Tuesday 15 May 2012

Ellie Gilham: " 6th at the Nationals"

David Gilham reports from the National Junior Ladies Road Race Championship..... This year’s event started in Brynmawr, Wales heading out towards Monmouth, finishing back in Brynmawr via Abergavenny, as distance of 76km. The course was constantly rolling with a very tough 4km uphill finish. Ellie Gilham, 16 and first year junior riding for VC St Raphael took to the start line in only her fourth senior event against the cream of the British Cycling’s Olympic Development Squad and the best of the juniors in the country. Having raced over 100 miles the previous weekend at the Bedford 2 day stage race Ellie was unsure if she had recovered fully. The race was fast and furious from the start with constant attacks keeping the pace high. Despite several concerted efforts nobody managed to get a gap that stuck thanks to the tireless work of Ellie’s teammate Jo Tindley. Ellie worked hard in the bunch responding to all attacks bidding her time until the 4km climb to the finish. As the bunch entered the roundabout at the foot of the climb, the pace increased and the bunch rapidly disintegrated with a small select group leading the charge up the climb. At this point Ellie had to pinch herself, as she found herself riding alongside the rainbow jersey of the World Champion Lucy Garner. The sprint for the line started about 300m from the finish with Lucy Garner taking the victory from Elinor Barker and Ellie coming in 6th just a handful of seconds later. The results showed the first 4 places were occupied by ODP riders, fifth by a 2nd year junior and Ellie finishing as the first 1st year junior. Ellie’s next competitive event will be the Southern Regional Junior Road Race Championship this coming weekend.

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