley Scott Contessa Epic
22 Jennifer Edwards Rhos On Sea Cycling Club
23 Clemence Copie High Wycombe Cycling Club
24 Anda-Jay Burgess Sandy Wallace Cycles
25 Alexie Shaw Les Filles Racing Team
26 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC
27 Nicola Juniper Team CTC
28 Sarah Byrne Champion System/Maxgear/Base
29 Anna Christian Scott Contessa Epic
30 Astrid Wingler Team CTC
31 Eve Dixon Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos
32 Natalie Creswick Team Mulebar Girl – Sigma Sport
33 Lydia Boylan Team CTC
34 Laura Murray Velocity 44 Stirling
35 Eileen Roe Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
36 Vanessa Whitfield VC St Raphael
37 Fiona Duncan Ythan CC
38 Penny Rowson Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
39 Tracy Best Zappis Ladies Team
40 Corrine Hall Matrix Fitness Racing Academy
41 Melissa Brand MG Maxifuel
42 Amy Gornall Scott Contessa Epic
43 Ella Hopkins Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
44 Rachel Przybylski WyndyMilla
45 Brit Tate gbcycles.co.uk
46 Harriet Owen Matrix Fitness Racing Academy
47 Delia Beddis Dirtwheels Cycles
48 Zoe Armstrong Scott Contessa Epic
49 Gemma Neill Pedal Power RT
50 Joanne Blakeley Champion System/Maxgear/Base
51 Claire Martin Edinburgh RC
52 Iona Sewell GB Cycles.co.uk
53 Gillian Taylor Abergavenny Road Club

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