Sheffield GP - Women’s Race
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Event: 24 July 2013
Report and images: Andrew Kennedy
Helen Wyman (Kona/ FSA Factory Team) took a solo win at the Sheffield Grand Prix as Hannah Barnes closed the gap on overall National Women’s Series leader Anne Ewing.
Barnes (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) launched a late bid to bridge the gap to Wyman but settled for second which drew her closer to Ewing, who was absent from the city centre criterium.
When the flag dropped the women’s field lost no time in putting on a show of aggressive bike racing.
Within a couple of laps the pace was so high the women were racing down the finishing straight in a single line. The Matrix Fitness Racing team of Hannah Walker, Melissa Lowther, Jess Walker and Harriet Owen appeared to be the dominant force, with Eileen Roe and Alice Barnes also putting in some big turns on the front.
Women's and men's Sheffield Grand Prix images
After about 20 minutes of attack and counter attack, cyclo-Cross specialist Helen Wyman opened up a small gap. There was a slight hesitation from the group and very quickly Wyman had 17 seconds lead. The girls continued to look at each other, nobody willing to lead the chase.
Hannah Barnes looked as though she was about to spring a chase and had a couple of tentative attempts, but failed to break the elastic.
Meanwhile Belgian based Wyman was extending her lead, taking a massive 10 seconds on just one lap. With the race drawing to a close Hannah Barnes was left with no option but to try and drive the race back up to Wyman, but she'd left it too late and Wyman was on course for a fine solo win.
At the finish the 32-year-old Kona FSA rider had a lead of 41 seconds over second placed Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel) and Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care) taking the final podium spot.
“The Matrix Fitness girls were incredibly aggressive today,” said Wyman. I went with one lap before the last prime points and that was with about 15 minutes to go so there had been half an hour of full on attacking.
“Hannah Barnes and Eileen Roe were very aggressive and went with a lot of the moves and Jessie (Walker) had just come back from an attack with Matrix so I though it’s a good time to go and I think the other girls were a little bit tired.”
1. Helen Wyman (Kona/ FSA Factory Team)
2. Hannah Barnes (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling)
3. Eileen Roe (Breast Cander Care Cycling Team)
4. Hannah Walker (Matrix Fitness Racing Academy)
5. Melissa Lowther (Matrix Fitness Racing Academy)