On a balmy Sunday afternoon in quaint Stamfordham, Sky did ‘what England expected’ and grabbed the first four places in the British elite road race championship over 197 hard Northumbrian kilometres; and the skeletal Bradley Wiggins will start the Tour in the white British champion’s jersey after jumping his team mates on the run in; defending champion Geraint Thomas took silver, Peter Kennaugh was third and Ian Stannard fourth.
We were on the scene early – in time to catch the end of the ladies’ championship.
‘That was savage, Ed!’
Was Vik’s summary of the that particular race; there were four away, Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws, Lizzie Armistead (Cervelo) and Nicole Cooke (MCipollini), then – much later, the bunch at pedestrian speed.
But what’s slower than ‘pedestrian’…?
The next big group was moving at Cyclists Touring Club speed – ‘savage‘ is probably the best word.
Through the finish, the chase groups were down on the drops, but out on the circuit it’s back on the tops, catch a few rays, have a chat.
Chequered flag time and it’s Lizzie who zips into view first with a desperate looking Nicole a few seconds back then Sharon and Emma giving three Garmin-Cervelos in the first four.