Amy Roberts held on to her overnight lead to claim the overall victory in the Surf & Turf stage race at Lancaster today, a round of the Women’s National Road Race Series.
The Wiggle Honda rider finished safely in the bunch after a puncture in the closing miles forced the race leader to chase back on to ensure her slender lead was secure.
A pan flat 10-mile loop around the Nateby and Garstang area of Lancaster gave for a stage three race that promised a day of constant attacks but in reality offered so little.
On the opening lap of the circuit the bunch seeming content to sit in and tap out a steady but slow pace on a circuit in places that was arguably too narrow for such a large group.
No one rider seeming interested to stretch their legs during the opening miles until Lucy Coldwell took her chance to attack the bunch going into the second lap and soon opened up an easy 25 seconds on a bunch not too interested in the lone escapee.
Coldwell soon got into a comfortable rhythm and increased her lead to 40 seconds on the tight, narrow bends through the village of Pilling, the main bunch could only pull any time back on the straights.
With some 20 miles completed it was Team Zappi's Vittoria Bussi and the Breast Cancer Care team that were starting to organise themselves at the front of the bunch but Coldwell was still away by some 40 seconds.
A few attacks on the third lap came to nothing but with two laps until the finish the field started to get organised, Coldwell was caught and the race speed was increasing.
But it was the final lap that saw the race start to get serious, Katie Archibald went on the attack, the previous day’s prologue time trial winner looking to go for a long ride alone. But she was swallowed up by the peloton, and Bussi again went to the front along with Scott Contessa's Amy Gornall and they got a small gap only to be chased down.
Team CTC, looking for a stage win, got Tamina Oliver to the front but again was brought back. A flurry of activity in the closing few miles saw Archibald and Joanne Blakeley crash, Blakeley hitting a parked car.
Amy Roberts picked up a puncture just as the bunch were gaining speed but with a quick wheel change managed to get back to the bunch to secure her overall lead. A fast approaching bunch saw Breast Cancer Care's Eileen Roe take the sprint from Lowri Devey and Joanna Smith.
What they said
“It was good to win yesterday and to take the overall although I didn't really target the race,” said Amy Roberts afterwards. “I was back in the UK so I thought it would be good to come and race and see how I was going.
“We have a good team in Wiggle Honda, it’s great to be a part of it and we do work well together. I have the National Road Championships next week which is obviously a big target for the team having Laura [Trott] and Dani [King] as favourites it should be a good race for us.”
Katie Archibald was unable to carry the blue leader's jersey into the second day of the Surf and Turf Women’s National Series race in Lancashire despite taking the win in the morning’s opening prologue time trial.
The City of Edinburgh RC rider posted the quickest time on the 1km circuit ahead of Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda) and Joanna Smith (Team Feminin Languedoc Roussillon), but it was Roberts who played the waiting game on stage two circuit race to take the win and the time bonuses to ensure she goes into the second day in blue.
A steady opening few laps ensured the field stayed together on the flat 1km loop, no one rider taking the chance of an early escape until Hope Tech's Annie Simpson and Archibald's team mate Louise Borthwick made the first move of the race only to be reeled back by the field.
Team CTC were becoming active towards the front of the race and Lydia Boylan upped the pace to ride off the front but Breast Cancer Care's Anne Ewing soon dragged the bunch up to the escapee.
With a small circuit, riders were finding it difficult to ride away and make any advantage stick. Borthwick tried again and strung a long line out but was unable to make any headway, Scott Contessa's Laura Wasley couldn't make her attack stick and the group was inactive until the final eight laps when a quick turn of speed saw Anne Ewing crash on the top bend, the field seemed to ease off the speed while her team mates brought her back to the fold.
Roberts tried a move through the field, the Wiggle Honda rider not allowed any space to attack and was kept at bay by Breast Cancer Care, and with five laps remaining it was Breast Cancer Care who looked to be organising themselves at the head of the line and increasing the speed.
Lucy Coldwell rode over the leaders and got a small gap but was not allowed any time alone, Anne Ewing went for a long ride to the finish with four to go but the pace was picking up, again Coldwell tried to attack with Archibald, Annie Simpson coming onto the third wheel but with two laps remaining the bunch sat up to play the cat and mouse game.
Archibald went again which caused a reaction from the bunch and coming into the final lap the field had decided it would go to a sprint and Amy Roberts left it to the last few metres to take a clever win from the rest of the bunch.
Final General Classification:
1 Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda) 3:01:40.6
2 Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care RT) @ 4.2sec
3 Joanne Smith (Team Feminin Languedoc Roussillon @ 5.2sec
4 Lowri Devey (Abergavenny RC)
5 Tamina Oliver (Team CTC)
6 Anna Ewing (Breast Cancer Care)
7 Lydie Boylan (Team CTC)
8 Brit Tate (GBCycles.co.uk)
9 Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC)
10 Danielle Christmas (Team ASL360)
1 Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care RT) 2:12:43
2 Lowri Devey (Abergavenny RC)
3 Joanna Smith (Team Feminin Languedoc Roussillon)
4 Sophie Faulkner (Solihull CC)
5 Anne Ewing (Breast Cancer Care)
6 Tamina Oliver (Team CTC)
7 Lydia Boylan (Team CTC)
8 Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda)
9 Hannah Payton (Team CTC)
10 Laura Wasley (Scott Contessa Epic)
1 Amy Roberts Wiggle Honda 47:48.6
2 Joanna Smith Team Feminin Languedoc Roussillon 47:48.7
3 Eileen Roe Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team 47:48.9
4 Katie Archibald City of Edinburgh RC 47:49.2
5 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC 47:49.4
6 Tamina Oliver Team CTC 47:49.4
7 Lauren O'Brien RST Racing Team 47:49.6
8 Anne Ewing Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team 47:49.8
9 Lydia Boylan Team CTC 47:49.9
10 Vittoria Bussi Team Zappi 47:50.0
Stage one (prologue):
1 Katie Archibald City of Edinburgh RC 01:23.5
2 Amy Roberts Wiggle Honda 01:24.1
3 Joanna Smith Team Feminin Languedoc Roussillon 01:25.1
4 Tamina Oliver Team CTC 01:25.2
5 Anne Ewing Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team 01:25.3
6 Lydia Boylan Team CTC 01:25.8
7 Eileen Roe Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team 01:25.9
8 Brit Tate gbcycles.co.uk 01:27.6
9 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC 01:27.9
10 Annabel Simpson Team Hope Factory Racing 01:28.1
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