Five days after the opener in Redditch, the OVO Energy Tour Series migrated north of the border, to the town of Motherwell, just to the south-east of Glasgow. The Tuesday evening race marked the fourth visit by the Tour to the town and a 45 minute-long race around the 1.2km circuit.
Debutant Zoe Brookes replaced Poppy Wilman in the lineup, to join Charlotte Broughton, Connie Hayes, Elizabeth Marvelley and Clover Murray who’d all raced in Redditch.
This was a significant personal milestone for Zoe, whose cycling interest had been seeded in trips to watch the Tour Series was she was only 8. Check out Zoe’s blog post “OVO Energy Tour Series – from fan to debut“. Pip, Zoe’s Dad, had tweeted earlier in the day “We took Zoe, aged 8, to the inaugural Tour Series Woking Round where Dean Downing soloed to the win for Rapha. (From..) keen spectator to youth racer to Tour Series aged 17. What a journey!” which was picked up by ITV commentator Marty MacDonald who responded “What an awesome story!! Cycling, the biggest free sporting spectacle!! I always cycling is like say Man Utd & Barcelona rocking up the play in your local park for free. The Tour Series bringing the sport to you for a decade!! Good luck Zoe!”
It was also a significant race for teammate Elizabeth Marvelley whose mother was born and grew up in Motherwell, and whose grandmother’s home is actually right next to the circuit. Great chance to catch up with the rellie’s and show them what you do for fun!
Race underway and Charlotte Broughton pushed on with the leading group, dominated by leading teams Team Breeze, NJC-Biemme-Echelon and Storey Racing.
The series was always going to be tough for the juniors on restricted gears, especially with the three main teams having the depth to send repeated attacks, but they fought hard, before ultimately being pulled out with 3 laps to go, as is the norm for the Tour Series races for lapped riders. Connie, Elizabeth and Zoe finished 31st, 34th and 35th respectively.
Clover, on the other hand, managed to put up a brave fight and stayed in till the very end with the second main group of 12 riders on the course, finishing 28th overall.
Despite the three dominant teams controlling much of the race, and finishing with 9 of the top 10 places, there was one rider who managed to squeeze between them and spoil their party. Admiral Liv AWOL’s Charlotte Broughton narrowly missed out on a podium spot by a fraction of a second, to finish 4th overall.
From DS Pat Hayes, “Brilliant 4th place in Motherwell round of Tour Series for Charlotte Broughton. Good rides by the rest of the guys.”
After the racing, tweets from the team included Zoe Brookes, “Great experience racing my first tour series tonight with Admiral Liv AWOL and a fan ride by Charlotte Broughton to come 4th.”.
And from Elizabeth Marvelly, “The mood when you look back on the mega opportunity you were given to race a couple rounds of the Tour Series with Admiral Liv AWOL. Massive thank you to Admiral Liv AWOL for taking me out to experience the Tour Series!! Such an awesome experience & huge learning opportunity, and so grateful to have taken part in something I’ve always watched on TV. Good luck to the girls racing Aberdeen tomorrow”.
And so it was, further north to Aberdeen for round 3 a couple of days later.
OVO Energy is proudly sponsoring all three elite cycling races in Britain this year as the main headline sponsor. To find out more, visit the OVO Energy Tour of Britain page.
Featured photo by Chris Kelly