Horizon Fitness Women’s Grand Prix Result


Over 30 women started the mid afternoon criterium in Stoke-on-Trent, which was part of the Tour Series and, with the prize money matching that for the men’s race (that must surely be a first!), the racing was fast and aggressive.


The first few laps of the short and technical circuit were raced behind a motorbike, which was filming for television and the ladies were briefed not to attack during these laps.  In fact, the initial pace was such that attacking was not required to lose some riders off the back of the bunch and there was some locking up of wheels as riders adjusted their speed as they flew into the tight corners.


Photograph courtesy of David Jack www.activelifelogistics.co.uk


All credit to the women racing for an exciting, but safe race, unlike the men's race, which followed and delivered some crowd pleasing dives into the barriers - although it is perhaps only fair to mention that there was a considerably larger field of men racing on the very narrow circuit!


National Cyclo-cross Champion, Helen Wyman (Horizon Fitness), was making a rare appearance in a road race in the UK and she made a big impression in the early stages.  Riding at the front, she kept the pace high enough to cause some serious hurt and it was inevitable that Horizon Fitness, with eight riders entered in a race of just over 30 women, would dominate proceedings. 


The first concerted attack came from Hannah Rich (Horizon Fitness), she was bought back by Hanna Barnes (Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta), but Hannah was not allowed to escape and as soon as she was bought back, Dani King (Horizon Fitness) racing in the National Champions jersey, counter attacked, got a gap and soloed to victory - thanks both to her determination and some very disciplined team riding behind her.


Dani King goes it alone                     Photograph courtesy of David Jack www.activelifelogistics.co.uk


World Track Champion, Joanne Rowsell, worked hard to close the gap to Dani almost single handed, but she was unable to catch her and the gap was 30 seconds in the end. Hannah Barnes won the bunch sprint for second, while Helen Wyman rounded off the podium.


Photograph courtesy of David Jack www.activelifelogistics.co.uk



Dani was justifiably thrilled to win “It’s our home race and the first Tour Series for women.  I hope we can have some more next season as town centre racing is seriously good fun.  Good crowds and a tough little course” she commented after her win.

“Another win this season, I’m so chuffed! The team went into the race with a plan to keep it fast from the start and then launch attacks in the middle of the race. If no-one was away for the finish the plan was then to lead me out. Helen Wyman lead me out in Belgium last week and I won so we knew it could work."


She went on to say "I didn’t feel great at the start of the race but after about 10 minutes I was raring to go. Hannah Rich attacked and was brought back by Hannah Barnes who got a gap, as soon as the team bought her back I just put my head down and went.  I looked back and saw no one was with me so just kept going. I got about 30 secs lead and kept it for the rest of the race.  The girls worked so hard and I was so grateful to them as well. The Horizon Fitness Team has been so good this year and I’m excited for the rest of the season knowing I’ve got some good form."


Photograph courtesy of Larry Hickmott




1  Dani King, Horizon Fitness
2  Hannah Barnes, Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
3 Helen Wyman, Horizon Fitness
4  Hannah Rich, Horizon Fitness
5 Leanne Thompson, Vanilla Bikes
6 Alex Greenfield, Horizon Fitness
7 Melissa Bury,  Sportcity Velo
8 Gabby Day, Horizon Fitness
9 Lucy Garner,  Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
10 Penny Rowson, Horizon Fitness
11 Sarah King, Langdale Lightweights RT
12 Joanna Rowsell, Private member
13 Hannah Walker,  Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
14 Sarah Bryne, Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
15 Charlotte Colclough, CT M.Pinte
Thanks to www.onthedrops.com for the quotation
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