The Ryedale Grand Prix
Event: 28 July 2013
Location: Ampleforth College and Abbey, Ampleforth, North Yorkshire
National Women’s Road Race Series leader Anne Ewing returns for the Ryedale Grand Prix as the competition reaches its penultimate event.
The Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team rider missed the mid-week Sheffield Grand Prix but such is her advantage that the 26-year-old still holds a 24 point lead from her nearest challenger Hannah Barnes.
British criterium champion Barnes finished behind Helen Wyman, who soloed to victory on the city centre circuit, but it was enough to further reduce the deficit and keep the 20-year-old’s aspirations of the series title very much alive.
With both present in Yorkshire on Sunday the 66-kilometre race will be crucial with only the Stafford Grand Prix to come.
Ewing’s teammate Eileen Roe rounded off the podium in Sheffield and is third overall but misses the trip to Yorkshire leaving Jane Barr, Laura Murray and Molly Weaver to support Ewing.
Barnes will only have Cheshire Classic winner Karla Boddy and Melissa Brand for company from MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling though her outstanding 2013 domestic form means she cannot be discounted.
Helen Wyman will hope for a repeat performance in Yorkshire, though with no other Kona/ FSA Factory Team members on hand a road race will be a challenging prospect for the multi British cyclo-cross champion.
Matrix Fitness Racing Academy were the protagonists in the Steel City with aggressive tactics from the start and will be well represented in Ampleforth with Emma Grant, Corrine Hall, Harriet Owen, Joanna Tindley, Jessie Walker and Hannah Walker - fourth in Sheffield.
Walker is the highest place in the overall rankings in tenth and will want to ensure the team has a top ten placing to show for its riders’ efforts in the season.
The course features the Yearsley Moor and the tough drag through Ampleforth Abbey grounds with each lap of the race on a two circuit configuration, likely to play into the hands of the climbers in the female peloton.
The distance has been reduced from last year’s elite women’s British Cycling Road Championships to provide a stage for the 27 riders who will join the field for the National Women’s Junior Championship to be run off as part of the Grand Prix.