Illi Gardner (CAMS-Basso) powered ahead of her breakaway companion Becky Storrie (Brother UK – Cycle Team OnForm) on the final kick to the finish to win the Ryedale Grasscrete Women’s Grand Prix.
The pair managed to break away on the third lap of the 94-kilometre race and worked expertly together, staying away from the peloton until the line.
Ryedale marked the second round of the women’s HSBC UK | National Road Series, but the leader’s jersey was up for the taking. Abi Smith (Team Breeze) was not at the race after her first round victory at the CiCLE Classic.
The peloton began to split on the second of two longer laps around the circuit, causing a leading group of 25 riders that quickly narrowed down to nine. It was from this group that Gardner and Storrie then broke away, creating an advantage that swelled to two minutes on the penultimate lap.
It was only on the final uphill climb to the finish that the duo eventually separated. Gardner surged ahead with 100 metres to go and took the win, Storrie finishing behind her for second place. Corrine Side (Pro-Noctis-Redchilli Bikes-Heidi Kjeldsen) placed third on the day, two minutes behind the winner.
Speaking after the race, Gardner said: “It was really good. It’s one of my favourite courses of the year, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.
“I was hoping as it’s quite a hard course to get in a break, and I was lucky to get away with Becky [Storrie]. We worked together really well and just happened to hold on to the end.”
Her CAMS-Basso teammate Natalie Grinczer now leads the standings on 36 points as we head to the third and final round of the women’s HSBC UK | National Road Series, the Curlew Cup.