The final round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series Matrix Fitness GP saw the first shuffle on the Team Competition podium and a win for Jess Roberts (Liv-Epic).
Drops Cycling have held the top spot in the team comp from round one, but Podium Ambition began snapping at their heels, and swiped the victory at the last of six rounds last night.
The 45 minute crit race was blown apart by Liv Cycling Club – Epic coaching rider, Roberts, who made a break after the first sprint lap and held her own until the end – lapping the rear of the race in the process.
Early on in the Portsmouth event, Jo Tindley of WNT forged a gap for herself, but Drops and Podium Ambition were keen to keep the race together and closed her down. By the first sprint, she’d been caught, and it was sprint leader Nikki Juniper (Team Ford Eco Boost) who claimed first over the line, with Grace Garner (Podium Ambition) second and Lydia Boylan (WNT) third.
Not long after, Roberts made her move – causing the peloton behind to chase, with key players moving to the front to bring the escapee back.
The chase came to no avail, and with what was approaching a 30 second gap, Roberts rolled through the second sprint lap first, followed by Juniper and Garner.
By the final laps, Roberts had 40 seconds and was closing down on the rear of the race – there was no doubt that excluding any accidents she was going to take the win.
With two laps to go, Jo Tindley of WNT launched a crusade for second, taking with her Charlotte Broughton (Team Ford Eco Boost) and Elizabeth Harris (Podium Ambition). They managed a gap of 25 seconds but were caught in the end – leading to a bunch sprint.
Rolling in second was Garner, with Harris in third. Two Podium Ambition riders on the podium was enough to reshuffle the Team Competition and put the squad in the top spot.
The honours for the Overall Leader went to Garner, with Juniper in second – also wearing the Sprint Leader jersey still, and Broughton third.
The Tour Series and Matrix Fitness GP has once again presented an exciting spectacle, drawing crowds at every round and viewers to the ITV4 highlights shown the following evening. If you want to see any of last night’s action, tune in to ITV4 at 8pm this evening.