Race Team - Bedford Stage Race Report
9th May 2016
The Bedford 3 day stage race, 5 stages around exposed roads, part of the Women's Team Series proved to be somewhat interesting. No issues with stage 1, a short prologue, Emma setting 7th best time, the others all mid-field, so far so good.
Stage 2, a massive pile-up after only 1 mile involved Alex, Bethan and Emma, with Alex one of the first to hit the deck, hard. Race stopped. Alex emerging with very nasty impact trauma and chainring gash to her right knee, but continued when the race re-started. As it progressed and adrenaline wore off, the pain worsened, but continue she did, and hung onto lead group until last lap and a half. Up front, Emma finished in lead group, Bethan just off back. Jess went into the race still extremely sore from previous week's crash/injuries, so this was a survival race (more of which later). Alex somehow finished the stage, in real pain, but no-way DNF today. A evening visit to A&E, patched-up for now...A test of the legs early on day 2 for Alex, but no-way it was happening, an emotional DNS after showing great form...so sad..
Stage 3 TTT, a disappointing time, in reality not firing on all cylinders, put it down to experience..
Stage 4 now Jess's cumulative fatigue from injuries, plus a really problematic tummy bug (shall we say nothing 'stayed-in' all weekend...) proved her undoing, but, again, no-way a DNF was happening. Beth and Emma rode well again, protected and positioned well in the bunch, on a windy and twisty course.
Onto Stage 5..a hillier affair over 80+km, again Emma showed well up-front, unflustered, the development curve continues apace, brilliant riding all weekend from her; it's all coming together well. With lead group finishes in the road stages/top 10 TT, couldn't ask any more in only 2nd season. Impressive. As the pace was ramped-up lap by lap, Beth was split off from the much reduced lead group and finished in a small chase group. Jess hung-in so well, "running on fumes", her starting comment! But again, no-way a DNF from her, a great effort to finish the race, knock-in some points and be ranked in the GC, brilliant.
So, overall, a season's worth of race scenarios and experience of what can be thrown at a team, in 1 very busy weekend!
To all the sponsors and partners a huge thankyou; to the real supporters and selfless helpers Lucy, Paul, Caroline, Huw Williams for the great photos, the same gratitude. To new friends in the peloton, Tony & Toby from Army CU, Jon Mills for organising a great event (again!) and everyone else who make it work....But mostly to our indomitable team of amazing, charismatic riders; the spirit, the get-on and do it attitude. It wasn't to be our weekend in many ways, but then again, it was our weekend..it's been an absolute pleasure.