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 York. Illi Gardner (CAMS-Basso Bikes)
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
See the National Road Series standings here.
|1||12||Illi Gardner (U23)||CAMS-Basso||2:44:37|
|2||25||Becky Storrie||Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm||+4|
|3||44||Corinne Side (U23)||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||+2:12|
|4||6||Francesca Morgans-Slader||AWOL OShea||st|
|5||3||Connie Hayes (U23)||AWOL OShea||st|
|6||95||Anna Kay (U23)||Team Rupelcleaning – Champion Lubricants||st|
|7||52||Lucy Ellmore (U23)||Skoda DSI Cycling Academy||+2:15|
|8||69||Danielle Shrosbree||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|10||57||Beth Morrow (U23)||Storey Racing||st|
|11||75||Nicole Coates (U23)||Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar||+2:21|
|12||97||Morven Yeoman (JNR)||Tofauti Everyone Active||+2:27|
|13||47||Jo Tindley||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|15||96||Eilidh Shaw (JNR)||Tofauti Everyone Active||+4:33|
|17||56||Lucy Gadd (U23)||Storey Racing||+4:36|
|18||35||Francesca Hall||Loughborough Lightning TRG||+4:38|
|19||65||Lucy Lee||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|20||15||Charlotte Colclough||Bianchi Dama||st|
|21||85||Alice McWilliam||Grinta Coaching||st|
|22||4||Alice Lethbridge||AWOL OShea||+4:40|
|23||48||Bexy Dew||Saint Piran Womens||+4:43|
|25||70||Matea Deliu||Team Watto-LDN||+4:50|
|26||98||Jessie Carridge||Watts Up Performance||+6:53|
|27||28||Samantha Stuart||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+8:23|
|28||1||Hannah Bayes (U23)||AWOL OShea||+11:32|
|29||37||Hannah Lancaster (U23)||Loughborough Lightning TRG||st|
|30||46||Poppy Thompson||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||+11:36|
|31||22||Imani Pereira-James (JNR)||Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm||st|
|32||13||Katie Scott (U23)||CAMS-Basso||+11:40|
|33||73||Heather Mayer||Team Watto-LDN||+11:43|
|34||79||Elizabeth Sanders||Avid Sport||+11:47|
|36||49||Gemma Sargent||Saint Piran Womens||st|
|37||16||Jasmine Jones||Bianchi Dama||+12:55|
|38||27||Melissa Greaves||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+12:57|
|39||17||Holly MacMahon||Bianchi Dama||+13:09|
|40||23||Ellen Inglis (U23)||Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm||+13:48|
|41||83||Erin Murphy (JNR)||Deeside Thistle CC||+14:01|
|1||28||Alex Peters||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||3:47:30|
|2||49||Toby Barnes (U23)||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|3||33||Oliver Rees (U23)||Trinity Road Racing||st|
|4||71||Isaac Mundy||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|5||12||Max Stedman||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|6||14||Callum Macleod (U23)||Canyon DHB Sungod||+14|
|7||29||Oliver Peckover (U23)||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||+18|
|8||54||Isaac Peatfield (U23)||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+20|
|9||10||Jacob Scott||Canyon DHB Sungod||+26|
|10||117||Finn Crockett (U23)||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||st|
|11||74||Matti Dobbins (U23)||RT23||st|
|12||20||Steve Lampier||Saint Piran||st|
|13||26||Ross Lamb||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||st|
|14||113||Owain Roberts (U23)||Wales Racing Academy||+29|
|15||43||Michael Chadwick||Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy||st|
|16||52||Leon Mazzone||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|17||82||George Kimber (U23)||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||+36|
|18||108||Samuel Beckett (U23)||Wales Racing Academy||st|
|19||13||Ryan Christensen||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|20||9||Damien Clayton||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|22||56||Joey Walker||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+1:19|
|23||4||Cameron Jeffers||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||+2:32|
|24||62||George Wood (U23)||Cycling Sheffield||+2:49|
|26||39||Joseph Rees (U23)||Bikestrong KTM||+2:51|
|27||53||Adam Mitchell (U23)||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+3:05|
|28||123||Charlie Shields (U23)||Zappi Racing Team||+4:47|
|29||130||James Jobber||Kuwait Pro Cycling Team||st|
|30||135||William Perrett||Spellman – Dublin Port Track Team||st|
|31||144||Matthew Houlberg (U23)||Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT||st|
|32||92||Peter Merritt||TBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling||st|
|33||115||William Truelove (U23)||Wales Racing Academy||st|
|34||50||Ed Beecher||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+4:50|
|35||139||Nathan Smith (U23)||Team Novo Nordisk Development||st|
|36||15||Thomas Mein (U23)||Canyon DHB Sungod||+4:57|
|37||68||Peter Cocker||Richardsons-Trek DAS||+5:00|
|38||27||William Bjergfelt||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||+9:56|
|39||118||David Duggan||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||+9:59|
|41||31||Ole Henrik Bang-Andreasen||Trinity Road Racing||+10:25|
|42||80||Clay Davies||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||+10:31|
|43||132||Adam Kenway||Matlock CC||+10:33|
|44||30||Josh Whitehead (U23)||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||+10:35|
|45||141||James Alexander (U23)||Beeston Cycling Club||+10:40|
|46||83||Jordan Peacock||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||+10:57|
|47||6||Theodor Obholzer (U23)||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||+13:42|
|48||106||Thomas Lowther (U23)||Vredestein Basso||st|
|49||104||Cameron Biddle||Vredestein Basso||+13:44|
|50||100||George Peden (U23)||Team PB Performance||+13:52|