Sarah Storey wins Essex Giro Two-Day

Sarah Storey wins Essex Giro Two-Day

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Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi/Sports Tours International) won round seven of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series, the Essex Giro Two-Day, with a defensive ride in challenging conditions.

After Storey had dominated the first day, the 75-mile road race held on the Radwinter course near Saffron Walden on day two was won by Epic Scott WRT’s Laura Massey from a decisive break alongside Fusion Gear-club rider Gillian Taylor, the two working together to consolidate a late race escape before Massey triumphed on the final climb to the finish.

With a lead of over two and a half minutes going in to the stage, Storey was favourite to take the clean sweep with another win, but torrential overnight rain and local flooding devastated parts of the course, sanitizing any serious attacking attempts in the rain-affected early laps which saw Storey sitting patiently at the back of the bunch, out of trouble, occasionally coming through to help her team neutralize the inevitable attempts at breakaways that started to occur as the weather improved.

A significant attempt at escape saw two riders - Helen Ralston (Les Filles RT) and Abby Mae Parkinson (RST Racing) - open a gap of 20 seconds which was enough to give them five and three second time bonuses respectively in the second prime, the first having gone to Maryka Senemma (Kingston Wheelers) in a sprint with Ralston and Massey in that order.

As a first year junior, Parkinson’s performance was particularly impressive in finishing 21st in an attritional race that far exceeded anything she has so far ridden in terms of distance.

The high speed of the early laps and the unusually long distance for a UK women’s race weren’t so much responsible for the high drop out rate as the early conditions. Officials were forced to neutralize the race on each lap due to an area of deep surface water, and large sections of the course were covered in debris washed in by the overnight rain.

Liz Malins (Fusion Gear-club), second in the first day’s criterium and a high finisher in the TT, was an early casualty forced to retire after a front wheel wash out left her with a gashed elbow, and punctures were numerous throughout the field.

Storey herself was victim to the conditions: “I had three punctures and a lot of practice riding from the bunch, back to the service vehicles then back to the bunch,” she admitted, another factor that decided her tactics of “basically policing the bunch, maintaining the GC time advantage and getting a bit of a workout”.

Another significant breakaway attempt came from the Bonito Squadra Corsa pairing of Annabel Fisher and Mathilde Mathijase who opened to 30 seconds at one stage before the purple and black army of Pearl Izumi clawed them back.

On the last lap Taylor’s breakaway attempt was matched by Massey, the two opening a gap that the pack couldn’t close before Massey broke away on the climb for a solo win by 10 seconds. Taylor could feel the breath of a fast finishing pack on her neck at just two seconds back, Nicola Juniper again taking the bunch sprint impressively after recovering from a dropped chain to consolidate third on GC and her lead in the series.

Taylor has noticeably stepped up a level this season and this, her best result by far, is just reward for her attacking intent: “I just went for it with about eight kilometres to go and I thought when the motorbike came through I had done enough. But then Massey came through and we worked together for a bit to stay away, I just didn’t have the legs to go with her on the hill but I was pleased to hang on for second.”

Massey’s initial brief was to lead team-mate Hannah Walker out for a sprint finish but as the final few kilometres developed the two talked and amended their tactics. “She asked me if she could try a suicide attack, and I told her to just go for it,” revealed Walker. On such decisions races are either won or lost - and Massey never looked like being caught when she opened up on the climb to the finish.

Despite the conditions on the final day the 2014 Essex Giro was roundly praised by the riders and the extended distance for the road race was widely appreciated.

The next round of this compelling series, the Ryedale Women’s Grand Prix, is run over 63 hilly kilometres in the scenic setting of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire on 20 July.

Day one


Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) dominated the opening day of round seven of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series, winning both the opening two-kilometre prologue TT and the 50-kilometre circuit criterium at the Essex Giro Two-day event by comfortable margins.

A slightly damp, plaid grey atmosphere in the morning time trial gave way to stiflingly humid conditions for the afternoon circuit race but neither proved troublesome to the Pearl Izumi/Sports Tours International rider who demonstrated that she is close to peak form.

A technical circuit with a couple of demanding short climbs, the course was nonetheless short enough to keep most of the overall GC contenders finishing in a very similar times so Storey’s winning margin of some 18 seconds ahead of Epic Scott WRT’s Molly Weaver underlined her superiority. Series leader Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon Rotor) finished a strong third just three seconds further back.

The temperatures soared for the afternoon’s criterium and combined with Redbridge Cycle Circuit’s infamous Hog Hill, riders soon started getting shelled off the back of the pack as the pace increased every time the road went up the signature climb.

Storey was noticeably hanging off the back in the early stages, trying to avoid getting caught up in any of the early exchanges as riders sorted out the time bonuses on offer for the two primes.

Juniper cannily won the first of these for a five-second bonus with Epic Scott WRT’s Hannah Walker taking the second. Storey simply waited until the primes were out of the way and launched an attack that saw her ride away from the field, increasing the gap each time the lapboard ticked over.

Maryka Senemma (Kingston Wheelers) impressively rode out of the bunch in a solo effort to try to chase down the leader only to see her move policed by Storey’s attentive team-mates. Effectively there were now two races on the circuit, one a solo time trial for Storey and the other to sort out the remaining positions.

Juniper, quite openly admitting that she is focusing on the overall series win above any heroics in individual races, was riding defensively close to the front in seemingly complete control until near disaster struck late on when she unshipped her chain on a downhill left-hander and watched the pack disappearing over the horizon as she tried to replace it. Impressively she didn’t panic, got back on and not only chased down the bunch but won the group sprint for third.

Ahead of her, Storey sat up when it became evident that she was about to lap the entire field and cruised home, while behind her an impressive late charge by Elizabeth Malins (Fusion RT Gear-Club) with three laps to go saw her finish clear in second.

“I saw the group wasn’t going around the corners particularly well," admitted Storey of her early tactics. “I thought that having such an advantage on time following the TT I didn’t need to get mixed up in the primes and I could attack, get away with someone, and ride the corners at my own pace.

“Nobody came with me though and as soon as the gap was big enough I sat up and just focused on eating and drinking properly with day two in mind. We’re going to have some defending to do tomorrow.”

Malins, in second, was somewhat surprised with her most impressive result of the season by some distance. “I didn’t really attack,” she admitted, “I just rode the hill at my usual pace and suddenly there was nobody there so I went for it.”

Following Laura Trott’s domination of the previous two-day event of this series at the Surf ‘N’ Turf, Storey looks to be in the kind of form that makes her clear favourite to win a very challenging 75-mile open road race on day two, thereby also taking a clean sweep of all stages.


Results

Final overall (after stage three)

1st Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 04:43:32

2nd Laura Massey Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 02:24

3rd Nicola Juniper Team Echelon Rotor 02:39

4th Molly Weaver Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 02:50

5th Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 02:55

6th Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 02:57

7th Melanie Spath Wyndymilla Reynolds 03:01

8th Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:03

9th Bethany Hayward Matrix Vulpine 03:08

10th Rebecca Rimmington Marlin Cycles 03:09

11th Hannah Walker Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 03:10

12th Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:10

13th Abby-Mae Parkinson RST Racing Team 03:13

14th Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 03:16

15th Lucy Shaw Solihull CC 03:19

16th Lauryn Therin Bonito Squadra Corse 03:20

17th Mhairi MacKenzie London Phoenix CC 03:21

18th Bella Leach London Phoenix CC 03:27

19th Rebecca Nixon Dundee Thistle 03:31

20th Jennifer George Dulwich Paragon CC 03:32

21st Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:32

22nd Keira McVitty WyndyMilla - Reynolds 03:32

23rd George Schwiening Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 03:34

24th Cassie McGoldrick WyndyMilla - Reynolds 03:37

25th Ellie Campbell Fusion Development Racing Team 03:49

26th Alexis Barnes WyndyMilla 03:50

27th Annabel Fisher Bonito Squadra Corse 03:57

28th Sophie Faulkner Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 03:59

29th Amy Gornall RST Racing Team 04:07

30th Mathilde Mathijase Squadra Donna 05:09

31st Mary Costelloe WyndyMilla - Reynolds 13:13

32nd Anna Marie Hughes Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 13:32

33rd Michelle Sellars London Phoenix CC 19:22

34th Jennifer Crouch London Dynamo 20:59

35th Francesca Morgans-Slader Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 23:34

36th Lucy Harper Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 26:54:00

37th Clover Murray Braintree Velo Cycle Racing Club 36:54:00

38th Rebecca Carter WyndyMilla 37:36:00

39th Lucy Chittenden Private Member 42:23:00

Prologue TT:

1st Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:05:39

2nd Molly Weaver Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 00:05:57 00:00:18

3rd Nicola Juniper Team Echelon Rotor 00:06:00 00:00:21

4th Mathilde Mathijase Squadra Donna 00:06:02 00:00:23

5th Hayley Simmonds Velosport - Pasta Montegrappa 00:06:02 00:00:23

6th Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 00:06:04 00:00:25

7th Melanie Spath Wyndymilla Reynolds 00:06:05 00:00:26

8th Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:06:05 00:00:26

9th Elizabeth Malins Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:06:06 00:00:27

10th Laura Massey Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 00:06:10 00:00:31

11th Bethany Hayward Matrix Vulpine 00:06:10 00:00:31

12th Rebecca Rimmington Marlin Cycles 00:06:11 00:00:32

13th Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:06:12 00:00:33

14th Rebecca Womersley WyndyMilla - Reynolds 00:06:12 00:00:33

15th Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:06:15 00:00:36

16th Laura Greenhalgh Twickenham CC 00:06:17 00:00:38

17th Abby-Mae Parkinson RST Racing Team 00:06:18 00:00:39

18th Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:06:19 00:00:40

19th Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 00:06:19 00:00:40

20th Hannah Walker Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 00:06:20 00:00:41

21st Tanya Griffiths Starley Primal 00:06:20 00:00:41

22nd Lucy Shaw Solihull CC 00:06:21 00:00:42

23rd Iona Sewell GB Cycles.co.uk 00:06:22 00:00:43

24th Lauryn Therin Bonito Squadra Corse 00:06:22 00:00:43

25th Mhairi MacKenzie London Phoenix CC 00:06:23 00:00:44

26th Jennifer George Dulwich Paragon CC 00:06:25 00:00:46

27th Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 00:06:26 00:00:47

28th Keira McVitty WyndyMilla - Reynolds 00:06:27 00:00:48

29th Bella Leach London Phoenix CC 00:06:29 00:00:50

30th Alexis Barnes WyndyMilla 00:06:29 00:00:50

31st Nicola Soden GB Cycles.co.uk 00:06:29 00:00:50

32nd Jennifer Crouch London Dynamo 00:06:29 00:00:50

33rd Karla Boddy Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 00:06:30 00:00:51

34th George Schwiening Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:06:30 00:00:51

35th Michelle Sellars London Phoenix CC 00:06:30 00:00:51

36th Annabel Fisher Bonito Squadra Corse 00:06:31 00:00:52

37th Elanor Cadzow Bonito Squadra Corse 00:06:31 00:00:52

38th Clover Murray Braintree Velo Cycle Racing Club 00:06:31 00:00:52

39th Rebecca Nixon Dundee Thistle 00:06:33 00:00:54

40th Sandra Mackay GB Cycles.co.uk 00:06:34 00:00:55

41st Sophie Faulkner Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 00:06:36 00:00:57

42nd Ellie Campbell Fusion Development Racing Team 00:06:37 00:00:58

43rd Sophie Lankford Team WNT 00:06:37 00:00:58

44th Chloe Wellerÿ Norwood Paragon 00:06:38 00:00:59

45th Nikki Engelbach Les Filles Racing Team 00:06:38 00:00:59

46th Lucy Chittenden Private Member 00:06:39 00:01:00

47th Cassie McGoldrick WyndyMilla - Reynolds 00:06:39 00:01:00

48th Amy Gornall RST Racing Team 00:06:41 00:01:02

49th Mary Costelloe WyndyMilla - Reynolds 00:06:42 00:01:03

50th Aimee Wright High Wycombe CC 00:06:43 00:01:04

51st Louise Borthwick Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:06:44 00:01:05

52nd Lucy Harper Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 00:06:49 00:01:10

53rd Rebecca Carter WyndyMilla 00:06:51 00:01:12

54th Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team 00:06:53 00:01:14

55th Adele Martin VC St Raphael 00:06:53 00:01:14

56th Paige Millward Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 00:06:54 00:01:15

57th Coralie Glaunes Les Filles Racing Team 00:06:59 00:01:20

58th Catherine Hills WyndyMilla 00:07:00 00:01:21

59th Francesca Morgans-Slader Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 00:07:03 00:01:24

60th Louise Marsden VC Norwich 00:07:10 00:01:31

61st Anna Marie Hughes Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 00:07:14 00:01:35

Stage two:

1st Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 01:19:45

2nd Elizabeth Malins Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 01:22:08 00:02:23

3rd Nicola Juniper Team Echelon Rotor 01:22:17 00:02:32

4th Lauryn Therin Bonito Squadra Corse 01:22:17 00:02:32

5th Bethany Hayward Matrix Vulpine 01:22:17 00:02:32

6th Hannah Walker Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 01:22:17 00:02:32

7th Keira McVitty WyndyMilla - Reynolds 01:22:17 00:02:32

8th Lucy Shaw Solihull CC 01:22:17 00:02:32

9th Melanie Spath Wyndymilla Reynolds 01:22:17 00:02:32

10th Cassie McGoldrick WyndyMilla - Reynolds 01:22:17 00:02:32

11th Rebecca Nixon Dundee Thistle 01:22:17 00:02:32

12th Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 01:22:17 00:02:32

13th Molly Weaver Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 01:22:17 00:02:32

14th Rebecca Womersley WyndyMilla - Reynolds 01:22:17 00:02:32

15th Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 01:22:17 00:02:32

16th Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 01:22:17 00:02:32

17th Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 01:22:17 00:02:32

18th Sophie Faulkner Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 01:22:17 00:02:32

19th Laura Greenhalgh Twickenham CC 01:22:17 00:02:32

20th Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 01:22:17 00:02:32

21st Abby-Mae Parkinson RST Racing Team 01:22:17 00:02:32

22nd Francesca Morgans-Slader Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 01:22:17 00:02:32

23rd Chloe Wellerÿ Norwood Paragon 01:22:17 00:02:32

24th Bella Leach London Phoenix CC 01:22:17 00:02:32

25th Jennifer George Dulwich Paragon CC 01:22:17 00:02:32

26th Laura Massey Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 01:22:17 00:02:32

27th Mhairi MacKenzie London Phoenix CC 01:22:17 00:02:32

28th Rebecca Rimmington Marlin Cycles 01:22:17 00:02:32

29th Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team 01:22:17 00:02:32

30th Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 01:22:17 00:02:32

31st Ellie Campbell Fusion Development Racing Team 01:22:17 00:02:32

32nd Michelle Sellars London Phoenix CC 01:22:23 00:02:38

33rd Hayley Simmonds Velosport - Pasta Montegrappa 01:22:23 00:02:38

34th Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 01:22:23 00:02:38

35th Amy Gornall RST Racing Team 01:22:23 00:02:38

36th George Schwiening Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 01:22:23 00:02:38

37th Nicola Soden GB Cycles.co.uk 01:22:25 00:02:40

38th Karla Boddy Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 01:22:27 00:02:42

39th Alexis Barnes WyndyMilla 01:22:27 00:02:42

40th Sophie Lankford Team WNT 01:22:29 00:02:44

41st Louise Borthwick Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 01:22:29 00:02:44

42nd Annabel Fisher Bonito Squadra Corse 01:22:29 00:02:44

43rd Mathilde Mathijase Squadra Donna 01:24:12 00:04:27

44th Mary Costelloe WyndyMilla - Reynolds 01:24:17 00:04:32

45th Catherine Hills WyndyMilla 01:24:42 00:04:57

46th Nikki Engelbach Les Filles Racing Team 01:25:03 00:05:18

47th Iona Sewell GB Cycles.co.uk 01:25:16 00:05:31

48th Adele Martin VC St Raphael 01:27:40 00:07:55

49th Clover Murray Braintree Velo Cycle Racing Club 01:28:44 00:08:59

50th Jennifer Crouch London Dynamo 01:28:51 00:09:06

51st Paige Millward Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 01:28:53 00:09:08

52nd Lucy Harper Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 01:29:36 00:09:51

53rd Anna Marie Hughes Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 01:30:56 00:11:11

54th Aimee Wright High Wycombe CC 01:31:10 00:11:25

55th Coralie Glaunes Les Filles Racing Team 01:31:59 00:12:14

56th Louise Marsden VC Norwich 01:32:47 00:13:02

57th Elanor Cadzow Bonito Squadra Corse 01:35:50 00:16:05

58th= Rebecca Carter WyndyMilla 01:45:50 00:26:05

58th= Lucy Chittenden Private Member 01:45:50 00:26:05

58th= Tanya Griffiths Starley Primal 01:45:50 00:26:05

58th= Sandra Mackay GB Cycles.co.uk 01:45:50 00:26:05

Stage three:

1st Laura Massey Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 03:18:01

2nd Gillian Taylor Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 03:18:11 00:00:10

3rd Nicola ÿ Juniperÿ Team Echelon Rotor 03:18:13 00:00:12

4th Rebecca Nixon Dundee Thistle 03:18:13 00:00:12

5th Lauren Creamer Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:18:13 00:00:12

6th Molly Weaver Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 03:18:13 00:00:12

7th Lauryn Therin Bonito Squadra Corse 03:18:13 00:00:12

8th Bethany Hayward Matrix Vulpine 03:18:13 00:00:12

9th Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:18:13 00:00:12

10th Cassie McGoldrick WyndyMilla - Reynolds 03:18:13 00:00:12

11th Mhairi MacKenzie London Phoenix CC 03:18:13 00:00:12

12th Bella Leach London Phoenix CC 03:18:13 00:00:12

13th Lucy Shaw Solihull CC 03:18:13 00:00:12

14th George Schwiening Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 03:18:13 00:00:12

15th Maryka Sennema Kingston Wheelers 03:18:13 00:00:12

16th Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 03:18:13 00:00:12

17th Melanie Spath Wyndymilla Reynolds 03:18:13 00:00:12

18th Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:18:13 00:00:12

19th Rebecca Rimmington Marlin Cycles 03:18:13 00:00:12

20th Hannah Walker Epic Cycles - Scott WRT 03:18:13 00:00:12

21st Abby-Mae Parkinson RST Racing Team 03:18:13 00:00:12

22nd Keira McVitty WyndyMilla - Reynolds 03:18:20 00:00:19

23rd Jennifer George Dulwich Paragon CC 03:18:22 00:00:21

24th Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International 03:18:22 00:00:21

25th Alexis Barnes WyndyMilla 03:18:26 00:00:25

26th Ellie Campbell Fusion Development Racing Team 03:18:27 00:00:26

27th Rebecca Carter WyndyMilla 03:18:27 00:00:26

28th Mathilde Mathijase Squadra Donna 03:18:27 00:00:26

29th Annabel Fisher Bonito Squadra Corse 03:18:29 00:00:28

30th Amy Gornall RST Racing Team 03:18:35 00:00:34

31st Sophie Faulkner Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 03:18:38 00:00:37

32nd Anna Marie Hughes Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 03:18:54 00:00:53

33rd Lucy Chittenden Private Member 03:23:26 00:05:25

34th Mary Costelloe WyndyMilla - Reynolds 03:25:46 00:07:45

35th Jennifer Crouch London Dynamo 03:29:11 00:11:10

36th Michelle Sellars London Phoenix CC 03:34:01 00:16:00

37th Lucy Harper Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 03:34:01 00:16:00

38th Francesca Morgans-Slader Bike Pure-LeMond-Aspire Velotech 03:37:46 00:19:45

39th Clover Murray Braintree Velo Cycle Racing Club 03:45:11 00:27:10

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