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2021 Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix: race report

Report and results from round 2 of the women's National Road Series

Illi Gardner (CAMS-Basso Bikes) and Alex Peters (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) took the wins at the women’s and men’s editions of the Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix, the second round of the HSBC UK | National Road Series.

Featured photo: James YorkIlli Gardner (CAMS-Basso Bikes)

Race summary

Women’s race

Illi Gardner showed her class on a hilly Yorkshire course to continue the good run of form her CAMS-Basso Bikes team has been in over recent months.

From the very start, the race was dominated by the red-and-yellow CAMS jerseys with Gardner leading the way after the first lap of the ‘long circuit’ but with no one willing to strike out early as the peloton assessed the conditions after a couple of days of rain leading up to the race.

That started to change on the next tour, as a group of riders started to breakaway at the front, headed by Gardner and Brother UK – Cycle Team OnForm’s Scottish road race champion Becky Storrie, with another 18 riders joining them up the front. 

With the peloton splintering, Gardner and Storrie turned the screw further as the pair attacked coming out of the Abbey and onto the main road into Ampleforth Village, a move Storrie described after the race as ‘hopeful’ but with a good chance of sticking once she saw it was just her and Gardner together.

Becky Storrie and Illi Gardner on the attack. Photo: James York

Indeed, by the end of the first ‘short’ circuit, the pair had already pulled out 1min 42sec on the group behind. There was something of a chase behind, with Connie Hayes (AWOL – O’Shea) leading the charge with Natalie Grinczer (CAMS-Basso Bikes) and Danielle Shrosbree (Team LDN – Brother UK) close behind.

Their chase was far from cohesive, though, as even the chasing group splintered out on the circuit before coming back together as they headed into the Abbey grounds. That disorganised chase allowed Gardner and Storrie to comprehensively pull clear, heading onto the final lap with 2min 20sec in hand.

Working together until the final run into the Abbey, it was Gardner who struck first – admitting after the race that she’d left it too late for a final attack in the past and didn’t want to make the same mistake again – and crossed the line a couple of seconds ahead of Storrie.

Behind, the large bunch sprint was claimed by Corinne Side (Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen) who just got her wheel over first.

Illi Gardner takes the win. Photo: James York

Men’s race

Alex Peters powered to a tightly-fought victory in a race where no breakaway seemed to last the distance, until he – and five other riders – made the decisive move on the final lap. 

In the early stages, there were a couple of breakaways that tried to emerge, with a six-, and then an eleven-, rider break doing the best they could to create an uncatchable gap between them and the peloton. Unfortunately for them, the peloton was too well-organised to make these inital attempts to work.

Thomas Mein (Canyon dhb SunGod) and Matthew Kingston (Zappi Race Team) then struck out on their own at the start of lap three and quickly built an advantage of more than three minutes. They were helped by the peloton starting to splinter, with SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling trying to up the pace and Mein’s Canyon dhb SunGod team-mates seeking to control the pace.

That led to some yo-yoing, as the gap dipped under a minute and then stretched out again, depending on who was controlling the pace of the chasing bunch.

They continued to stay clear until the start of the penultimate lap. Entering into the Abbey grounds with an advantage just teetering over 20 seconds, the peloton stepped up a gear and made the catch on the start/finish line as the field moved onto lap seven of eight.

Coming onto the last lap, there was a bunch of roughly two-dozen battling for the win. Max Stedman (Canyon dhb SunGod), Toby Barnes (Crimson Orientation Marketing RT), Isaac Mundy (Richardsons-Trek) and Alex Peters (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) opened up a small gap, and were then joined by Stedman’s teammate Callum Macleod and Oliver Rees (TRINITY Racing) to make a six-man break.

Despite their lead never reaching more than around 30 seconds, the six were still ahead as they came back into the grounds of Ampleforth Abbey. In the uphill dash for the line, Alex Peters just pipped Toby Barnes. It was Peters’ biggest win since his stage 4 victory at Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste trophée harmonie Mutuelle in 2015.

Oliver Rees took third, while Isaac Mundy and Max Stedman – who instigated the final lap break – took fourth and fifth respectively.

Alex Peters just pips Toby Barnes to win the Men’s Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix. Photo: James York

Talking points

  • CAMS-Basso Bikes are on fire. In the last month-and-a-bit, CAMS-Basso Bikes have been the in-form team on the British scene,a testament to the resolve of the squad after a poor showing in Otley in late June. Two wins for Megan Barker secured the team the Tour Series title, while Barker also stormed to victory at the Ilkley Cycle Races to cap off a good string of results – even before this Ryedale triumph for Illi Gardner. Our pre-race tip Gardner is in fantastic form herself, breaking the women’s everesting record recently and winning the Tour of Witheridge Moor.
  • The under-23s shine once again. We highlighted it in our report on the men’s Lancaster Grand Prix last week, and it was proved to be true once again in Ryedale. Six of the top ten were under-23s in the women’s race – including winner Illi Gardner – and in the men’s race, both second-placed Toby Barnes and third-placed Oliver Rees represented that new generation of talent on the podium. Again, six of the top ten in the men’s race were under-23s.
  • Some breaks stick, others don’t. In our preview, we did point out that this race is one that suits the breakaway with plenty of fiddly climbs designed to splinter the peloton. In the women’s race, that went largely as expected, with Gardner and Becky Storrie breaking away on lap three of five to leave the peloton trailing in their wake. That didn’t quite happen in the men’s race, however. Thomas Mein and Matthew Kingston pulled away early, built a lead that went over three minutes, but then found themselves reeled back in, and were caught at the start of the penultimate lap. It was only on the final lap that another breakaway stuck, with Alex Peters winning the sprint.
  • Peters is back. Finally, it was great to see Alex Peters back to winning ways again. It’s been a long road back for Peters and we hope this gives him the confidence to go on to even bigger results.

Standings

See the National Road Series standings here.

Results

Women’s race

Rank#NameTeamTime
112Illi Gardner (U23)CAMS-Basso2:44:37
225Becky StorrieBrother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm+4
344Corinne Side (U23)Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen+2:12
46Francesca Morgans-SladerAWOL OSheast
53Connie Hayes (U23)AWOL OSheast
695Anna Kay (U23)Team Rupelcleaning – Champion Lubricantsst
752Lucy Ellmore (U23)Skoda DSI Cycling Academy+2:15
869Danielle ShrosbreeTeam LDN – Brother UKst
99Natalie GrinczerCAMS-Bassost
1057Beth Morrow (U23)Storey Racingst
1175Nicole Coates (U23)Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar+2:21
1297Morven Yeoman (JNR)Tofauti Everyone Active+2:27
1347Jo TindleyPro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsenst
148Megan BarkerCAMS-Basso+4:11
1596Eilidh Shaw (JNR)Tofauti Everyone Active+4:33
1611Jessica FinneyCAMS-Basso+4:35
1756Lucy Gadd (U23)Storey Racing+4:36
1835Francesca HallLoughborough Lightning TRG+4:38
1965Lucy LeeTeam LDN – Brother UKst
2015Charlotte ColcloughBianchi Damast
2185Alice McWilliamGrinta Coachingst
224Alice LethbridgeAWOL OShea+4:40
2348Bexy DewSaint Piran Womens+4:43
2414Hayley SimmondsCAMS-Basso+4:46
2570Matea DeliuTeam Watto-LDN+4:50
2698Jessie CarridgeWatts Up Performance+6:53
2728Samantha StuartCrimson Orientation Marketing RT+8:23
281Hannah Bayes (U23)AWOL OShea+11:32
2937Hannah Lancaster (U23)Loughborough Lightning TRGst
3046Poppy ThompsonPro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen+11:36
3122Imani Pereira-James (JNR)Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnFormst
3213Katie Scott (U23)CAMS-Basso+11:40
3373Heather MayerTeam Watto-LDN+11:43
3479Elizabeth SandersAvid Sport+11:47
3591Jihanna Bonilla-AllardPMRR+12:52
3649Gemma SargentSaint Piran Womensst
3716Jasmine JonesBianchi Dama+12:55
3827Melissa GreavesCrimson Orientation Marketing RT+12:57
3917Holly MacMahonBianchi Dama+13:09
4023Ellen Inglis (U23)Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm+13:48
4183Erin Murphy (JNR)Deeside Thistle CC+14:01

Men’s race

Rank#NameTeamTime
128Alex PetersSwiftCarbon Pro Cycling3:47:30
249Toby Barnes (U23)Crimson Orientation Marketing RTst
333Oliver Rees (U23)Trinity Road Racingst
471Isaac MundyRichardsons-Trek DASst
512Max StedmanCanyon DHB Sungodst
614Callum Macleod (U23)Canyon DHB Sungod+14
729Oliver Peckover (U23)SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling+18
854Isaac Peatfield (U23)Crimson Orientation Marketing RT+20
910Jacob ScottCanyon DHB Sungod+26
10117Finn Crockett (U23)Wheelbase CabTech Castellist
1174Matti Dobbins (U23)RT23st
1220Steve LampierSaint Piranst
1326Ross LambSwiftCarbon Pro Cyclingst
14113Owain Roberts (U23)Wales Racing Academy+29
1543Michael ChadwickClancy Briggs Cycling Academyst
1652Leon MazzoneCrimson Orientation Marketing RTst
1782George Kimber (U23)Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor+36
18108Samuel Beckett (U23)Wales Racing Academyst
1913Ryan ChristensenCanyon DHB Sungodst
209Damien ClaytonCanyon DHB Sungodst
21133Conor McGoldrickPrimera-TeamJobs+41
2256Joey WalkerCrimson Orientation Marketing RT+1:19
234Cameron JeffersRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling+2:32
2462George Wood (U23)Cycling Sheffield+2:49
25146Miles Burtonysixfilesst
2639Joseph Rees (U23)Bikestrong KTM+2:51
2753Adam Mitchell (U23)Crimson Orientation Marketing RT+3:05
28123Charlie Shields (U23)Zappi Racing Team+4:47
29130James JobberKuwait Pro Cycling Teamst
30135William PerrettSpellman – Dublin Port Track Teamst
31144Matthew Houlberg (U23)Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RTst
3292Peter MerrittTBW23 Stuart Hall Cyclingst
33115William Truelove (U23)Wales Racing Academyst
3450Ed BeecherCrimson Orientation Marketing RT+4:50
35139Nathan Smith (U23)Team Novo Nordisk Developmentst
3615Thomas Mein (U23)Canyon DHB Sungod+4:57
3768Peter CockerRichardsons-Trek DAS+5:00
3827William BjergfeltSwiftCarbon Pro Cycling+9:56
39118David DugganWheelbase CabTech Castelli+9:59
40125Daniel McDermott+10:01
4131Ole Henrik Bang-AndreasenTrinity Road Racing+10:25
4280Clay DaviesSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor+10:31
43132Adam KenwayMatlock CC+10:33
4430Josh Whitehead (U23)SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling+10:35
45141James Alexander (U23)Beeston Cycling Club+10:40
4683Jordan PeacockSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor+10:57
476Theodor Obholzer (U23)Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling+13:42
48106Thomas Lowther (U23)Vredestein Bassost
49104Cameron BiddleVredestein Basso+13:44
50100George Peden (U23)Team PB Performance+13:52