Words by Maria David
In front of large crowds close to St Paul’s Cathedral, Lucy Shaw (Drops Cycling) broke clear of a four-woman breakaway to claim victory in the Women’s Elite Criterium at the Rapha London Nocturne.
In the twilight of the City of London, seventy of the UK’s best female road racers lined up on Cheapside to contest 40 minutes of tough competition at the women’s Elite Criterium. Despite the top British racers being on duty at the Women’s Tour, this did not affect the numbers of women who turned out for this hotly contested race.
From the gun, Drops Cycling stamped their authority by firing Abigail Van Twisk off the front, making the bunch gallop along to bring her back during the first lap. Then it was the turn of Storey Racing to send a rider up the road.
This time it was Neah Evans, a rider known for her strong track racing skills. From the second lap, Evans gained a 20 second lead on the chasing pair of Annasley Park (Drops Cycling) and Barbara Guarischi (Canyon//SRAM). Having Guarischi in the chase group was invaluable for those trying to reel in the Scotswoman up ahead. However, given Guarischi’s pedigree, she was also the most feared rider for the win, and a tactic would be needed to get ahead of her in the final dash for the finish line.