Distance 53 miles - 85km
The UK's 2004 Women's Team Series began on Sunday. Sponsored in 2003 by WomensCycling.net, the competition is funded this year by Luciano Cycles. Last year's winners were Team Luciano, sponsored by Dudley Samuels, owner of Luciano Cycles.
Helen Gutteridge - Team Luciano, won the first race of the Women’s Team Race Series held on the Astwood course near Bedford in windy and cold conditions.
The Luciano Cycles sponsored Women’s Team Series got off to a good start when 51 women lined up for 5 laps of the hard course that would cover 53 miles in total; in fact on the first lap 19 riders were cut adrift from the main field.
With 20 miles covered an attack was launched that included Helen, Tracy Clark – Central Division, Laura Bissell – Impsport Composite Team and Helen Saunders – Letchworth Velo Club. Their lead very gradually gained on a lined out bunch and in the early laps it hovered around 25 seconds.
10 miles later Julie O’Hagan – Letchworth Velo Club, sprang from the bunch and became a quick chase of the break, catching them within a kilometre.
The 5 person break worked well but still only had under half a minute gap with the bunch trying hard to get them back.
The elastic finally broke in the final 10 miles when the gap increased to 3 minutes; the last few miles saw Laura Bissell gradually getting dropped and at the finish she was 15 seconds down.
Reaching the final climb at Astwood it was Gutteridge who attacked first immediately followed by Tracy Clark and that is how they crossed the line with O’Hagan in 3rd and Helen Saunders in 4th place.
Team Luciano just won the team award with Letchworth Velo Club in 2nd place.
1. Team Luciano 261 points
2. Letchworth Velo Club 250 points
3. West Midlands Division 234 points
4. East Midlands Division 173 points
5. Surrey League 168 points
6. Velo Club Meudon 152 points
7. Evans Cycles 150 points
1. Helen Gutteridge Team Luciano 2hrs 39 mins 10 secs
2. Tracy Clark Central Division same time
3. Julie O’Hagan Letchworth Velo Club at 2 secs
4. Helen Saunders Letchworth Velo Club same
5. Laura Bissell Impsport Composite Team at 15 secs
6. Michele Ward Impsport Composite Team at 3 mins 20 secs
7. Katie Middlehurst Letchworth Velo Club same time
8. Ruth Gamwell West Midlands Division same time
9. Melissa Mather Team Luciano same time
10. Joanne Walker East Midlands Division same time
11. Tracy Fletcher East Midlands Division same time
12. Jeanette Tebbutt Team Luciano same time
13. Claire Paginton Evans Cycles same time
14. Tracy Purbick Letchworth Velo Club same time
15. Heather Summers East Midlands Division same time
16. Kimberley Blythe Team Luciano same time
17. Rebecca Milburn Evans Cycles same time
18. Kelly Grant Central Division same time
19. Elizabeth Clayton West Midlands Division same time
20. Catherine O’Carroll West Midlands Division same time
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