The first race of the season has been and gone. On a fantastic course in Virginia Water, the peloton were treated to 18 hilly laps and a stunning hill top finish. With a clear plan to animate the race and try to get their racing legs back after the long winter break, the Matrix Fitness – Prendas set out as they meant to go on with Annie Simpson attacking on lap one.
Natalie Creswick was quick to follow and together they worked well building up a maximum lead of 55 seconds. They stayed together and clear of the chasing peloton for 13 laps before Annie had to surrender to the ever strong Creswick. “She was just too strong” commented Simpson after the race. “I gave it everything I had, but when we entered this finishing loop, it kicked up and she rode away like a machine. It was an ambitious move for the first lap, but that’s what I was here for” concluded Annie.
The majority of the work in the chasing pack was carried out by Corrine Hall. Working alone, she kept the pressure on the leading pair. After Annie had dropped back, Creswick kicked again and built up a lead of over 3 minutes to cruise over the line and take an impressive solo win. With Hall having done the domestiques work, World Junior Champion Lucy Garner finished off a good day for the 4Node team by taking 2nd with her trademake fast finish. Hall herself held on for 5th, with Amy Roberts rounding off the podium.
Matrix Fitness were rewarded for the aggressive performance with a 7th place finish for Sarah Reynolds, while Annie won the award for most aggressive rider. “It was a good team performance. I’m really happy with the way the team rode and it shows how together they are, and how much they understand racing.” commented team manager Stefan Wyman. “It was a surprise that the break stayed away so long, but the teams with big number didn’t really work at the front. I guess the reward is to have numbers in the finish, but that’s not what we came here for. The cobwebs are gone now, racing has started and we can look forward to races in Holland, Belgium and the UK in the next 7 days. I must also say this race was excellently run, on a challenging and safe course. Race organiser Lisa did a perfect job to make this a wonderful event in memory of Dave Peck.”