Today saw the first stage of the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour of Britain - we’ll be following the action from within the peloton courtesy of the Matrix Vulpine team and photographer Paul Calver who’s embedded with them for the duration. Stage One took the riders on a 93.8Km route from Oundle to Northampton taking in the rolling hills of Northamptonshire.
Every day as soon as the racing is done Paul will upload a gallery of images telling the story of the team’s day. Here’s his stage one gallery. it was a baptism of fire for Matrix Vulpine girls and Harriet Owen in particular as Robin Godden from Vulpine explains:
“After 35km’s Harriet was involved in a crash leaving her with a smashed helmet and a 15km chase back to the peloton. Just as she bridged the gap a mechanical stopped her again. But a quick change of bike and she was on her way.
“The final 30kms were fast as Specialized Lululemon & Rabo Liv could smell a sprint.
Our girls were represented as Jessie rode to 18th with Helen safely in the bunch & Jo, Penny, Mel & Harriet just behind.
‘Stage one was fantastic; great racing and big crowds.
“Bring on Stage 2!”
The size of the crowds, on a day not blessed with great weather was a source of comment afterwards, both stage winner Emma Johansson and World Champion, Marianne Vos were said to be shocked at the size and volume of roadside support. Indeed such was the noise that Lizzie Armistead who led with 500m to go said afterwards that she had been fooled by the size of the crowd in to going too early - she eventually finished 8th after her Boels-Dolmans team had done the bulk of work in chasing down French national champion, Elise Delzenne in the final kilometres
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.