The inaugural Racing Chance Foundation North West Women's Series has drawn to a close. This year, there were five events, spanning from March to September with epic weather conditions in the first two rounds in March.
The final round, organised by Colin Baldwin of Southport Cycling Club was held today and it was won by Speg-Project 51's Flora Gillies, to make it her second win of the season on that circuit.
Points were allocated on top ten finishes, plus bonus points for completing all five events, although the bonus points proved to be unnecessary for series winner, Angela Hibbs, of Team WattCycle, whose task in the final round was to finish in the top 10 to prevent Gillies taking the series crown.
Hibbs has had some fantastic results this season outside of road racing, including a bronze medal in the National 50 mile TT Championship. Her win at Pimbo in March from a break formed towards the very end of the race showed her potential, which she then built on with a second win of the series at Capernwray after a two-up break for the majority of the race with Amy Gornall. Those two rides also earned her the prize of most impressive ride.
Top junior went to Lucy Lee of Marsh Tracks RT, whose top ten at Pimbo in March was followed by a win at Pimbo in June. Unfortunately for her, her absence at Bickerstaffe today cost her third overall too, which was snapped up by Hibbs' teammate, Ellen McDermott, who came second to Gillies today in a hotly contested sprint.
Top "overs" prize went to Lindsay Atkinson-Wright of Alba Rosa CC, whose top ten finish today saw her overtake Jayne Dickens of Vision Racing for the title.
Julia Van Campen of Sheffrec CC won the "Best Newcomer" award, with her Capernwray ride early season catapulting her up the charts. Lindsey Styler of The Racing Chance Foundation scooped up the "Most Improved Rider" award after race on race improvements.
The Racing Chance Foundation would like to thank Brian Rigby, Graham Atkinson and Colin Baldwin and their respective clubs (St Helens CRC, Lancaster CC and Southport CC) for organising the events which gave the women an opportunity to race, as well as all volunteers, marshals and officials without whom there would be no racing. Many thanks also to Ken Jones of Onimpex Bioracer and The Bicycle Lounge for donating the series prizes. Finally, thank you to all of the riders for competing and staying upright and we hope to see you all again next year.
Gallery to follow shortly...