The build-up is over and the serious racing has begun with Team WNT fighting it out with Drops for team honours over the first two rounds of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, part of the Tour Series of city centre races.. Opening proceedings was a fast race around the streets of Redditch and despite Team WNT Pro Cycling taking three of the top ten placings they were pipped to the team prize by Drops who lead by a solitary point. Highlights for Team WNT Pro Cycling were Katie Archibald taking second place behind Alice Barnes with Eileen Roe and Lydia Boylan following close behind in 5th and 6th. Katie also had a share of the points in the Eisberg Sprints Jersey competition with Alice Barnes. These three riders were ably supported throughout the race by Gaby Shaw and Emily Kay.
With little rest, it was on to round two in Stoke on Trent, with Team WNT determined to improve and capture that top position in the team standings. Again, it was a fast and furious race, with Becca Carter leading the peloton to stretch things out, providing the perfect platform for Katie and Eileen to make a break with Drops Rebecca Durrell (Drops) and Manon Lloyd (Team Breeze) for company. These four pulled out a big lead by mid race and the fight was on, with Katie taking the race win and the overall lead in the sprints classification, as well as the Brother Fastest Lap award. Eileen placed fourth, and Lydia once again making the top ten with Gaby just missing out in 11th and, after her early efforts, Becca also brought home some team points to give Team WNT Pro Cycling the Team award for the race. Confirming what a tight series this is going to be, Drops still managed to maintain their one point overall advantage in the team classification, with Team WNT’s Katie Archibald taking honours in all of the individual standings.
“The first two rounds have lived up to all of the expectations and as we move on to Northwich for round three things couldn’t be closer at the top of the team standings. We have seen some terrific individual efforts from our riders that combine to give us a strong position in the overall results,” Hannah Walker Communications, PR and Social Media manager, Team WNT Pro Cycling
After two rounds the leaders are: Individual Classification, post-Round Two:
1, Katie Archibald, GBR, Team WNT, 69pts
2, Rebecca Durrell, GBR, Drops, 65pts
3, Eileen Roe, GBR, Team WNT
Brother Fastest Lap
Katie Archibald, GBR, Team WNT, 2:09.008
Team Standings, post-Round Two:
1, Drops, 189pts
2, Team WNT, 188pts
3, Team Breeze, 179pts
4, Team OnForm, 100pts
5, NCC Group Kuota Torelli, 80pts
Eisberg Sprints Standings, post-Round Two:
1, Katie Archibald, GBR, Team WNT, 13pts
2, Elinor Barker, GBR, Team Breeze, 11pts
3, Alice Barnes, GBR, Drops, 9pts
Highlights of the Stoke-on-Trent round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series will be shown on ITV4 at 7pm on Friday 12th May, and also on Eurosport at 4.45pm the same day. Round Three of the Series takes place in Northwich on Friday 12th May, the first time that the Cheshire town has played host to The Tour Series, with the women's race underway at 5.30pm.