The Junior Women’s Giro 2018 race was part of the inaugural British Cycling Junior Women’s National Road Series, organised by CC Hackney and consisting of three stages run over two days, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April 2018.
The first day was held at Redbridge Cycling Centre and consisted of a short time trial (1 lap of Hog Hill) followed by a circuit race. The second day was a road race on the EA141 course at Great Thurlow near Haverhill on the Essex/Suffolk boarders.
The event unfortunately clashed with the team’s second European excursion of the year, so only a team of 3 were fielded in the race for Admiral Liv AWOL amongst a full list of 40 riders, and they were Zoe Brookes, Lauren Higham and Hannah Graveney.
In the TT for Stage 1, Zoe posted the best time for the team with 3:25:060 in 13th place, with Lauren 3:37:420 (34th) and Hannah 3:38:410 (37th).
The winning time overall for the TT came from April Tacey (Team 22) in a time of 3:12:710. But over the course of a stage race, there is always the opportunity to make up for lost seconds in a short time trial when it comes to the longest stages.
And that’s exactly what Lauren did in Stage 2, where she pulled back a huge amount of lost TT time, coming in 3rd with a time of 1:01:03:595. While only 8 seconds behind the overall winner of the stage, she was 15 seconds ahead of the 4th place rider, and therefore jumped back into contention.
Zoe and Hannah came through with the breaking up bunch in 17th (1:01:21:559) and 26th (1:01:25:103) respectively.
At the end of the first day, Lauren posted on Instagram later “… Had an awful start being not being held up properly on the line for the Stage 1 time trial. But with help from my fantastic team I managed to brake away in the Stage 2 circuit race and came 3rd. Now in 6th place on the GC and looking forward to the last stage tomorrow, the 79km road race.”
Stage 3 was the road race, and while April Tacey (Team 22) broke on a solo winning effort to take 3 minutes plus ahead of the main group, both Zoe and Lauren came in with the same time as the second placed rider in 13th and 15th, with Hannah just over a minute behind in 24th.
The solid and consistent effort by both Lauren and Zoe paid off with a 5th and 8th place overall respectively. Over a 3 and a quarter hour of racing, Hannah was only just over a minute behind, in 23rd place.