Article By: Leigh Marshall
Published On: 11th April 2013
On the 6th and 7th of April 2013, the City of Perth played host to the first round of the British Women's National Road Series.
The race would be fought over three stages in two days on closed roads that would be transformed into a cycling field of battle.
Stage 1 was 10 laps of a 6.6km loop road race in and around the village of Forteviot. Each lap had three climbs, the first of which would make the legs sting. The Breast Cancer Care team worked tirelessly with MG Maxifuel and Scott Contessa to neuralise any moves that had the slightest whiff of an attack. The long climb on the final lap presented Anne Ewing and Ciara Horne (both Breast Cancer Care) with the opportunity to power away from the main bunch, with Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel) hotly in pursuit of the duo. The stage win went to Ewing, with Horne and Barnes 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Stage 2 was a time trial in the grounds of Strathallan School, which would not necessarily favour the true testers amongst the field. The 1km course was mainly uphill and fairly technical with lots of corners, off camber sections and speed bumps. The winner of the stage, Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care) would put her cyclocross skills to good use in delivering her to the line quickest. Even managing to "get air" when bunny hopping the speed bump!
Stage 3 the Perth city centre criterium was to become the most challenging stage for many of the ladies. With some very "Scottish" weather conditions testing the mettle of all competitors. The pace was high from the gun, with MG Maxifuel hoovering up as many time bonuses as possible in their quest to take the leaders jersey from Ewing (Breast Cancer Care). Breast Cancer Care rode with tenacity to ensure the front group stayed together despite MG Maxifuel's efforts throughout the race. Going into the final lap, Charline Joiner (MG Maxifuel) cranked up the pace in a final push to catapult Barnes into the best position to sprint for the line. The stage win went to Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel) with Anne Ewing and Eileen Roe (both Breast Cancer Care) taking 2nd and 3rd.
However, Barnes's fierce and astute riding during the criterium would not be enough to liberate the leaders jersey from the shoulders of Ewing (Breast Cancer Care). With a 3 second overall lead over Barnes, Ewing would claim her bounty. The winners yellow jersey.
Barnes would hold onto the green points jersey at the end of the stage and firmly secure her overall lead in the points competition, ensuring she was bestowed with the winners green jersey.