Jane Barr of Stirling Bike Club won the Scottish women’s road race championship last Sunday in Dumfries.
The Women’s National road race, was run as part of the Dumfries Bikefest which included events in the mens and women’s National Circuit race series, and the fourth round of British Cycling’s Premier Calendar Series. These races attract the top road cyclists in the UK, and the women’s field included semi-professionals such as Catherine Williamson (Rapha Condor CC), and Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta).
The race was run over three laps and a total of 52 miles. On the second lap, on the longest hill on the course, a group of five riders broke away from the main bunch. At the crucial moment, in Jane’s words, “it was pretty brutal and I had to dig deep to stick with them”. However she hung on to the wheels of the breakaway group, which managed to gain five minutes on the rest of the field.
This lead group included two English girls, a Welsh rider and two Scots. The winner of the Scottish National Road Race would come from one of these two Scottish women, so on lap 3, when Claire Thomas, the other Scot in the group fell away, Jane knew she had the championship won if she could hang in with the other three leaders.
They worked together to stay away until the finish, where three riders contested a sprint for the race win. Kara Chesworth (Dysynni CC ) came first, from Natalie Creswick (Twickenham CC ) and Catherine Williamson (Rapha Condor CC ) in a photo finish. Jane Barr crossed the line in 4th place and was crowned Scottish Women’s champion.
Jane said: “my legs had nothing left at the end so I finished 4th, but was ecstatic at winning the Scottish championship!” Jane has been training with Scottish Cycling’s Gold 4 Glasgow development squad, building up to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and she added: “All my training and race tactics definitely came together at the right time and the pain during the race was well worth it!”
The images above was kindly donated by Cheryl King, whose cycling photography has been used by pro teams and news organisations. She is keen to support women’s racing and waived her usual fee to allow me to blog this image, to send it as part of a press release to local newspapers, and to use it on the Stirling Bike Club homepage. Many thanks Cheryl.