Brilliant bronze for Barnes at UEC Road European Championships

Brilliant bronze for Barnes at UEC Road European Championships

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Great Britain Cycling Team’s Alice Barnes won bronze in the under-23 women’s road race at the UEC Road European Championships in Denmark.

The Podium Programme rider, who took her first ever professional win last month, crossed the line in third in a bunch sprint finish after Denmark’s Pernille Mathieson rode solo to win her second European title of the week.

Challenging conditions

Rain in Herning caused challenging conditions for the riders, forced to switch between racing in the dry and the wet throughout the latter phases.

Great Britain Cycling Team's Anna Christian was even forced off her bike after colliding with Russia’s Irina Ivanova, who lost control on the wet road and fell in front of the Isle of Man rider, who was able to continue.

With 40km remaining, the Danish pair of Pernille Mathieson and Cecile Uttrup Ludwig took turns to attack, with under-23 time trial champion Mathieson making her move stick.

Barnes responded, along with Serbia’s Jelena Eric, Jeanne Korevaar of Netherlands and Eraud Severine of France - the five managing to hold a fluctuating lead of between five and fifteen seconds.

With 19km remaining, the peloton managed to swallow up the bulk of the lead group - but Mathieson continued her aggressive riding to pull clear on her own.

The impressive Mathieson held a lead of more than 30 seconds with 10km remaining as Sweden’s Julia Karlsson attempted to launch a solo chase which proved unsuccessful.

As the race headed back towards the finish, Mathieson tired and saw her lead start to tumble, with the peloton making up 15 seconds on the Dane with just 3km remaining.

But her earlier efforts proved decisive - and Mathieson celebrated a famous win, becoming a double European champion in her home country.

That left silver and bronze to play for, with the peloton refocusing ahead of a bunch sprint finish for the remaining podium places.

Great Britain Cycling Team's Alice Barnes wins bronze in the under-23 women's road race at the UEC Road European Championships

Barnes found space out wide and darted for the line, picking up bronze behind Norway’s Susanne Andersen.

Ellie Dickinson finished 32nd, with Abi van Twisk 54th, both finishing within the bunch. Mel Lowther took 58th, 33 seconds behind Mathieson with Anna Christian recovering to finish 66th, just under four minutes behind the race winner.

Lucy Shaw's race came to an unfortunate end following a collision with a spectator who rode onto the course causing a crash within the peloton.