After a successful June Team WNT Pro Cycling went into a busy July, racing throughout Europe in three different countries. The team spread it’s racing throughout the fifteen-rider roster competing in races in Germany (Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour) and back in WNT UK’s hometown of Sheffield (National Criterium Championships) only a day apart.
1st and 2nd of July saw Hayley Simmonds, Natalie Grinczer and Becca Carter compete at the National Road Series’ Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland. Looking to tune up their form ahead of an important July, Simmonds rode well finishing 2nd on stage 1 with Grinczer coming in close behind in 5th place. Carter fulfilled team duties perfectly to help Simmonds and Grinczer maintain their respectable places on GC ending up 2nd and 5th respectively overall.
A different team headed to the Tour de Feminin-Krasna Lipa in the Czech Republic. Starting on the 6th and finishing on the 9th it would be a tough race for Team WNT Pro Cycling. Lining up on their Specialized Tarmac’s would be Eileen Roe, Elise Maes, Bex Rimmington, Hannah Walker, Gaby Shaw and Keira McVitty. Unfortunately, after stage 2 we lost Maes and Rimmington to crashes resulting in broken wrists for both riders, we wish them a speedy recovery and hope to see them back soon. Roe was the best performer throughout the week showing good form in the messy and uncontrolled bunch sprints, something she thrives from, sprinting to 5th on stage 4 and two more top 10’s in the 5-day stage race.
Team WNT Pro Cycling’s strength in depth showed itself at Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, a fresh team took to the start line from the 12th-18th July, with Hayley Simmonds, Natalie Grinczer, Becca Carter, Hayley Jones, Anna Badegruber and Lydia Boylan. Simmonds showed her great form, with a late stinging attack, bridging across to the breakaway, dropping them on the final climb, to win solo on stage 3 into Weimar. This would see Simmonds pulling on the yellow Lotto leader’s jersey heading into her specialist event, the Time Trial the following day. Simmonds rode well again to finish 7th but unfortunately lost the yellow jersey to former World TT Champion Lisa Brennauer. With the help of her team mates Simmonds finished 3rd overall sealing her best professional general classification result of her career.
Hayley’s win was Team WNT Pro Cycling’s 2nd UCI road win of 2017 and our first UCI general classification podium.
WNT UK’s hometown of Sheffield played host to this year’s National Criterium Championships. Katie Archibald, Gaby Shaw, Hannah Walker, Emily Kay, Keira McVitty and defending champion Eileen Roe would race. A tough course with a long-cobbled climb awaited the riders, it would be a race for the strongest riders in the UK to really shine. Roe obviously would be keen to regain her title after riding so well this year in her jersey taking the national bands to multiple wins. For Roe, it wasn’t to be, but instead it swapped over to fellow Scot and teammate Katie Archibald. Archibald attacked early on with Elinor Barker and the two would then go on to compete for victory, Archibald used her characteristic seated sprint to take the win and will look forward to wearing the National Champions jersey for the year ahead. Behind the leading two it was a fierce battle for the remaining podium place and Team WNT Pro Cycling did all they could behind, with Shaw sprinting to an impressive 5th place just missing the bronze medal.
DS, Graeme Herd was delighted with the team's performance's throughout July saying
"July was a busy month for the team, with UCI stage races in Czech Republic and Germany plus the National circuit race championship at the UK home of WNT in Sheffield. Czech Republic was mixed fortunes for us, with 3 top tens on stages for Eileen, but the loss of Elise and Bex with broken wrists in 2 separate crashes. Shortly after Czech, the focus switched to Thuringen Rundfahrt. Expectations were exceeded by a significant margin with some effective team riding resulting in a stage win for Hayley Simmonds and a day in the yellow jersey, finally ending on the podium with 3rd on general classification. The month was topped off with the team defending the national circuit race championship. Unfortunately it wasn't to be a repeat for Eileen but Katie took the stripes for the team with an attacking performance. It couldn't have gone any better"
The final race of July for Team WNT Pro Cycling’s saw a 6-strong squad of Lydia Boylan, Eileen Roe, Katie Archibald, Becca Carter, Gaby Shaw and Hayley Jones. RideLondon Classique would be our 2nd Women’s World Tour race of 2017 after a successful OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Passing iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and racing down The Strand, the British summer was certainly in full flow with heavy rain falling throughout the afternoon in London to make the 5.5km fast course even more treacherous. The pace was high throughout the 66 kilometres of racing with an average speed of 44.46kph. With Boylan lining the peloton out, Archibald once again showed her turn of speed with Jones and Roe positioning her superbly taking the first Continental Tyres intermediate sprint by several bike lengths and 4th in the second Continental Tyres intermediate sprint sealing 3rd overall in the competition. Coming into the sprint finish on The Mall positioning would be vital and Team WNT tried what they could against strong opposition.
The team's next race are the final round of the British Women's National Road Series in Ryedale 6th August, Ladies Tour of Norway UCI WWT 17th-20th August, GP de Plouay Lorient Agglomération UCI Women's World Tour 26th August.