19 year old Gabriella Day - Impsport Composite, won the 7th event of the Women's Team Race Series held near Towcester in near classic style posting a first ever road race win for this talented young rider. Breaking away with 3 laps to go - the race covered 10 x 5 mile laps - she was initially joined by Jeanette Tebbutt - Team Luciano but proved just too strong, riding away to a perfect end of the day.
Although only 32 riders lined up for this first ever promotion by Richard Harrison and Team Milton Keynes, this did not mean a slow race. 15 miles covered and the first of the special primes with Helen Gutteridge - Team Luciano showing her sprinting form which was the springboard for Diane Moss to attack 5 miles later; she gained a maximum of 30 seconds which lasted for a further lap but gradually drifted back to the Gabby Day led bunch as the reached the top of Whittlebury hill.
Helen Gutteridge won the 2nd prime that came at 30 miles but she wasn't just prime hunting as she put in 2 attacks. With 3 laps to go, 15 miles, Gabby Day leapt from the bunch on the major hill, being joined by Jeanette Tebbutt and these two gradually built a lead of 43 seconds with 10 miles to the finish; Helen Gutteridge also launched an attack that gained 37 seconds on the bunch. With 2 laps to go Laura Bissell - Impsport Composite was stirring the bunch when she attacked being joined by Heather Summers - East Midlands and they made contact with Gutteridge to form a very useful chasing group.
Into the last lap with Tebbutt being left by an in form Day who struck out on her own; Tebbutt was at 41 seconds with the Bissell-Summers-Gutteridge group timed at 1 min 6 seconds down on leader Day with the bunch, now reduced to just 13 riders, at 1 minute 31 seconds. Jeanette Tebbutt was eventually caught by the chasers.
The last time up Whittlebury Hill, and although the chasers had got just a little bit closer, Gabriella Day deserved her victory as the chequered flag waved just that little bit more joyously. 1 minute 3 seconds later Helen Gutteridge sprinted to 2nd place with Tebbutt a spirited 3rd place followed by Heather Summers and Laura Bissell.
An excited Gabriella Day said " There was no real plan today but I wanted to stay at the front, I felt good today and really strong up the hills, in fact I was usually leading up the hills. I made one big effort up the hill with 3 laps to go expecting everyone to come with me but looking round there was only one, Jeanette Tebbutt, I waited for her and we worked together but lost her a lap further on; I was really worried as I was on my own thinking the bunch would catch me, especially into the head wind up the hill".
"It was really hard today, I was on my own for 2 laps but I am really happy with my first ever road race win; I have been doing cyclo cross in the winter, I find it really gives me extra strength. I am really happy!".
Many riders also echoed that it was hard, indeed many thought it was just as hard and fast as a Bruton Trophy event. A major incident occurred at the back of the field as Rebecca Stubbs, one of the dropped riders, came into the finishing section; with just 400 metres to go to the end of the race she was 'clipped' by a farm vehicle that overtook her and immediately turned into a field in front of her. Rebecca was taken to Northampton Hospital was but later released with no serious injuries.
1. East Midlands 276 points
2. Team Luciano-Fondriest 266 points
3. Surrey League 188 points
4. Central Division 176 points
5. Impsport Composite 166 points
6. West Midlands 134 points
7. Evans Cycles RT 47 points
8. V.C. Meudon - Integra Cycle Kingdom - Colbrones 42 points
9. Welsh Cycling Union 39 points
1 Gabriella Day Impsport Composite
2 Helen Gutteridge Team Luciano-Fondriest Cycles A @1.03
3 Jeanette Tebbutt Team Luciano-Fondriest Cycles A st
4 Heather Summers East Midlands st
5 Laura Bissell Impsport Composite @1.05
6 Diane Moss Team Luciano-Fondriest Cycles A @1.35
7 Sue Roy Central Division st
8 Melissa Mather Team Luciano-Fondriest Cycles A st
9 Tracey Fletcher East Midlands st
10 Ruth Gamwell West Midlands st
11 Claire Hall Impsport Composite st
12 Kelly Grant Central Division st
13 Louise Day East Midlands st
14 Claire Paginton Evans Cycles RT st
15 Angela Nainby Surrey League st
16 Elizabeth Clayton West Midlands st
17 June Walker East Midlands st
18 Charlotte Skinner East Midlands @2.05
19 Rosie Dos Remedios V.C. Meudon @6.54
20 Karen Lovatt Team Luciano-Fondriest Cycles A @8.54
21 Samantha Van Gerbig Central Division st
22 Rebecca Jones Welsh Cycling Union @10.53
23 Rachel Lloyd West Midlands st
24 Abigail Armstrong Surrey League st
25 Crystal Sheldon Surrey League @14.08
26 Tamar Collis Surrey League @15.15
27 Nicola Wadham Surrey League @15.17
28 Patricia Hicks Central Division @15.19
29 Anna Watson East Midlands @ 1 lap
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