Hannah Barnes has been confirmed as the winner of last weekend’s Rapha Elite Women’s Criterium at the IG London Nocturne after race commissaires reversed their controversial decision to relegate the MG-Maxifuel rider, whom video footage revealed to have clearly crossed the line ahead of Wiggle Honda’s Laura Trott, to second place.
That relegation, made public on Tuesday, was said to have been due to Barnes, who has been in top form recently, riding dangerously by taking her hands off the bars to celebrate her victory while back markers were about to be lapped.
However, the fact that three days elapsed between Saturday’s race and the decision being announced – on the evening itself, there had been no word of Barnes’s relegation, or the fact she had beaten Trott across the line – led to a great deal of speculation that something didn’t add up.
There were even some suggestions that the relegation had been concocted to save face over an error in the result on the night, with some messages of support for Barnes pointing out that Bradley Wiggins, for example, received no sanction when celebrating his Tour de France victory in the bunch on the Champs-Elysées.
The ruling from British Cycling on last Saturday’s result states:
Race officials have reviewed the sanction imposed on Hannah Barnes. The sanction has been moderated from relegation to a reprimand.
The Elite Women's Criterium photofinish result therefore stands:
1st Hannah Barnes
2nd Laura Trott.
In a press release sent out this afternoon, race organisers FACE Partnership said they were “pleased that this matter has been resolved in the correct manner, with what we believe is the correct outcome.”
Commented on the win being confirmed as going to Barnes, MG-Maxifuel said: "Hannah and the team are truly touched by the huge support they have received from fans everywhere on this matter and would like to thank the officials involved, the event organisers FACE Partnership and British Cycling for their support."
Rochelle Gilmore, owner, rider and manager of Trott’s Wiggle Honda team, said: "We were delighted with what we understood was a narrow win for Laura Trott, but on discovering that Hannah Barnes had crossed the line first, we felt the decision to relegate her was harsh. We totally accept the reversal of this decision and offer our full and sincere congratulations to Hannah for an excellent win."
Highlights of last Saturday’s event, including the elite men’s criterium, will be shown on Channel 4 tomorrow morning at 7.35 and an hour later on Channel 4+1.
The programme will subsequently be available to watch on the channel’s catch-up service, 4oD.
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