Race Results - Cheshire Classic
Cheshire Classic - Womens National Series - UK - 50miles (80km)
There was drama in the carpark before the event. With 5 minutes to go, Sally Boyden's (Classic Walls CRT) rear mechanism broke. She was able to borrow a bike but had a nervy time as 3 mechanics worked to replicate her usual bike's set-up.
On the first climb, Lorna Currie (Team Velo Eccosse) lost contact. She rode on alone, but eventually packed. Otherwise the bunch was still together.With 5.0miles covered, Evelyn Kenyon (YASUMITSU-SCHLAPP) lost contact, joined at 5.3miles by team-mate Jane Carter.
At around 7.5miles - Emma Davies (Team Powerbar) snuck off the front. By 10.0miles, she had a 23" advantage. Victims of the speed were Carolyn Marshall (Fareham Wheelers), Clara Beard (Team Quest/The Bike Shop) and Siobhan Mullen (Clevedon & District). Also dropped were Clare Curtis (Bath CC) & Renell Bartlet (Barrow Central Wheelers). At the roundabout "U" turn, where chasers could see their objective, Di Moss (SP Systems Wightlink) began a chase, followed by Sally Boyden. This had the effect of sending Katherine Hill (Cycleways) out the back of the peleton, but did little to dent Davies' time gap.
In fact as the race approached the climb for the 3rd time, the gap was 30". At the top of the hill, Cherie Pridham (PrestigeVC.Com-Viner) pulled over - her problem, a damaged front mech. Unfortunately, her team-mate, Leda Ray, suffered a puncture & lost her chain less than 1mile up the road. Pridham battled to rejoin the race, Leda retired.
At 15.3miles, the Team Letchworth pairing of Debbie Booth & Suzanne Hamilton lost contact with the main group. The time gap to Davies had increased to 34" by this point - rising to 45" in the next mile or so, as the race turned back into Acton Lane for the 4th lap.
As the road steepened, Melanie Szubrycht (Universal CC) pulled over - with chain trouble. She was quickly back on & rejoined the peleton within the lap.
Over the top of the climb, the yellow jerseys of SP Systems Wightlink could be seen winding things up at the front. At the back, WCRA Handicaps (2002) winner, Mathilde Pauls (VC Londres) lost contact.
At 18.0miles,the time gap was 31" and at 18.5miles, Kimberly Walsh (junior pursuit champion) (Team Letchworth) went out of the back. Despite a heroic chase, which saw her regain the bunch 3miles later, the end of the lap/ the hill came around again too quickly for her and she lost contact again - unable to regain it.
Emma Davies' lead was extending all the time and at 21miles, she was 57" ahead of the bunch. Dianne Moss was working hard to chase - without success.
At the top of the climb, the gap was 1"26. Jacqui Mapshall (VC St Raphael) was dropped from the bunch. Whilst at the front, Davies' team-mate Melanie Sears had begun to cross the gap, building up a 20" lead on the bunch. Penny Edwards (CC Abergavenny) & Charlotte Goldsmith (SP Systems Wightlink) tried to pull her back, but were not successful.
By now there were less than 20 riders left in the main bunch. They were together at the top of the climb, but within a mile, Julie Mann (Middridge CRT) had established herself as the third rider to open a gap at the front. So, the situation at 30 miles was : Davies to peleton - 1'56" with Sears, then Mann in between.
The time gap from Davies to Sears was given as 30" at the top of the climb. Apart from Mann, everyone stayed together, although Sally Boyden drifted slightly off the back with a buckled rear wheel. Although The service vehicle was on hand to help, she rejoined the bunch without stopping to take assistance, presumably deciding she could make-do.
The rest of the lap was relatively uneventful, with no further departures (front or back) from the main bunch. This was still the case at the start of the 8th lap & over the climb.
At 40 miles, as the leaders rode through the "U" turn roundabout, the gaps were :
Davies, Sears & Mann @ 14", Peleton (16 riders) @ 1"50
With 2 laps to go, Davies was caught by Mann & Sears at the top of the climb. Mary Boyd (Team Letchworth), suffering with gear trouble dropped back, just in front of her were Isla Rowntree (Stourbridge CC) & Sharon Padley (SP Systems Wightlink). Boyd chased hard to catch these two, who made temporary contact with the bunch, before Rowntree slipped back again. At the roundabout for the penultimate time, the leaders were 2 minutes ahead of the bunch. A group of backmarkers, who were working well together, were lapped at this point.
At the bell, Melanie Szubricht suffered chain trouble again. Although, she was soon back in contention. Whilst Boyd carried on, Isla Rowntree retired - suffering from leg cramps and also a lack of racing at longer distances.
As the race turned into Acton Lane for the last time, Sears led Mann up the hill. It was clear to the 100 or so spectators who had the legs left and with 50 to go, Mann jumped to take the victory by a clear length.
Davies followed over the line for third place, ahead of the bunch.
Julie Mann was pleased with her victory. She is back on her bike after several year's lay-off and is just testing how things are going at the moment.
Cheshire Classic Result : 50miles in 2hr 17min
1st Julie Mann - Middridge CRC
2nd Melanie Sears - Team Powerbar
3rd Emma Davies - Team Powerbar
4th Melanie Szubrycht - Universal CC
5th Dianne Moss - SP Systems Wightlink
6th Angela Hunter - GS Strada
7th Charlotte Goldsmith - SP Systems Wightlink
8th Anne Plant - Arthur Caygill Road Team
9th Karen Byrne - Tunstall Wheelers/Brian Rourke Cycles
10th Karen Lovatt - SP Systems Wightlink
Prime Winner - Emma Davies