Thursday 7 June 2012

Johnson HealthTech GP, Colchester

Eileen Roe
With the heavy rain and strong winds that battered the start of the race and a puncture that ruined her chances of a good finish, poor Hannah Barnes (Team Ibis Cycles) probably wished she hadn't bothered showing up at Colchester for Round 3 of what is fast becoming Britain's premier women's cycling series (and with the close, fast criterium format picking up ever-increasing numbers of fans over the Channel, it looks due to take its place among the great women's races of Europe at some point in the near future). However, with Matrix Fitness-Prendas' Annie Simpson now keeping one eye firmly on preserving her overall lead rather than grabbing round winner glory, Barnes' misfortune had the effect of opening up the race to some of the not so well-known riders.

Among them was Eileen Roe, who rode for the very first time in the series last week at the Peterborough round - the 22-year-old Scot showed older and more experienced riders a thing or two about bike handling in the treacherous conditions. then made full use of improving weather towards the end of the race by redoubling her efforts and launching a superb sprint to the line. All the same, her triumph was as much of a surprise to her as anyone else: "Hannah [Barnes] and I were racing for four hours in Holland yesterday in the rain," she said right after the race. "We drove back last night, got to bed at two in the morning so I wasn’t expecting anything special tonight. But you always ride better with a race in your legs and I was more energized but I do need my bed now!"

Annie Simpson
Simpson retains her lead in both the overall and sprints classifications but sounded less than jubilant, evidently unhappy to have done so partially as a result of her main rival's misfortune. "It was really hard tonight especially with the weather," she said. "I just tried to keep it really fast and get the bunch down. Unfortunately Hannah Barnes went out, who is my main rival, so that helped me, but it was a really great night and it was great to see Eileen win."

She's eagerly anticipating the rest of the series, though: "Woking next week is a really good course, it’s got a lot of corners like Oxford which I won so I’d like to do well there. Stoke-on-Trent is where our sponsors Matrix Fitness are from so we want to perform there for them. That is like our home round and our team has won the past two rounds there so we feel we need to keep that up. I am really looking forward to it though." Oxford was one of the tightest and most exciting races to have taken place in Britain this season, so with promises like those the fans are going to be looking forward to the coming rounds every bit as much as Simpson. With some good finishes by her team mates, Matrix-Prendas also stay at the top of the teams classification.
Hannah Barnes ‏@bannahharnesShame about my puncture in the @TourSeries but still a good night with a team win :)

Round 3 Colchester
1. Eileen Roe (Ibis Cycles)
2. Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten)
3. Alice Barnes (
4. Laura Massey (Vivelo Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT)
5. Corrine Hall (Node 4 Giordana)
6. Annie Simpson (Matrix-Prendas)
7. Hannah Walker (Matrix-Prendas)
8. Helen Wyman (Kona/Matrix-Prendas)
9. Jo Tindley (VC St Raphael)
10. Natalie Creswick (Mule Bar Girls)

Overall Top Ten (after Round 3)
1. Annie Simpson (Matrix-Prendas) 54pts
2. Corrine Hall (Node 4 Giordana) 44pts 
3. Helen Wyman (Kona/Matrix-Prendas) 39pts
4. Hannah Barnes  (Ibis Cycles)  37pts
5. Harriet Owen (Node 4 Giordana) 32pts
6. Jo Tindley (VC St Raphael) 30pts
7. Laura Massey (Vivelo Bikes/Inverse Cyclaim RT) 28pts
8. Lydia Boylan (Look Mum No Hands!) 28pts
9. Louise Mahe (Mule Bar Girls) 27pts
10. Penny Rowson (Matrix-Prendas) 27pts

Sprint Standings (after Round 3)
1. Annie Simpson (Matrix-Prendas) 24pts
2. Jo Tindley (VC St Raphael) 13pts
3. Hannah Barnes (Ibis Cycles) 12pts
4. Harriet Owen (Node 4 Giordana) 8pts
5. Lucy Garner (Node 4 Giordana) 5pts
6. Hannah Walker (Matrix-Prendas) 5pts
7. Helen Wyman (Kona/Matrix-Prendas) 5pts
8. Corrine Hall (Node 4 Giordana) 3pts
9. Lydia Boylan (Look Mum No Hands!) 2pts
10. Jo McRae (Look Mum No Hands!) 2pts

Teams (after Round 3)
1. Matrix Fitness-Prendas, 108pts
2. Node4-Giordana, 108pts
3. VC St Raphael, 58pts
4. Mule Bar Girls, 50pts
5. Look Mum No Hands!, 45pts
6. WyndyMilla UK Youth, 6pts

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