Women’s Ryedale Grand Prix
A season of punctures, crashes, broken bones & mechanicals didn’t deter Claire Steels (Brother UK Fusion RT) in winning the final round of the HSBC-UK Women’s National Road Series 2019 race, the Grasscrete Ryedale Grand Prix.
Part of a 4 rider break that eventually broke free in the final half of the race, Steels managed to power up the finishing straight without looking back, for fear of been overtook and stayed away across the line ahead of her biggest challenger of the day, Anna Christian (Drops) who finished 2nd again – the same as last year. Anna Kay (Experza-Footlogix) and Jenny Powell (Bianchi-Dama) were part of the group contesting the win with Powell eventually finish 3rd & Kay 4th.
The pair of them had attacked one after another in the final small laps of the 94Km race that set off in Ampleforth in unusually sunny conditions. 65 riders took to the start line in-front of the Abbey as they set about the final Women’s National Road Series race that took on 2 larger circuits of the course, followed by 3 smaller circuits.
The peloton broke into two larger groups earlier on before splitting again to around 25 girls on the front. The bell lap saw around a 40s gap to the chasing remnants with half the field finishing overall.
Series leader Rebecca Durrell (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm) stayed safe towards to front of the race eventually finishing 16th with enough points amassed to become the 2019 Women’s Series Champion along with her team-mates that claimed the Team Prize.
1 Rebecca Durrell (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm) 170
2 Leah Dixon (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm) 116
3 Claire Steels (Brother UK Fusion RT) 106
4 Jenny Powell (Bianchi-Dama) 103
5 Elizabeth Bennett (Campinense – Velo Performance) 95
1 Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm 452
2 Brother UK Fusion RT 233
3 Brother UK Fusion RT 221
4 Bianchi Dama 195
5 Storey Racing 82
Claire Steels – Brother UK Fusion RT said after the race: “To finish the season of the National Series on a high. I’ve had 2nd, I’ve had 3rd, I’ve had punctures, crashes, broken bones, broken bike bits – so to finish with a win makes it all worthwhile.
I knew the course suited me because of the rolling roads, but I knew I had to just go for it. I was hoping the bunch would whittle down a little bit more than it did. That’s when I knew I’d have to make an active attack, rather than let it just thin out.
When we had roughly a minute, that’s when it started been a bit tactical, going slowly, free-wheeling, looking at each other – and Anna (Christian – Drops) and I were taking it in turns to attack. I though it’s now or never.
I don’t have much of a sprint on me. I’ll just have to go long and went from the bottom (final climb to the finish-line), didn’t look back, gritted my teeth & hoped I had crossed the line first”.
Hard Work Goes for Everyone
“There’s no way to measure it really” Claire went on to say “the amount of sacrifices you make to train essentially as a hobby – it’s crazy. Friends & family have to put up with a lot.
I’m a Director of a business which sometimes comes 2nd to training, which isn’t the way it should be. My poor boyfriend hat to put up with an emotional rollercoaster – but today makes it all worth it. I’m not sure he would say the same.
But there is no way of measuring the hard work that goes in & that goes for everyone really. There’s not many fulltime riders in the peloton, most people are juggling studying, family, children & working – the hard work goes for everyone I think”.
1. Claire Steels Brother UK Fusion RT Finished 1st 60
2. Anna Christian Drops Finished 2nd 52
3. Jennifer Powell Bianchi Dama Finished 1st 45
4. Josie Knight Team Breeze Finished 2nd 40
5. Jessica Finney Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm Finished 1st 35
6. Anna Kay Experza-Footlogix Finished 2nd 31
7. Emma Cockcroft Bianchi Dama Finished 1st 27
8. Jo Tindley Campinense – Velo Performance Finished Elite 23
9. Illi Gardner Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm Finished 2nd 20
10. Abi Smith RFDA Finished 1st 17
11. Georgina Panchaud Bianchi Dama Finished 1st 15
12. Olivia Bentley Team Vision Innovative Leisure Finished 2nd 13
13. Chanel Mason Storey Racing Finished 2nd 11
14. Corinne Side Cycle Team OnForm Finished 2nd 9
15. Francesca Cutts Team LDN Finished 1st 7
16. Rebecca Durrell Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm Finished Elite 6
17. Molly Patch Brother UK Fusion RT Finished 2nd 5
18. Gabriella Shaw Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm Finished 1st 3
19. Charlotte Colclough Bianchi Dama Finished 2nd 2
20. Kerry Middleton Team LDN Finished 2nd 1
21. Hannah Larbalestier Team Boompods Finished 2nd 0
22. Katie Scott Cycle Team OnForm Finished 2nd 0
23. Rhona Callander Team Breeze Finished 2nd 0
24. Rebecca Richardson Brother UK Fusion RT Finished 2nd 0
25. Beth Harley-Jepson Edinburgh RC Finished 2nd 0
26. Jasmine Jones VELOFLOW CC – ROWE & KING Finished 2nd 0
27. Nicole Coates Performance Cycles Finished 2nd 0
28. Kate Wootton Cycle Team OnForm Finished 1st 0
29. April Tacey Brother UK Fusion RT Finished 1st 0
30. Holly MacMahon Bianchi Dama Finished 2nd 0
31. Amy Gornall The Racing Chance Foundation Finished 2nd 0
32. Georgia Bullard Brother UK Fusion RT Finished 2nd 0
33. Charlotte Berry Campinense – Velo Performance Finished 2nd 0
34. Helen Jackson Kendal Cycle Club Finished 2nd 0
35. Natasha Reddy Bianchi Dama Finished 2nd 0
36. Melissa Greaves TW1 Racing Finished 2nd 0
37. Connie Hayes Liv Awol Finished 2nd 0
38. Hannah Bayes Liv Awol Finished 3rd 0
39. Imogen Chastell Liv Awol Finished 2nd 0