Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
Event: 3 July 2013
Report: Andrew Kennedy/Snowdon Sports
Eighteen-year-old British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider Elinor Barker (Wiggle Honda) was a clear winner of the inaugural Nuflex Muscle and Joint Gels Otley Women’s Grand Prix staged in the West Yorkshire town on Wednesday evening.
Cardiff-based Barker was up against a strong field of women including Hannah Barnes, the winner of Sunday’s Curlew Cup, which was the fifth round of the British Cycling Women’s National Road Series.
There was a large crowd in Otley for round six of the series, and the spectators inspired the women to ride aggressively with the whole race run off at a fast pace.
Local rider Annie Simpson (Hope Factory Racing) was one of many riders to attack up Burras Lane, only to be reeled back in by the attentive peloton.
With the hooter sounding for the final lap Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness) tried to emulate her father Chris Walker - who has two Otley wins on his palmares - by springing an attack up the final climb.
However, she was brought back on Birdcage Walk and the race was set for a dramatic bunch sprint. And on the final corner it was Hannah Barnes, Elinor Barker and Harriet Owen (Matrix Fitness) who exited the final corner together to contest the sprint.
Elinor Barker, who had spent all morning training at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, got the verdict on the line by a bike length from Barnes.
“It was a good fun race,” Barker said. “There were a lot of teams out so a lot of attacking, counter attacking, nothing really got away. It was pretty tough being on my own, as there were so many attacks, it’s hard to cover everything.
“I didn’t want it to come down to a sprint really. I know what a lot of these girls are like in a sprint, really fast. I was hoping for something to go and stick and I could get in with really on the last few laps but it didn’t happen, but it turned out well in the end.”
Second place for Barnes was enough to give her the overall series lead with Breast Cancer Care RT riders Anne Ewing and Eileen Roe, who were first and second overall, not riding at Otley.
1 Elinor Barker (Wiggle Honda) 52:42
2 Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel)
3 Harriet Owen (Matrix Fitness)
4 Melissa Lowther (Matrix Fitness)
5 Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC)
6 Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness)
7 Annabel Simpson (Hope Factory Racing)
8 Corrine Hall (Matrix Fitness)
9 Hayley Jones (Node 4-Giordana)
10 Hannah Walker (Matrix Fitness) all @ same time
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