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Leicestershire rider being groomed for future Olympic success proves strongest in the Netherlands

While Britain’s Olympic cyclists have been wowing the nation with their achievements at London 2012, a rising star of the sport has added to her own palmarès elsewhere as Lucy Garner added the European junior road race title to the world championship she won last September.

The 17-year-old from Leicestershire outsprinted Italian junior champion Anna Zita Maria Stricker as well as home rider Kirsten Coppens to win Sunday’s 80 kilometre race in the Dutch province of Zeeland.

Garner, who last month won the senior women's circuit racing national title in Sheffield, was one of just two British riders in the field of 106, the other being Emily Kay, who finished 21st after being involved in a crash in the closing stages.

"Winning the world championship was amazing but to win the European title feels so good," said Garner, quoted in the Leicester Mercury.

"The main riders in the world are always up there in Europe so the race was definitely world-standard.

"I was really nervous – we both were. There were only the two of us against some teams with eight riders in, so we didn't know how it was going to pan out.

"But the race all stayed together so we didn't have to do much chasing.

"Everybody went for any attacks that got away. One [attack] got 15 seconds on the last lap but that was brought back because people were getting ready for the sprint and the pace was high.

"You never know what is going to happen. I've been in races when I have felt strong but someone pips you on the line. Everybody started sprinting about 300m to go. That is too early for me but I still had to go with them. 200-250m is where I like to hit it hard.

"I didn't know that I was going to win until about one or two bike lengths out.

"When I got over the line it was just relief because I had been so nervous!"

Garner and Kay are both members of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme and their coach there, Matt Winston, said: "Lucy showed great tactical skill to keep herself at the front of the field.

"There were only two British girls in the race and, with some strong nations fielding eight riders, they were heavily marked.

"Lucy led the sprint and held everyone off to the finish. I'm very happy with the performance of the girls."
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

7 comments

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Gkam84 [9089 posts] 4 years ago
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She's deffo a rider to watch, but I don't like the word "groomed" when she's been talking about since before 16  19

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steff [81 posts] 4 years ago
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Interesting she's on a Pinarello. I wonder if it's trickle-down from the Sky sponsorship? I hope so.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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All the track cyclists ride Pinarello's on their warm downs. I assume that's a result of the Team Sky sponsorship, either that or Brailsford just had a few spare bikes lying around.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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All the track cyclists ride Pinarello's on their warm downs. I assume that's a result of the Team Sky sponsorship, either that or Brailsford just had a few spare bikes lying around.

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 4 years ago
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Uh-uh.

Node4, which used to be motorpoint didn't it, have ridden with campag for a few years if I'm not mistooooken.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 4 years ago
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Looking at Node4 website, Pinarello is their bike supplier. Paintjob on Garner's obviously custom world champs job. Pic taken at Tour Series in Oxford btw.

When I was watching GB trackies train at Newport and Hoy jumped on his Dogma to head down the ramp, bloke next to me referred to it as his "hack bike" which made me chuckle  1

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BigSteev [8 posts] 4 years ago
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Disappointing though that only 2 women riders were sent to represent GB when they were entitled to field a much larger team. Would have thought it an excellent opportunity for riders such as Amy Roberts, Elinor Barker etc to gain experience.
Seems sadly to reflect BC's attitude to women's road cycling though.