Claire Rose (Podium Ambition Powered by Club La Santa) took the win of the third round of the Matrix Fitness GP women’s series at the Tour Series in Stoke last night.
The race was 45 minutes long and consisted of laps of a technical 1.4km circuit. Most of the women in the pack would probably like to see an extension to 60 minutes, but they managed to create more than enough action in the time they were given.
Early on a group of just over 20 riders separated themselves from the pack, though they were eventually joined by a further 10 to up the leaders to a total of 30 riders.
The first intermediate sprint was won by Nikki Juniper of Team Ford Eco Boost, with Annasley Park (Team Breeze) in second and Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling) third. The surge meant the group splintered, and after another lap was down to nine riders.
The lead group consisted of Rose, Juniper, Park, Hayley Jones (Team Breeze), Grace Garner (Podium Ambition), Annie Simpson (Drops), Katie Crumpton (Boot out Breast Cancer – Podium Ambition’s sister club), Dame Sarah Storey (Podium Ambition) and Nicole Moerig (Podium Ambition). Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), Podium Ambition were well represented.
The front group had a 30 second lead on the chasers, and going in to the second sprint, Juniper again took the win, with Park in second and Moerig in third. With three laps to go it seemed certain the group would stay away.
On the penultimate lap, Redditch winner Annasley Park suffered a crash and was attended to by the medic – we’ve not yet heard what the nature of her injuries were but wish her all the best.
The crash left the lead group down to eight, and as expected, Podium Ambition used their numbers to launch an attack, flinging Rose to the line to take the win. Behind her was 2015 overall winner, Juniper, with Garner third.
Drops Cycling lead the overall thanks to high finishes at all three rounds, yet they’ve still to take an individual win.
If you want to get closer to the action, Pearl Izumi are giving away a pair of VIP hospitality tickets at the final race in Portsmouth, plus £250 to spend at their Gunwharf Quays outlet store.