After a hectic week of National Championships racing, it’s time to look back and reflect on a team that has come of age – and in some style too! Here is our Le Col-Wahoo & Ribble Weldtite national champs round-up.
Given the international flavour of the team, many of the riders jetted home to compete at their National Championships.
This netted the team an incredible haul of results that included the British National Road Race Champion, British U23 Road Race Champion, two silver medals, two bronze and a handful of top-10’s. See who won what in our country by country breakdown below.
British National Road Championships
Le Col-Wahoo fielded arguably the strongest squad of the championships. Alice Towers, Anna Christian, Eluned King, Flora Perkins and Lizzie Holden were all in action in the various time trials, circuit race and elite road races.
Elite Women’s Road Race – A star is born
There can, of course, only be one place to start our round-up. This was the magnificent achievement of the British contingent, and Alice Towers in particular. In riding to victory in the race, Alice was not only crowned the National Road Race Champion but also the U23 road champion too!
Alice defied the odds (and the weather) when she soloed to victory form all of 40km out. It was a result that stunned the cycling world, and judging by her own disbelief upon crossing the finish line- Alice herself. Not to mention the two World Tour riders who had to settle for Silver and Bronze.
In fact it was partly thanks to the efforts of teammate Lizzie Holden that the pair were unable to make any serious inroads into Alice’s lead. Time and again Lizzie rolled to the front of the chase and eased off the pace slightly in order to hinder their efforts. In doing so, she may have cost herself a chance of a podium. When the sprint opened up, Lizzie didn’t quite have the legs and agonisingly missed out on a deserved podium (Read our full race report here).
Lizzie did, however claim a Bronze medal in the women’s elite time trial. She powered her Ultra TT to third spot on the podium, posting a time of 29:13.52 for the 44.2km course in Castle Douglas.
Circuit Race Championship
Flora and Eluned took to the start line of the city centre style crit race in castle Douglas. With the latter looking to repeat the success of a few weeks ago when she won the equivalent welsh title. It was Flora who came away with the bragging rights, however, pipping Eluned for third place in a hotly contested sprint finale in Kirkcudbright.
Gladys Verhulst agonisingly missed out on being crowned the French road race champion by the merest fractions of a second. Having left the bunch in their wake, Gladys and breakaway companion Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek Segafredo) contested a two-up sprint, with Gladys just being edged out. So near yet so far. In perhaps the form of her life, a Silver medal is a just reward of a fantastically talented rider.
‘Nat’s week’ had kicked off in the Netherlands, with the Dutch trio of Maike van Der Duin, Eva Van Agt, and Marjoein van’t Geloof in action.
U23 Time Trial
Maike rode superbly to claim a Silver medal in the U23 time trial. She motored around the 29.6km course in a time of 39:20, at an average speed of 45.153 km/h.
Elite Time Trial
Maike once again displayed her tt credentials to post the 9th fastest time for the elite women’s race in Emmen. Eva finished 17th, whilst Majo, unfortunately, suffered a mechanical that would see her finish 34th.
Elite Road Race
Eva was the best placed finisher for Le Col-Wahoo. Eva crossed the finish line atop the VAM-Berg in 21st place. Maike and Majo rode across the line together, a further 22 seconds back to finish 27th and 28th respectively.
Jesse Vandenbulcke is looking like something back to her best and proved it with a hugely impressive top-10 in Belgium. Her time of 33:37 on a 23.1km course was good enough for 8th fastest on the day.
The elite road race finished in a bunch sprint and Jesse crossed the line within the lead bunch to finish 31st overall.
Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling
After his recent victory of the Kalas Cup road race in Somerset on June 19th, Red Walters doubled up at the Grenadian championships. Red first secured the time trial crown before also winning out in the road race.
Ribble Weldtite entered four riders in total, all of whom finished inside the top-15. Ollie Peckover was the pick of the bunch, finishing 7th and one place ahead of six-time national champion Alex Dowsett. Charlie Tanfield also secured a top-10 result (9th) with Zeb next in 12th and tt veteran Si Wilson 15th.
Circuit Race Championship
There was disappointment for the team in Kirkcudbright, an early break after only 15 minutes of racing decided the race. Cam Jeffers was the sole survivor and came home 20th.
Elite Men’s Road Race
The rain that had marred the women’s race thankfully relented, but the race action was as furious as the wind that battered the riders. There was little let-up throughout the entirety of the 201km race. As it was in the time trial, Ollie was the first across the line for Ribble Weldtite in 13th.
Ex-England international footballer Geoff Thomas tells us why he is riding the full route of the 2022 TdF one week ahead of the pro’s this July. Read his interview here.
Keep up to date with all of Le Col-Wahoo’s race results in our blog.