Charline Joiner took her first Tour Series win in Croydon last night, telling us it had provided a much needed confidence boost during a tough season.
[related_articles]The technical circuit featured a tight bend, which Team WNT's Joiner called "death corner", plus a short drag and plenty of twisty descents to keep the riders on their toes.
The race split early, with a few riders being lapped by the fast paced peloton and multiple attacks in the later laps as contenders tried to break free in front of expectant Croydon crowds.
Joiner hadn't anticipated a win, but started to dream big a few laps into the race - she explained in bubbly post-race excitement: "I really like a technical course. When I saw that there was only a few of us in the front group, I thought why not [have a go at the win]... Then when it got to a few laps to go I was like ‘I want this, I want this, I want thisss!’ so I just went."
Triumph came just when it was needed most. Joiner, who runs a personal training and watt bike testing business, said: "My confidence and motivation has been really low lately and I needed something to get that back."
(Psst: You can check out Charline's coaching and watt bike testing updates via her Twitter account)
She added: "You just get points in your career when you feel a bit low. This is the first year where I’ve been trying to get some work in there... and starting a business isn’t like just going to work every day, you’ve got all the background work to do, you’ve got to look for your clients, the PR for it, everything... I’m a one woman show.
"I don’t like not giving 100% to everything I do, whether its bike racing or work... cycling has kind of taken a back-step, but I’m starting to find the right balance again. I really needed tonight, it's just shown me I can do it."
Joiner has raced the Matrix GP Tour Series for a few years, but never taken a win - she said: "I’ve been wanting this for a long time so I’m absolutely over the moon, and I’m so grateful for my team, Team WNT."
Charline finished just ahead of Nikki Juniper, of Team Giordana Triton, with IKON Mazd's Louise Mahe in third.
The result keeps Juniper in lead on the General Classification, and the Sprint competition, whilst her team Giordana Triton continue to lead the standings.
The next round is in Peterborough, on June 9, and the final round will be in Bath, on June 11.
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