Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s World and Olympic champion Dani King took a stunning victory in the first ever women’s Milk Race, in Nottingham’s historic city centre, as she escaped the peloton after just 20 minutes and soloed to the finish. Having ridden away from the best riders in the British women’s peloton, King powered around the 1.2km city centre circuit, increasing her lead lap on lap, to finish more than a minute ahead of the chasing bunch.
“I’m really, really happy to get my first win for the Wiggle Honda team,” King said after the race. “It was great to put my hands up in the air.
“I had a plan going into the race to just sit tight for the first part, and Elinor Barker and Amy Collins were just covering any moves that went,” King explained. “Then after about 20 minutes I launched an attack and I managed to stay away.
“I just kept going for the whole race,” she added. “I think I was alone for about 40 minutes. There was an amazing crowd out that kept me going.
“I think the biggest gap I got was about a minute and a half, so it was just getting bigger every lap. It panned out brilliantly; I kept the pressure on the whole time and the gap never got smaller, so it was a perfect race really, I can’t complain!”
With teammate King away on her solo break, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Amy Roberts and Elinor Barker worked hard in the peloton behind to prevent anybody from organising a chase. Even after all her efforts, Roberts still had the legs to finish second in the bunch sprint, only narrowly beaten into second by Hannah Barnes (MG-Maxifuel).
“We went in with a plan to try and get Dani away and that seemed to work out,” Roberts said afterwards. “I was just trying to cover everything and keep it that way so that she could get the win, and I managed to get third myself so it worked out pretty well really.
“I think I came into the last corner in front, but I was pretty knackered by the end and [Barnes] just got it,” she added, “but Dani won so we’re happy.”
With perfect weather for the return of the Milk Race the Nottingham city circuit was packed with thousands fans out to see Olympic champion’s like King in action.
“The support was absolutely fantastic,” King enthused. “I’ve never seen anything like it for a women’s race before. There was 10,000 people watching, apparently, so it was absolutely incredible, and that obviously gave me a boost when I was on my own for so long.
“My form must be okay,” she laughed. “It’s been great to race with the other girls in Holland yesterday and the day before, so my morale was good coming into the race, and obviously with the good weather and the crowds I was up for the win and it paid off!”
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling was also in action in Europe, as Commonwealth champion Rochelle Gilmore, Lauren Kitchen, double World and Olympic champion Laura Trott, Emily Collins and Japanese champion Mayuko Hagiwara were racing in the hilly Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik race in Belgium. Meanwhile, Beatrice Bartelloni and former two-time World champion Giorgia Bronzini were racing in Montignoso, Italy, where Bronzini took fourth on another hilly circuit.