Team Letchworth 2 Day
Stage 3 Write Up
From Jon Miles
Angela Hunter - GS Strada, crowned a perfect weekend when she convincingly won the final stage held at Keysoe after a group went clear containing all the race favourites.
In bright sunny weather 52 riders set off knowing that only seconds separated the top ten riders and with 90 kilometres to cover on the undulating circuit with the rain of the previous day just a memory, there would be some tired legs on the journey home.
The first action of the day occurred with just 3 miles covered when Helen Gregory - Evans Cycles, was edged onto the grass verge and she just managed to keep upright although her hear rate monitor must have been into triple figures. The first puncture of the day went to one of the race favourites Melanie Claude Bermuda, and although she chased hard was never able to get back to the fast moving bunch.
With 6 miles covered the first attack of the day came when Emma Silversides - Cheltenham & County got away and she was to be in the lead for 3 laps of the 10 mile circuit taking the bulk of the Sprint Bonus time.
10 miles covered and turning into Bushmead, Marina Massaro - Team Letchworth-Bikeshop Twente and Colette Swift - Surrey League A, crashed without serious damage and they were able to chase back.
Ann Bath - Surrey league A and Helen Gregory were both dropped after 12 miles but chased to get back on; the hill in Keysoe she a few more riders on the 2nd lap but a few miles later - and suddenly it was as if a glass had been dropped on a hard surface, the race just shattered when a swift turn of pace just blew at least half of the field out of the back!
3 miles later and Angela Dolan - Terrydolan.com punctured but at the front Silversides lead went up to 2 minutes but gradually that lead came down as 4 members of the Team Letchworth-Bikeshop Twente went to the front and rode hard.
Emma was finally caught after 36 miles of freedom; her efforts alone saw her dropped on the hill but each time she fought to get back into the leading bunch again and was judged the Most Aggressive Rider.
Into the final lap and with riders just thinking about that final kilometre long drag, the pace slowed but was enlivened by two horses on the narrow bridge that took exception to cyclists; onto the final climb and it was Angela Hunter all the way to wrap up this exciting stage race.