Abi Smith and Jacob Scott were the winners at the Curlew Cup and Beaumont Trophy, both sealing the individual HSBC UK | National Road Series titles in the process. Here’s how it happened…
Featured photo: Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com – Jacob Scott crosses the line to win the Beaumont Trophy.
Under late summer sunshine, the tenth edition of the Curlew Cup took to the country roads of Northumberland with the riders in a relatively cautious frame of mind.
A key factor in how the race played out was the cross-headwind on the Ryals, the main climb of the day. This seemingly nullified even the most concerted attempts to break away. On the first of three laps, a group of seven tried to go clear but were reeled back in on the descent down into Matfen.
It was tried again a lap later, with six riders – among them eventual Queen of the Mountains winner Illi Gardner (CAMS-Basso Bikes), Abi Smith (Team TIBCO-SVB) and National Road Series leader Natalie Grinczer (CAMS-Basso Bikes).
Again they were pulled back into the peloton, which led to only one conclusion – the race was going to end in a bunch sprint.
A final ‘short’ lap kept the peloton together, and on the downhill finish into Stamfordham, Smith found a gap at the front and powered to the win. Despite complaining about her sprint prowess in her latest journal entry, Smith’s slightly earlier launch put her just clear of fellow journal contributor Charliiy Berry (Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen) and April Tacey (Drops-Le Col sb Tempur). The former prevailed by half-a-wheel to clinch second. Both Berry and Tacey were on the podium the last time the race was run, with Tacey second and Berry third on that occasion.
Smith’s victory, adding to success at the CiCLE Classic, secured her the HSBC UK | National Road Series crown – two years after her triumph in the Junoir Road Series. Fine work for a rider who missed the second of the three Series rounds altogether.
Here is what Abi had to say after the race…
CAMS-Basso, meanwhile, had disappointment to deal with, losing both the individual and team Series leads on the final day, with elite team Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen pipping them thanks to Berry’s second and Corrine Side’s seventh place.
Compared to the women’s race, in which all the attempted breakaways were quickly reeled back in, the Beaumont Trophy started to break up from the word go.
By the end of the first lap a determined group of nine – slimmed to eight on the second – formed a sizeable advantage of more than two minutes over a peloton disorganised in its chase thanks to other riders attempting to split away.
Consisting of riders including Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod), Cameron Jeffers (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), and Jordan Peacock (Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor), the eight worked as a cohesive bunch until the start of the fourth lap, when the second group finally caught up and absorbed them into a bigger bunch of 20.
That, rather unsurprisingly, broke down going onto the final lap where eight riders struck out on their own: Rob Scott, Jacob Scott, Max Stedman (all Canyon dhb SunGod), Alex Richardson (Alpecin-Fenix), Ross Lamb (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Matt King (Team PB Performance), Matt Gibson, and Zeb Kyffin (both Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling).
Sensing an opportunity, Jacob Scott and Alex Richardson both attacked from that group and rapidly built up a lead of over a minute – pretty much confirming victory would come from one of them after the remaining six failed to mount a counterattack.
Indeed that was the case as Scott, riding high from his sprint and KOM jersey success at the Tour of Britain, attacked in the closing kilometre to cross the line with a few seconds in hand over Richardson – winning the HSBC UK | National Road Series in fine style. His team Canyon dhb SunGod sealed the team Series win in the process.
Third went the way of Matt Gibson (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), who won the bunch sprint amongst that eight-rider breakaway on the final lap.
Hear more about Scott’s thoughts of the race, and winning the Series crown, below:
- Abi Smith has become an (even brighter) star. It was no secret that Abi Smith is one to watch for the future even before this race, but her dominant sprint to the line has – by her own admission – moved a self-considered weakness into the strength column. Undeterred by joining an eventually unsuccessful break, she regrouped and positioned perfectly to prevail in a massive bunch sprint. There’s not much she hasn’t got in the armoury having finished the National Road Series with a 100% win record. She has already made a stellar start at WorldTour level with Team TIBCO-SVB; it seems there is plenty more to come for the first-year senior.
- Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen confirm their status as one of the strongest domestic women’s teams this season. Scroll down to the results section below and one of the most notable aspects of the top ten is that Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen was the only team had two riders in it. It was a result that catapulted the team to the top of the overall team standings of the National Road Series and it reinforced their status as one of the standout teams of the season. Rick Lister’s squad was only created at the beginning of the year but they have wasted no time in making their mark.
- Domestic riders could shine at the Women’s Tour. The Curlew Cup acted as the perfect warm-up for the soon-to-start Women’s Tour, and judging by the quality and sharpness in the peloton, the riders who will be taking to the start in Oxfordshire will be right up for the fight. Don’t put it past any of the Curlew’s top three picking up stages on the Tour or at least making their presence felt.
- Jacob Scott deserves a pro contract. Coming off the back two jersey crowns at the Tour of Britain, the Canyon dhb SunGod rider didn’t look any worse for his efforts as he played the breaks perfectly and got himself in the right position at the right time. Timing his decisive attack to perfection, Alex Richardson was tough opposition, but Scott’s confidence gave him the edge he needed to take a hard-fought victory. We think he thoroughly deserves a pro contract after yet another strong season.
- And it’s a testament to his team… Throughout the race, Canyon dhb SunGod left only one question unanswered – exactly which member of its talented squad would take victory? The team had numbers in the breaks and makde their numerical advantage count. On the fifth and final lap, the team put itself in a prime position to ensure it wrapped up the National Road Series’ Team title and the strongest possible chance of securing individual success. The team’s future is in doubt, with the middle of October now the likely point at which a decision is made. Let’s hope for the scene’s sake that they continue.
- Organisers should get a round of applause. Yes, it did feel odd having the National Road Series run in second-half of the year, and yes it was undoubtedly a blow for domestic teams to have such a curtailed Series. But respect where it is due, it hasn’t been easy trying to plan anything since March 2020. That means the efforts of every organiser – this time Cyclone Cycling – has to be applauded for having got a thrilling triple-header in the books.
See the final HSBC UK | National Road Series standings here.
|1||99||Abi Smith (U23)||Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank||2:42:49|
|2||41||Charlotte Berry||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|3||2||April Tacey (U23)||Drops-Le Col supported by Tempur||st|
|4||89||Monica Greenwood||Macclesfield Wheelers||st|
|5||32||Madeleine Gammons||Jadan – Vive le Velo||st|
|6||101||Eilidh Shaw (JNR)||Tofauti Everyone Active||st|
|7||45||Corinne Side (U23)||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|8||38||Hannah Lancaster||Loughborough Lightning TRG||st|
|10||10||Francesca Morgans-Slader||AWOL O’Shea||st|
|11||65||Lucy Lee||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|12||84||Alice McWilliam||Grinta Coaching||st|
|13||25||Sian Botteley||Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm||st|
|14||61||Lucy Gadd (U23)||Storey Racing||st|
|15||36||Francesca Hall||Loughborough Lightning TRG||st|
|16||42||Isabel Darvill (U23)||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|17||31||Gwenno Hughes||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|18||72||Suzetta Guerrini||Team Watto-LDN||st|
|19||52||Rachel Galler||Saint Piran Womens||st|
|20||88||Sophie Enever||LVIV CYCLING TEAM (Womens)||st|
|21||104||Miriam Jessett (U23)||Vredestein Basso||st|
|23||91||Robyn Clay (JNR)||Otley CC||st|
|24||97||Amy Graham||Team Boompods||st|
|25||21||Jasmine Jones||Bianchi Dama||st|
|26||85||Anya Tamplin (U23)||HuntBikeWheels||st|
|27||62||Beth Morrow (U23)||Storey Racing||st|
|28||92||Helen Ralston||Paceline RT||st|
|29||67||Polly Mason||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|30||103||Beth Maciver (U23)||Torvelo Racing||st|
|31||14||Illi Gardner (U23)||CAMS-Basso||st|
|32||30||Melissa Greaves||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|33||33||Beth Harley-Jepson||Jadan – Vive le Velo||st|
|34||60||Erin Avill (JNR)||Storey Racing||st|
|35||68||Kerry Middleton||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|36||16||Katie Scott (U23)||CAMS-Basso||st|
|37||55||Lucy Ellmore||SKODA DSI Cycling Academy||st|
|38||4||Olivia Bent (U23)||AWOL O’Shea||st|
|40||20||Charlotte Colclough||Bianchi Dama||st|
|41||98||Lauren Watson||Team Boompods||st|
|42||24||Daisy Barnes (U23)||Brother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm||st|
|43||87||Emma Jeffers (JNR)||JRC-Shutt-Ridley Race Team||st|
|44||8||Alice Lethbridge||AWOL O’Shea||st|
|45||7||Connie Hayes (U23)||AWOL O’Shea||st|
|46||74||Olivia Bentley||Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar||st|
|47||34||Sophie Lankford||Jadan – Vive le Velo||st|
|48||75||Nicole Coates (U23)||Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar||st|
|49||54||Christina Wiejak||Saint Piran Womens||st|
|50||9||Phoebe Martin||AWOL O’Shea||st|
|51||22||Holly MacMahon||Bianchi Dama||st|
|52||43||Amy Gornall||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|53||48||Jo Tindley||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|54||3||Hannah Bayes (U23)||AWOL O’Shea||+21|
|55||70||Matea Deliu||Team Watto-LDN||+23|
|56||73||Heather Mayer||Team Watto-LDN||+5:26|
|58||44||Jennifer Powell||Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes -Heidi Kjeldsen||st|
|59||64||Ione Johnson||Team LDN – Brother UK||st|
|60||90||Georgia Bullard (U23)||Natural Greatness – Vib Sports||st|
|61||40||Chloe Vickers (U23)||Loughborough Lightning TRG||+5:32|
|62||86||Dannielle Khan||Isorex NoAqua Ladies Cycling Team||+8:33|
|63||37||Flora Knight (U23)||Loughborough Lightning TRG||st|
|64||96||Jen McMahon||Sub Rosa||st|
|65||39||Meg Smith||Loughborough Lightning TRG||st|
|66||57||Morgan Newberry (U23)||SKODA DSI Cycling Academy||+8:36|
|67||83||Arianne Holland||Forth Velo||+8:37|
|68||29||Sophie Earl||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||+12:09|
|69||94||Sarah Briggs (U23)||RFDA||+17:42|
|1||7||Jacob Scott||Canyon DHB Sungod||4:19:08|
|3||10||Matthew Gibson||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||+1:08|
|4||26||Ross Lamb||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||st|
|5||88||Matthew King||Team PB Performance||st|
|6||5||Max Stedman||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|7||4||Robert Scott||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|8||12||Zeb Kyffin||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||+1:16|
|9||22||Tom Mazzone||Saint Piran||+1:51|
|10||81||Alfred George (U23)||Team Inspired||st|
|11||13||Gruffudd Lewis||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||st|
|12||136||Joe Hill (U23)||UpShift Nutrition Race Team||st|
|13||69||Isaac Mundy||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|14||67||Aaron Freeman (U23)||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|15||79||Joshua Price (U23)||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||st|
|16||125||Sebastian Garry (U23)||Nopinz Motip Race Team||st|
|17||130||Matti Dobbins (U23)||RT23||st|
|18||105||Finn Crockett (U23)||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||st|
|19||25||William Bjergfelt||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||st|
|20||52||Isaac Peatfield (U23)||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|21||132||William Perrett||Spellman – Dublin Port Track Team||st|
|22||120||James Jobber||Kuwait Pro Cycling Team||st|
|23||98||Joe Holt||Wales Racing Academy||st|
|24||3||Euan Macleod (U23)||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|25||117||David Hird (U23)||Halesowen A & CC Academy||st|
|26||34||Cameron Mason (U23)||TRINITY Road Racing||st|
|27||41||Jamieson Blain (U23)||BIKESTRONG KTM||st|
|28||124||Joseph Bennett||Netllar Telecom-AlÃ©||st|
|29||60||George Wood (U23)||Cycling Sheffield||st|
|30||112||Michael Chadwick||Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy||st|
|31||66||Peter Cocker||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|32||11||Cameron Jeffers||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling||st|
|33||148||Matthew Houlberg (U23)||Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT||st|
|34||93||Samuel Painter (U23)||TBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling||st|
|36||85||Jacques Coates (U23)||Team PB Performance||st|
|37||102||Owain Roberts (U23)||Wales Racing Academy||st|
|38||82||Cameron Orr (U23)||Team Inspired||st|
|39||139||Daniel McDermott||BC Private Member||st|
|40||104||Matt Clarke||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||st|
|41||72||Frazier Carr||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||st|
|42||76||George Kimber (U23)||Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor||st|
|43||113||Dean Watson||Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy||st|
|44||43||Joseph Rees (U23)||BIKESTRONG KTM||st|
|46||68||Julian Roche||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|47||135||Oscar Hutchings||Team Tor 2000 Kalas||st|
|48||87||Toby Jarvis||Team PB Performance||+1:58|
|49||21||Oliver Maxwell||Saint Piran||st|
|50||71||Willaim Scott||Richardsons-Trek DAS||st|
|51||92||Samuel Clark (U23)||TBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling||+2:02|
|52||51||Adam Mitchell (U23)||Crimson Orientation Marketing RT||st|
|53||27||Christopher Latham||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling||+2:03|
|54||123||Jack Freeman||Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT||st|
|55||2||Damien Clayton||Canyon DHB Sungod||st|
|56||89||George Peden (U23)||Team PB Performance||st|
|57||19||Ross Holland||Saint Piran||+2:17|
|58||18||Leon Mazzone||Saint Piran||st|
|59||23||Bradley Symonds||Saint Piran||+3:50|
|60||20||Steve Lampier||Saint Piran||+7:38|
|61||70||Steven Parsonage||Richardsons-Trek DAS||+7:57|
|62||107||Logan Maclean (U23)||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli||+11:55|