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National junior road race stage rides through Thurlow fields

PERFECT CONDITIONS: The sun shone down on the competitors taking part in the first Junior Women's Road Series. Picture: 5311 Media
PERFECT CONDITIONS: The sun shone down on the competitors taking part in the first Junior Women's Road Series. Picture: 5311 Media

Thurlow Sports Club has hosted the road race element of Round Two of the 2018 British Cycling Junior Women’s Road Series, through the picturesque countryside of Thurlow, Withersfield and Great Wratting.

The race for 16-18 year-olds, was held in conjunction with Cycle Club Hackney over a two-day period, with around 50 young female competitors taking part.

Stage 1 and 2, the time trial and circuit race, were held at the Redbridge Cycling Centre in Essex on Saturday, April 21 before Stage 3, the road race, went ahead on the Sunday.

It follows Cycling Club Hackney’s successful staging of the Women’s Giro de Essex on the same circuit last year.

April Tacey won the Haverhill race and was also crowned the overall winner of Round Two of the inaugural British Cycling Junior Women’s Road Series (Round Two of Four).

Allan Loveday, secretary of the Thurlow Sports Club, said there was some drama on the day as the leader on general classification after the first day at Redbridge Cycling Centre dropped out of the running in Stage 3.

Corrine Side suffered a puncture during the race and was unable to claw back the five-minute time difference to get back to the peloton and was pulled out of the race by officials before the start of the last 10 laps of the circuit, much to her disappointment.

Loveday said: “The Thurlow circuit was previously used by Haverhill Wheelers and the course gained fresh approval in 2017 (EA 141) when both Cycling Club Hackney and Haverhill Cycling Club staged events.

“Having spoken to Jean Newlands, the new chair of Haverhill Cycling Club, they will not be staging an event this year, but Cycle Club Hackney will be returning on September 23 to stage a British Cycling Eastern Region Men’s event.”

He said he was impressed by the commitment of the young riders, many of whom had travelled on Saturday evening to be in Haverhill for Sunday morning’s event.

And it all came together on the day for 17-year-old Tacey, who finished with more than three minutes separating the Team 22 rider from her closest challengers.

The lead gave her an opportunity to revel in the solo finish as she threw her hands aloft in celebration.

That ensured both the stage and overall win came her way, with Kate Wootton behind in second, while third place in the general classification went to Alana Prior.

Tracey said: “There have been breaks in the other races and I wanted to be the one to attack and get away.

“After last week I thought that would be the way to go, it worked then with Pfeiffer’s win so I wanted to see if I could do the same.

“I did one attack, but it got brought back together, but then another group tried to break it off.

“I wanted to push it and it’s worked out for me.”

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