The past two weeks have been extremely busy for Team WNT that started with a positive outing at the Hillingdon National road race and concluded with a team win at the final round of the Tour series in the beautiful setting of Bath.
The Hillingdon National road race on the 31st May gave Team WNT the opportunity to take the lead in the series as many of the top ten riders were absent on other duties. Along with Team Giordana Triton, Team WNT worked hard throughout the race, and we got Rose Osborne in to a three rider breakaway. Rose took advantage of this to take points in the sprint competition, taking second place on the day. With the breakaway pulled back a hectic finish was in store and Team WNT’s Charline Joiner taking seventh place overall. In spite of a great team effort the fact that Nicola Juniper of Giordana Triton took third place, moving her into the series lead just one point ahead of Charline as we head into the next round this coming weekend.
Following hot on the heels of Hillingdon was the 2nd June round of the Matrix Fitness series, which had moved on to Croydon on the outskirts of London. Once more Team WNT suffered due to illness and injury with Lydia Boylan, who was on great form from the previous round in Motherwell was struck down with illness. However, the team’s strength in depth shone through with reserve rider Sam Burman stepping up to take her place at short notice. The tight and twisty technical circuit at Croydon was one that suited Charline Joiner and she took full advantage riding a fantastic race to put her in position to take the lead on the final lap, putting her head down and sprinted for the her own and the team’s maiden win in the Tour Series.
There is no rest in the world of cycling and on 6th June Team WNT was back in action at the London Nocturne, a one off televised elite critirium, that draws massive crowds creating a great atmosphere, around the circuit of the City of London. Team WNT entered a team of seven riders, with Lydia making a comeback after her illness in order to prepare for the final two tour series rounds in the coming week. The line-up also included some of the teams less experienced riders of Sam, Rose, Sophie Lankford and Becca Carter getting a taste of fast and furious criterium racing. Rounding up our line-up for the night were Jo Tindley and Hannah Walker. Luck didn’t go Team WNT’s way though and the girls found themselves on the wrong side of several crashes, with our best placed rider being Lydia, who put in some great work as she returns to fitness.
It was quickly back to the Matrix Fitness GP series with two rounds in a week, the first of which was in Peterborough on the 9th June. Following on from Charline’s victory in Croydon the team was hungry for further success and was targeting the team win at the fast open Peterborough circuit. Early in the race a lead group of riders, including Lydia, along with a single representative of each of the main contending teams, got away. The remaining four members of Team WNT, Hannah, Jo, Charline and Brit Tate sat in the second group on the road. As the race progressed two riders from the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team managed to gap across to the front group and the chase was on. If we wanted the team win we knew we had to chase. Hannah, working with a couple of other teams, drove the pace on the front reducing the gap significantly, swallowing up all but the eventual race winner Dame Sarah Storey. However, it wasn’t to be Team WNT’s night, but what we did come away with was the belief that a team win was within our grasp. With just the final round of the Matrix Fitness GP series in Bath to contend we knew we had to up our game to achieve our target.
And so, two days later on the 11th June Team WNT rolled into the historic city of Bath for the final Matrix Fitness GP of the season. The picturesque location was blessed with glorious sunshine, which disguised the fact that the course was brutal, taking in the cobbled street of the Georgian Royal Crescent, which would take their toll on many of the competitors. As the race developed Team WNT had Charline and Lydia in the lead group, but so did other teams. Therefore, if we were going to take the final opportunity to take a team win the position of our third rider home would be vital. The ever reliant Brit took up the challenge and chased hard in hot pursuit of a rival team rider some 30 seconds up the road. Meanwhile, at the front of the race Lydia faced disaster in the closing stages, suffering a front tyre puncture. A very swift wheel change from the team allowed her to rejoin the race in the second group, but we thought the team win had slipped away, but luck often evens itself out when Nicola of Giordana Triton suffered a similar fate! As the bell rang for the final lap all our girls had to do was come home ahead of the Giordana triton riders in their respective groups. Charline, Lydia and Brit did what they had to do and the team win belonged to Team WNT on the night. Rounding off a fantastic race was Charline taking the final podium position on the night with Lydia classified second in the sprints competition, behind the early solo breakaway and race winner Dani King.
That race brought the Team’s first assault on the Matrix Fitness series to a close and a review of the final standings show that it was a successful campaign with Charline taking third place overall, just three points off first place, Lydia finished seventh overall and third in the sprint classification with Team WNT taking overall third place in the series. A fantastic result for the Team’s first season together and considering the strength and experience of the opposition. Results the whole team is rightly proud of. Bring on 2016!
Final standings Matrix Tour Series
Charline 3rd overall individual - just 3points off the winner
Lydia 7th overall individual
Lydia 3rd overall sprint competition.
Team WNT 3rd overall team
www.tourseries.co.uk/news/13132.php#.VX32iHe9KK0 - link to the full results.
All rounds of the series were shown on ITV4 and are available via ITV Player
In addition to the combined team efforts Team WNT also had some individual success over the past two weeks. Our riders also managed to achieve another two podiums with Brit Tate entering the Shewsbury GP as the reigning champion coming away this time with a second place after a hard fought race against the very highly rated Jessie Walker, who has recently signed a UCI deal. Becca Carter held on for a 3rd place position after an impressive early solo break in the Winchester criterium, to be caught only in the closing stages, a great result for Becca one of the teams great workers.
"I'm extremely pleased with how the team have raced over this busy two week block of racing and the final results in the tour series are fantastic for our first season. Charline's win at Croydon was just the icing on the cake and really brought Team WNT to prominence on the British racing scene," says Team Manager, Marcus Nainby.