Wednesday, 23 May 2012

UK, ladies GP series 1


Annie Simpson of the Matrix Fitness – Prendas team took the honours in the opening round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in Oxford.  Simpson took a clean sweep of prizes, adding the evening’s Sprint prize and helping her Matrix Fitness – Prendas squad to the team prize, launching a well-timed attack on the final lap.

Simpson jumped clear on the back straight from a select group of five, and endeavoured to hold off the pursuers, including the hard charging Junior World Champion Lucy Garner, who almost caught the break in the final metres.

A 50-rider strong field has assembled on St Giles in Oxford for the first round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in a strong entry headlined by World Champion Garner and last year’s Series Champion Helen Wyman.

The main move of the race came halfway through, when five riders went clear with Simpson joined by British Circuit Race Champion Hannah Barnes, Corrine Hall, Jo McRae and Jo Tindley.

The five worked well together to build what looked an unassailable lead.  But over the closing laps the gap gradually came down thanks to the work of Garner who pulled a small group closer and closer.

Simpson and Tindley duked it out in an incredibly close second Sprint, which the VC St Raphael rider just edging Simpson, but there was no stopping the Northumbria University student who did enough to collect the Sprint honours for the evening.

Onto the final lap and Simpson attacked coming onto the long back straight, powering clear of her four breakaway companions.  Through the final hairpin of the St Giles circuit the group closed, with the Garner led chasers in turn closing.

Simpson held on though, just crossing the line ahead of Barnes and Tindley for the win and the Series lead.

Speaking after her win, Simpson said; “It was all or nothing for me tonight. I thought that I was just going to go for it, my legs held in there and it’s so nice to get my arms up, it was really good.

“I’ve just finished University on Wednesday so I’ve got a full summer of cycling ahead and that gave me a bit of a lift I think today.”

Talking about the Series, in which she won a round at Oldham in its inaugural year in 2011, the Matrix Fitness – Prendas rider commented, “It’s amazing. Everyone hears about you, they know your name and it gets the team out there. That’s brilliant as they give us so much support. To give TV time to them is the best thing I can do. Without my sponsors I wouldn’t be here at all.”

Simpson’s Matrix Fitness – Prendas team take a narrow two point lead over rivals Node4 – Giordana Racing into the second round of the Series in the team competition, while Simpson herself enjoys a slightly larger three point buffer atop the Sprint standings.

Highlights of Round One can be seen as a part of The Halfords Tour Series on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 23rd May.  Round Two of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series takes place at 17:00 in Peterborough on Tuesday 29th May.

Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series, Round One, Oxford, Provisional Results

Round One Individual Result
1)         Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas           
2)         Hanna Barnes, Team Ibis Cycles
3)         Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael
4)         Corrine Hall, Node4 - Giordana Racing
5)         Jo McRae, Look Mum No Hands!
6)         Lucy Garner, Node4 - Giordana Racing
7)         Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
8)         Tamina Oliver, Abergavenny Road Club
9)         Natalie Creswick, Mule Bar Girls
10)        Sarah Reynolds, Matrix Fitness - Prendas
11)        Lydia Boylan, Look Mum No Hands!
12)        Adele Carter, Team Hope Factory Racing
13)        Penny Rowson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas
14)        Adel Tyson-Bloor, VC St Raphael
15)        Amy Roberts, Scott Contessa Epic
16)        Harriet Owen, Node4 - Giordana Racing
17)        Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girls
18)        Rachel Stokes, Zappi's Cycling Club
19)        Alice Barnes, Twenty3c.co.uk - Orbea
20)        Laura Massey, Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT

Round One Team Result
1)         Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 39pts
2)         Node4 - Giordana Racing, 37pts
3)         Look Mum No Hands!, 26pts
4)         VC St Raphael, 25pts
5)         Mule Bar Girls, 16pts
6)         Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
7)         Scott Contessa Epic, 6pts
8)         Zappi's Cycling Club, 3pts
9)         Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT, 1pt

Overall Team Standings, post-Round One
1)         Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 39pts
2)         Node4 - Giordana Racing, 37pts
3)         Look Mum No Hands!, 26pts
4)         VC St Raphael, 25pts
5)         Mule Bar Girls, 16pts
6)         Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
7)         Scott Contessa Epic, 6pts
8)         Zappi's Cycling Club, 3pts
9)         Vivelo Bikes / Inverse Cyclaim RT, 1pt

Sprints winner Oxford: Annie Simpson (Matrix Fitness - Prendas)

Sprints standings, post-Round One
1)         Annie Simpson, Matrix Fitness - Prendas, 8pts
2)         Lucy Garner, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 5pts
3)         Jo Tindley, VC St Raphael, 5pts


2012 Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series Calendar
Round One                                Tuesday 22nd May          Oxford, Oxfordshire
Round Two                                Tuesday 29th May           Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Round Three                              Thursday 7th June           Colchester, Essex
Round Four                               Tuesday 12th June          Woking, Surrey
Grand Final / Round Five            Thursday 14th June         Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire