Thursday 10 May 2012

Ellie Gilham at the Bedford 2 Day!

Dave Gilham writes……….
Ellie Gilham took her racing to a new level over last weekend by racing in the Bedford 2 Day.

The event consisted of a 9.2km team time trial on Sunday morning followed by a 80km road race in the afternoon. This was followed on Monday by a 3.2km individual time trial around the Millbrook vehicle testing bowl in the morning and a 76.5km road race in the afternoon.

At 16 years old, Ellie had only ever raced over 80km once before and never competed in 4 events in 2 days, so this was going to be a real test of her fitness and determination.

The stage 1 team time trial was based on a testing course with 2 stiff climbs. Ellie’s team of 6 finished in 10mins 50 seconds to claim 6th place from the 16 competing teams.

The stage 2 road race was going well with Ellie sitting comfortably in the bunch responding well to all attacks. With only 3km to the finish a rider from Team Zappis clashed wheels losing control and falling on Ellie forcing her and Sarah Storey (Beijing Para Olympian gold medallist) to crash in the roadside stinging nettles. Both riders remounted to finish with Ellie losing just over 3 minutes to the bunch and finishing the first day in 41st place in the GC from 90 starters.

After a good nights rest despite the itching, Ellie was back on the start line the following morning for her individual time trial. Ellie took the decision to save herself for the afternoons road race losing about 50seconds to the race leader and 1 place in the GC.

The 4th stage was based around the larger 9km Millbrook circuit covered 8.5 times and run off in the pouring rain. The course included 2 considerable climbs which Ellie exceled at but the descents in the wet, restricted junior gears and tiredness finally took their toll with Ellie losing contact with the bunch with 2 laps to go. She fought on the finish picking up 2 other riders and working with them to limit their losses. This tactic worked, well as Ellie finished in 33rd place, 5minutes down on the bunch.
The final GC had Ellie placed 35th and her team VC St Raphael placed 5th overall, the highest placed non sponsored team.

The overall winner was Ciara Horne Node4 Giordana Women’s Team, 2nd Elinor Barker (Junior World TT silver medallist) Scott Contessa Epic, 3rd Lucy Garner (Junior World Road Race Champion) Node4 Giordana Women’s Team, 4th Sarah Storey For Viored RT.

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