Location: Stafford College, Earl Street, Stafford
Event: 9 August 2013
The 2013 National Women’s Road Race Series is set for an enthralling conclusion as the fight for the title goes to the wire at the 4th Stafford Grand Prix.
The city centre criterium will act as the denouement for an absorbing sequence of racing over the ten rounds with leader Anne Ewing (Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team) holding a slender nine point advantage over Hannah Barnes (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling).
Barnes’ victory at the Ryedale Grand Prix – her second of the series after her win at the Curlew Cup – brought her to within touching distance of the summit and the British criterium champion will be a firm favourite for victory in Staffordshire, which would likely hand her the title.
It means Ewing, who has led for the vast duration of the series, will have to defend her position for one more race if she is to replicate the triumph of her teammate Sarah Storey, the multiple Paralympic champion won the title in 2012.
The 26-year-old had set out her stall with overall victory at the opening City of Perth Grand Prix back in April and third places at the Essex Giro 2-day, Curlew Cup and Ryedale Grand Prix since have been significant in helping her to stave off the chasers.
Her tenacious third at Ryedale, the penultimate race in the series, could prove pivotal as it ensured the Scotswoman has a small margin over Barnes heading into Friday’s race.
A number of permutations are possible but if Barnes could continue her remarkable form of 2013 and win, Ewing would need to finish second if she was to deny the 20-year-old further honours after her Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix triumph and national title.
Barnes holds the advantage in a count back situation to be used if the duo were tied, on the basis she has two race wins in the series to Ewing’s one.
Regardless of how the top two looks, Ewing’s teammate Eileen Roe is guaranteed third spot with her strongest performances coming in the stage races at the City of Perth Grand Prix and CDNW Surf ‘n Turf 2-Day.
But Roe will be not be in attendance to help Ewing leaving just Molly Weaver as the sole support while Barnes can count on Karla Boddy, Melisa Brand and Hayley Edwards from MG-Maxifuel to aid her cause.
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Joanna Rowsell, an Olympic gold medallist in the team pursuit, was set to race but will miss out with injury after breaking her collarbone in Saturday’s RideLondon Grand Prix.
A strong Matrix Fitness Racing Academy team, which was so aggressive in the early stages of the Sheffield Grand Prix, includes Emma Grant, Harriet Owen, Joanna Tindley, Jessie Walker and Hannah Walker.
The women’s race begins at 6.20pm and is followed by a men’s criterium, for further information visit www.staffordgp.co.uk.
|No||Forename||Surname||Club / Team Name|
|5.||Emma||Grant||Matrix Fitness Racing Academy|
|6.||Harriet||Owen||Matrix Fitness Racing Academy|
|7.||Joanna||Tindley||Matrix Fitness Racing Academy|
|8.||Jessie||Walker||Matrix Fitness Racing Academy|
|9.||Hannah||Walker||Matrix Fitness Racing Academy|
|10.||Amy||Gornall||Scott Contessa Epic|
|11.||Laura||Wasley||Scott Contessa Epic|
|12.||Anne||Ewing||Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team|
|13.||Molly||Weaver||Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team|
|14.||Katie||Archibald||City of Edinburgh RC|
|16.||Elizabeth||Malins||Abergavenny Road Club|
|21.||Ruth||Taylor||Manchester Whlrs Club|
|22.||Jennifer||Edwards||Rhos On Sea Cycling Club|
|23.||Lyndsey||Glazier||Team Hope Factory Racing|
|24.||Louise||Mahe||Team Mulebar Girl - Sigma Sport|
|26.||Lydia||Gurley||Birmingham University Cycling Club|
|28.||Elanor||Cadzow||Welwyn Whls CC|
|29.||Nicky||Healy||Mammoth Lifestyle Racing Team|