Fitting for Bourne club to play host to historic event on Witham circuit
More than 60 of the country’s stars of the future competed at Witham-on-the-Hill on Sunday in the first of a series of national events organised by Bourne Wheelers.
The newly-formed British Cycling Junior Women’s Road Series was the maiden event of the season for the Bourne club.
Having hosted races for junior girls in the last two years, including the first-ever race purely for that catgegory, it was fitting that the Bourne Wheelers played host to this historic event.
From an original entry of 71 riders, including a strong Irish team, 61 riders took to the start line.
The previous days sunny conditions had disappeared and the riders were greeted with a typical April day weather wise with showers threatening at any time, but thankfully warm enough for many riders to race free of leg warmers for the first time this year.
On paper the Liv CC/Halo team with five riders, looked to have most of the aces up their sleeves, with Pfeiffer Georgi in fantastic form after her brilliant win in Italy last month fresh in everyones minds.
With Anna Docherty and Alana Prior (who raced so well at Witham last year before mechanical issues) also in their ranks, they would definitely be the team to beat.
Team 22 and Cycle Team on Form had the top three riders from last year’s race in their ranks with April Tacey, Felicity Gledhill and Emily Ashwood, but with a stronger field on paper assembled, the smart money was on the well-drilled Liv CC girls in purple and white.
As the race left the grounds of Witham Hall Prep School and the neutralised flag was pulled in, it was the team Ireland girls and the quintet of Liv CC girls who tried to impose themselves on the race.
Marie Lynn also tried to get in on the act as did Isabel Ellis and the constant attacking saw several riders falling off the back, but the damage was telling on everyone and, with everyone softened up, Georgi attacked.
Within a few miles she was out of sight, with her team-mates giving a masterclass in shepherding the bunch.
With a lap to go (11 miles), her gap was nearly three minutes and, as she crossed the line, her finishing margin of victory was five minutes.
Kim Baptista (Torelli/Kuota) took the bunch sprint for second from another form rider, Corinne Side (Racing Chance foundation) in thirdwith Docherty rounding off the top four.
The first of the younger first year juniors was Kate Wooton (Cycle team on Form) in 11th place.
Bourne Wheelers will also be staging the National Junior Men’s and the Women’s National Road Race Championships in July.