Women's race at Tour of Britain, Barnes storms to victory - Total Women's Cycling

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Women’s race at Tour of Britain, Barnes storms to victory

Hannah Barnes of MG-Maxifuel Pro-Cycling team once again showed her dominance of the domestic racing scene by sprinting to victory at the women’s Johnson Health Tech Westminster Grand Prix held on Sunday 22 September.

Coinciding with the final stage of the men’s Tour of Britain, which hit London on the same day, the JHT Westminster GP – organised and run by SweetSpot – saw the UK’s top female riders race through the heart of London.

Barnes took the title in the inaugural Johnson Health Tech Westminster GP held in London on Sunday

The hour-long race, saw sixty riders take to a 1.7 km circuit around the streets of London, passing iconic sights like Big Ben, Parliament Square and Downing Street. Coming out of the bunched group in the final 200metres, Barnes hammered to victory, followed by Louise Borthwick of Edinburgh RC while Emily Nelson of Bike Pure LeMond – Aspire Velotech was placed third.

Barnes admitted she had to work hard to keep her lead, with rivals trying their best to take her on. Speaking after her victory Barnes commented;

It was really aggressive, people were going off the front at all times and I didn’t feel very good at all for the first half of the race. I rode into it a bit – it was lucky it wasn’t a 30-minute crit, I would have come nowhere.

A lot of the time I can see that people want to get away from me as opposed to leaving it for a bunch sprint, and the last five or six laps were fast, particularly since two were still away.

Admittedly, we were disappointed there wasn’t a full women’s Tour of Britain – but don’t be disappointed as there is set to be ‘The Women’s Tour’ in May 2014.

JHT Westminster GP results

  1. Hannah Barnes; MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling, 59:17
  2. Louise Borthwick; Edinburgh RC, ST
  3. Emily Nelson; Bike Pure – LeMond – Aspire Velotech, ST
  4. Molly Weaver; Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team, ST
  5. Claire Thomas; GSD Gestion/Kallisto/Specialized, ST
  6. Lowri Devey; Abergavenny Road Club, ST
  7. Lauren Creamer; ISCorp Cycling/NCSF, ST
  8. Jo Tindley; Matrix Fitness Racing Academy, ST
  9. Gillian Taylor; Abergavenny Road Club, ST
  10. Nicola Juniper; Les Filles Racing Team, ST

The Women’s Tour – May 2014

Aiming to attract the top international female riders, the Women’s Tour is being pitched as a game changer in the world of professional cycling for a number of reasons, not least of which is the promise of equal prize money to the men’s event.

May 2014 will see the first ever Women’s Tour, a 5-day stage race across the East Midlands and East Anglia.

It cannot carry on that we discriminate against women in sport from the age of 15.

Guy Elliot, Director of SweetSpot

It’s not (yet) the Women’s Tour of Britain, and will be run separately to the men’s Tour of Britain which takes place in September. This is partly because British Cycling owns the right to that name, partly for logistics, and partly because SweetSpot feel that having a high profile, stand-alone race is the way to go.

We want to run a separate women’s tour, one for logistics reasons, but two we think we should create our own package around women having their own event. All the towns, all the flashy podium presentations will be geared around the women’s race and not the women just turning up before the main event arrives.

Guy Elliot, Director of SweetSpot

Another crucial element, and one that has been talked about time and time again when it comes to pro-women’s racing, is coverage. It’s something that SweetSpot have clearly put a lot of thought and planning into, developing ideas for broadcasters to get behind.

Our plan is to get an hour’s TV coverage each day. 20-30 minutes of that might be focusing on the riders and their stories, what goes on behind the scenes, how to get into the sport and maybe 30 minutes on the actual racing.

Guy Elliot, Director of SweetSpot

British Cycling and SweetSpot have indicated that this isn’t a one-off, but the first of many such events

The event will be separate from the men’s race, but it will be promoted to a high standard and will, I’m sure, be the first step in having a full equivalent Tour of Britain as it develops.

Brian Cookson, President of British Cycling


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