Sunday saw the men’s and women’s National Road Race Championships as part of Pendle Cycle Fest, both of which contained levels of excitement, drama, grit and determination severely lacking from a certain other sporting event that day.
Things got off to a bad start in the women’s event as a large crash involving several competitors took place on a 50 mph descent between Roughlee and Barley. The race was stopped for over an hour as ambulances arrived on the scene to tend to the injured.
The race restarted with the original 8 laps now trimmed to 4. A shorter race seemed to buoy the competitors into an aggressive ride with a lot of attacking. Cervelo team member, Emma Pooley eventually made her move, seizing the lead and going on to win the race. Her teammate, Lizzie Armistead took the Silver medal with Nicole Cooke taking Bronze.
The men’s event was equally electrifying with a dramatic early break for Jeremy Hunt. However, like most of the other competitors, Hunt was soon feeling the heat on the hills and was eventually bested by 3 members of the Sky Pro Cycling team. Geraint Thomas took Gold, with teammates Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard taking Silver and Bronze respectively.
Photo by Larry Hickmott from British Cycling.