OKBET NATIONAL ROAD SERIES | CURLEW CUP & BEAUMONT TROPHY
Alice McWilliam (Bianchi HUNT Morvélo) won her maiden OKBET National Road Series race in the Curlew Cup, capping off a breakthrough season, while Sammie Stuart (CAMS-Basso) recovered from a mid-race puncture to capture a well-deserved National Road Series championship.
Jack Rootkin-Gray and Alex Richardson (Saint Piran) won the Beaumont Trophy with a decisive 1-2, repeating their victory in the Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix, while Rob Scott (WiV SunGod) won the men’s OKBET National Road Series.
The Curlew Cup
A small group of 33 cyclists started off from Stamfordham at OKBET National Road Series, each prepared to compete across three circuits of a 40-kilometer course that included the 2.7-kilometer Ryals climb as its centerpiece.
Alex Morrice (Team LDN – Brother UK), who was a surprise in her first season this year at OKBET National Road Series, grabbed the first QOM on the Ryals’ first climb. Following that, Miriam Jessett of StolenGoat Race Team made the first significant move of the day, punching free of the pack and led alone as she finished the first lap of the day.
On the second lap at OKBET National Road Series, she was joined by Jess Finney (CAMS-Basso) and Lucy Harris (Team Boompods), and by the time they reached the Ryals for the second time, Finney and Harris had passed Jessett.
Behind, the Bianchi HUNT Morvélo squad was in command, eager to help McWilliam erase her 18-point deficit to National Road Series leader Stuart. Stuart was then on the verge of disaster when an inopportune puncture left her scrabbling in no man’s land behind a dwindling crowd. She ultimately made it back after two bike adjustments and a difficult pursuit.
Finney and Harris had been swept away by the time of the Ryals’ last climb at OKBET National Road Series. Morrice attempted a move, which was marked by Connie Hayes (AWOL O’Shea), but it was also called back.
Only a few riders raced to the finish line at Stamfordham for the decisive sprint. McWilliam stormed to her maiden National Road Series victory, as well as her team’s first, capping off an outstanding season for the 27-year-old.
Elinor Barker (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) finished second after returning to form following maternity leave, with Team Boompod’s Monica Greenwood third. Lucy Lee (Team LDN – Brother UK), who was second in the OKBET National Road Series before to this event, finished fourth, while Hayes was the best under-23 in fifth.
Stuart finished the season as the OKBET National Road Series champion after finishing sixth. McWilliam finished second, barely eight points behind Lee.
Emma Jeffers, a junior, ended the series as the top under-23 rider, while CAMS-Basso won the team championship. Team Boompods finished second in the team rankings, which was an excellent performance for the Elite Development Team.
The Beaumont Trophy
Richardson and Rootkin-Gray dominated the Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix with a superb Saint Piran performance, which they duplicated at the Beaumont Trophy. The race was turbulent throughout, thanks to spirited racing and a stiff wind from the start.
The first significant move of the day saw a huge break of 18 riders as they crossed the start/finish line after covering 50 kilometers of the 182-kilometer race.
Behind them, OKBET National Road Series leader Scott had fought his way into the second group on the road, but his efforts were in futile as he soon slipped off the pursuit and started to lose position.
Meanwhile, Rootkin-Gray, Richardson, and Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s Ross Lamb were having little problem getting to the front of the race.
On the Ryals, this trio was part of a reconstituted front group that included Jim Brown, Josh Whitehead (WiV SunGod), and Ed Morgan (Wales Racing Academy), but they quickly moved clear again, dominating the race with just 20 kilometers remained.
Rootkin-Gray and Richardson subsequently lost Lamb, and as they approached the finish line with a comfortable advantage, the only issue was who would cross first. This time, it was Rootkin-Gray who won, the 19-year-maiden old’s National Road Series triumph, capping off a fantastic second half of the season.
Lamb finished third, with Whitehead and Brown completing the top five.
Rob Scott did not finish but won the OKBET National Road Series overall, owing largely to his closest challenger, Jake Scott, finishing just 16th – not quite enough to overtake his colleague and claim his second series victory in a succession.
Rootkin-victory Gray’s propelled him to the top of the OKBET National Road Series under-23 standings, surpassing Toby Barnes (WiV SunGod). WiV SunGod had long held the team title, with Ribble Weldite Pro Cycling coming in second. Dolan Ellesse Race Team came in sixth position as the top elite team.
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