Madison-Genesis now leading the way in the Tour Series after five of the 12 premier televised city centre racing series.
Despite double race winner from 2014 Tom Stewart taking the Sprinters Points jersey and Commonwealth gold medallist Tom Scully winning the crit, with overall placings for the Tour Series being based on the combined finishing positions of all five team riders, the Madison boys, based in Bradwell Abbey, finished second overall as they took the ferry back to the mainland.
But a change of tactics in Redditch last week, one of the most technical circuits of the Series, saw the team take the distinctive red and white leaders jerseys as Tour Series leaders with Tom Stewart retaining the sprinters points jersey.
Moving to Aberystwyth for another double-header on Friday, the afternoon hill climb was not as successful as team manager Roger Hammond would have liked but after another brilliant team effort in the evening’s crit – including a great recovery ride by Tom Scully – Madison left the land of the dragon once more leading the overall series.
Afterwards, Hammond said: “After a bit of disappointment in the hill climb it was great to see the team come out fighting in the evening. They executed the plan to perfection which was really great to see.”
Whilst all the Madison-Genesis team are used to racing in front of the huge crowds and TV cameras that feature at every Tour Series round, for the young Corley Cycles-Drops RT Women’s team, their first race in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix series that supported the Redditch round, this really was a move into the big time of British racing.
But the five-woman strong team didn’t disappoint despite their average age of just over 19 years old making them one of the youngest squads to take to the line.
Racing when the circuit was still drying out after a last minute downpour, 17 year old Abi Van Twisk didn’t let lining up against London 2012 Olympic double gold medallist Laura Trott and other Olympic and world gold medallists overawe her as, in the opening five laps, she held her own, scrapping for her place in the leading top ten riders out of a field of more than 70 competitors.
Abi may have slightly faded as the race progressed but her team-mates then pitched into their own mid race battles to eventually finished up as 8th team overall with another 17 year old, Charlotte Broughton finishing in an excellent 14th place overall.
Team manager Jamie Scott was more than pleased with the efforts of his riders; “I think the girls have ridden very well. We had a couple of particularly strong performances with Charlotte avoiding the early race crashes and then making her way up through the field and Abi fighting in there with Laura Trott and the others. And to finish with four of our 5 riders on the same lap as the winner, that was a great result all round.”