The team’s second European excursion in the month came for the UCI/2 sanctioned Junior Women’s Nations Cup, and five riders were there representing Admiral Liv AWOL. Emily Bridson, Connie Hayes, Elizabeth Marvelly, Rosie Wallace along with guest rider, Poppy Wildman. This event includes most of the top Junior riders in the World, so this was a great opportunity for the team to experience top level international competition.
The event was based around ‘s-Heerenhoek, in the south-west corner of The Netherlands, just over the border from Belgium, and consisted of three stages over three days.
The first stage was an individual time trial over 14.2km (8.8 miles), so quite a challenge right from the start, starting from the host town, and heading south into the local roads, before looping back to the town.
Rosie was first into the mix, 9th off the ramp, with the rest of the team spread out at different start times throughout the evening to cater for support vehicle reuse. Connie was the last in the team to go almost 2 hours after Rosie, in the 128th start position out of an incredible 148 riders! Connie was in her element in the TT, finishing in 50th place with a time of 21:51.87, just 2 min 6.53 seconds off the first place rider.
The other results were Poppy (87th – t22:35.30 d2:49.96), Emily (102nd – t22:59.74 d3:14.40), Elizabeth (118th – t23:31.46 d3:46.12) and Rosie (123rd – t23:43.59 d3:56.15). Over a course just short of 9 miles, this was a really good effort by everyone in the team. Full results here.
It was an early start the following morning, getting cars and riders ready. But thanks to the team’s very generous sponsors and suppliers, they were all prepared and looking good.
Stage 2 was the main Omloop race of 3 laps around a 24km circuit. Again starting and finishing in ‘s-Heerenhoek, the route again headed south first towards the sea, then turned to the east before looping back. There weren’t too many tight turns on the course, so this was undoubtedly going to be a fast race, but could anyone break away?
Both Elizabeth and Emily managed to stay with the lead group, and posted the same time as the winner, finishing in 73rd and 92nd respectively. Poppy (121) and Connie (126) were 3:22 behind the leaders in he second group at the end. Unfortunately Rosie didn’t make the cut.
Just short of 80km, this single loop road race spread further from the home town of ‘s-Heerenhoek, but included two (fast) laps of the home town to finish. The race was again fast, and this time there were splits, and there were crashes too. Guest rider Poppy had a great race, crossing the line in the second group only 8 seconds off the winner in 40th. Connie fought hard to the finish line with the third main group at 3:50 behind the leaders in 97th place. Emily and Elizabeth got caught up in crashes, and Elizabeth suffered a puncture, meaning they both missed out on final placing.
In final GC placings, Poppy was 74th with a combined time of 4:19:05 (6:05 from the winner), with Connie in 92nd place at 4:22:03 (9:19 difference).
The bunch photo was taken just before Elizabeth’s crash and puncture on the final stage.
Elizabeth Marvelly tweeted “Just wanted to say a massive thank you to Admiral Liv AWOL for taking me out to Holland for Omloop van Borsele!! Huge learning experience and brilliant opportunity. So grateful to have been able to do this & am excited for rest of the season ahead”
Team tweet to wrap up the event, “Wouldn’t have been able to do the two amazing Nations Cup races in the Netherlands without the car and the van and the support of our amazing sponsors Admiral & Perkins. Huge thank you to Poppy Wildman for guesting for us at Omloop Van Borsele. Absolutely nothing in UK can compare to experience of 150 rider field on fully closed roads with a 30 plus vehicle convoy. Huge experience for our guys riding at over 40 kph for two hours and coping with repeated crashes.”
Featured photo by Kevin Buyssens (from ‘s-Heerenhoek). Many thanks to Kevin for giving us permission to use this and some other photos of his. His other photos can be viewed on and he can be contacted via Facebook.