Streets Ahead of the Competition, Anna Henderson takes the HSBC-UK National Criterium Gold Medal in the Women’s Event as Matt Gibson Grabs Gold on the Line in the Men’s Event.
On form around the High Street based circuit for the first time for the women in Stockton-on-Tees. Anna Henderson [Cycle Team OnForm] soloed to a brilliant victory to claim the red & white stripes of the national jersey – her first ever national title.
Former Giant Slalom skier turned Cyclist had showed her ability throughout this season winning rounds in the Tour Series and in the Women’s Road Series.
Saying afterwards “It still hasn’t sunk in yet really – still a Rabbit in the headlights – I’m over the Moon”. Asking her if she had expected to be out-front for so long, she continued saying “I did a course reccy and thought this is pretty technical – a little bit like Aberystwyth. I threw in a few attacks to see what would happen. In that second attack I threw myself into the corner and nobody followed me.”
So well, I’m committed now I though, yeh – just carry on – set a pace – and keep going.
“I can’t wait to wear the national strips – it’s a pride – it’s going to be awesome – yeh.”
This is her biggest achievement to-date in her short career on the road and a cheeky smile over the line for the bell when she realised the win was a reality having built up a substantial lead from an early point in the 50 minute event.
The race split into several groups from the start with all the major contenders making the lead group. This included former champion Nikki Juniper [NJC-Biemme – Echelon], newly crowned road race champion Jess Roberts [Team Breeze], team-mate Rhona Callander who won the Oltey Circuit Race last week and Megan Barker [Team Breeze] who showed good form in the Tour Series.
Several attempts to break free by Juniper and the Breeze girls came to nothing before Henderson made her move, a dangerous rider to-let-go so soon quickly found herself 30 seconds ahead of the field.
Juniper heavily marked said after the race” I was never going to get away”. The Breeze girls countered her attempts. “I wasn’t going to drag anyone across” she went on to say, leaving her chance to the bunch sprint, should that happen, as the gap increased to over a minute.
With the final 5 laps getting counted down, Junipers team-mate Jo Tindley broke the stranglehold of the chasing group and edged out a 10 second advantage. Looking back all the while, Tindley no-stranger to going on the attack alone dug deep to maintain her second place and the silver medal for her effort.
The rest were left to fight-it-out across the line for bronze with Roberts getting on the Podium for the second time in as many weeks.
Tindey said afterwards “I wanted to be towards the front from the start, with such a big group, the hairpin in the middle and the change of surface on that last bottom corner. I wanted to be on the front”. With her DS on the side of the road shouting not to get carried away – which she quite often does, sat on 2nd wheel for a little bit before Henderson went away.
“I followed her through before coming back in. Then she went again and nobody followed her. The group was still chasing and I chased a little bit, but thought no – it’s too long.” I’ve got to calm myself down and ride within myself she thought. “I wanted to be in the gap because I was unsure about a bunch sprint – so I wanted to take the risk. Luckily today it paid off. I’m over the Moon” she went on to say. “I’m just scrapping top tens in the Tour Series and taking risks in the likes of the Tour of the Res (Resevoir). I knew one day it would pay off. I know it’s not gold. I’ve never been on the Podium at the National Champs.”
Gold Anna Henderson Cycle Team OnForm 49.07
Silver Jo Tindley NJC-Biemme-Echelon @1.05
Bronze Jess Roberts Team Breeze @1.13
4 Gabriella Shaw NJC-Biemme-Echelon @1.13
5 Abigail Dentus Team Breeze =
6 Annabel Simpson Trek-Drops
7 Bethany Crumpton Storey Racing
8 Rhona Callander Team Breeze
9 Jenny Holl Team Breeze
10 Rachel Langdon Grey Goat Mobile Bullseye Total Media
Megan Barker, Nicola Junipe,r Elizabeth-Jane Harris, Charlotte Broughton, Jennifer George, Ffion James, Alicia Speak,e Jennifer Powell, Isabel Darvill, Monica Dew, Lucy Shaw
The men’s championship went very differently to the women’s with eyeballs out from the gun.
The peloton split into two halves as the riders embarked on their hour long journey.
Around thirty riders made the cut including defecting champ Tom Pidcock [Team WIGGINS], local hero Harry Tanfield [Canyon-Eisberg] and Jon Mould [JLT Condor].
Tanfield paraded around the familiar course here in Stockton-on-Tees as the elite men returned for an eighth consecutive year.
Stockton is no stranger to hosting racing at a national level here in Great Britain having successfully staged the 2016 National Road Race Championships, when Aqua Blue’s Adam Blythe fended of World Champion Data Dimension’s Mark Cavendish in a thrilling bunch sprint to the line.
The Circuit Championships were going to produce a thrilling bunch sprint too on this occasion as such the pace being maintained, there was no room to get off the front.
The race reached the final countdown and JLT took to the helm in readiness for Mould or Matt Gibson [JLT Condor] to sprint it out for the medals. Sitting further back after taking his turn on the front, Pidcock looked like he may of stretched himself too far sitting in around 10th position as the group strung-out in one long line.
With under half a lap remaining Pidcock knew that positioning into the final corner would be crucial and moved up to fourth position behind the three from JLT.
It was a close lunge to the line that saw Gisbon take the gold medal with Mould bringing in a depleted lead group for bronze.
Gold Matt Gibson JLT Condor 58.03
Silver Tom Pidcock Team WIGGINS =
Bronze Jon Mould JLT Condor =
4 Matt Walls 100%ME =
5 Tobyn Horton Madison Genesis =
6 Matt Bostock 100%MEE @03
7 Charles Page Canyon Eisberg =
8 Daniel Tulett 100%ME =
9 Harry Tanfield Canyon Eisberg =
10 Jake Stewart 100%ME =
Jonathan McEvoy, Christopher Latham, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson, Joey Walker, Fred Wright, Isaac Mundy, Joe Hol,t Jacob Scott, Thomas Stewart, Alistair Slater, Thomas Moses, Ian Bibby, Connor Swift, Marcus Burnett, Richard Handley, Robert Scott.