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Planet X Team Carnac Ladies Round Up 22nd April

The cycling season is now in full swing and the Carnac Planet X ladies have not been messing around at all.

The past few weeks have been packed full of  Time Trials, stage races and sportives and they have certainly proved themselves to be top performing athletes on their home turf as well as overseas.

So everything kicked off on Thursday 26th March with Lou Collins and Iona Sewell competing in the Tour Ta Malta and Nicola Soden riding in the Lea Valley Track League.

As Iona had previously won the Tour Ta Malta in 2010 intentions were big. The first stage consisted of an individual time trial over 25km where Lou finished 2nd, - just 23 seconds behind Henrietta Colbourne from Team Jadan - and Iona finished 6th.

Friday 27th March and the second stage was underway - a 60km road race on a rolling circuit. Unfortunately things did not bode well for Iona, as she punctured her tyre on the way to the start line. But with a quick visit to the head mechanic she was back on the start line just in time. Lou and Iona then demonstrated a strong performance amongst their fellow competitors with Lou setting the pace on the hill climbs. Then all of a sudden she heard Iona had got another puncture! Refusing to let this minor detail deter their best efforts they pushed forward once again with Lou finishing 3rd in this stage keeping her in 2nd place overall and Iona did unbelievably well obtaining 7th even after her rocky encounters.

Saturday 28th brought some disappointing news. Whilst aspirations were high for the 40km race, adverse weather conditions meant that this stage had to be cancelled.

Sunday 29th and on we go with stage 4. Lou and Iona wasted no time at all. With a 30km race they knew they needed to claw back a 23 second deficit. So Lou set the pace on the 1st climb in order to try and lose the race leader. Iona then took over on the descent and put her excellent descending skills into practise to line out the field. Lou attacked strongly again and for ¾ of a lap rode solo, in her TT mode, but the other local contenders worked together to drag her back. Lou decided to rest a little and put everything into the final climb. The rest enabled her to distance herself from the current leader but her efforts earlier started to take their toll and Henrietta Colbourne just edged the sprint for the line with Lou taking 2nd on the podium. Tremendous effort from both Lou and Iona. 

Back in the UK on Thursday 26th March Nicola Soden took part in the Lee Valley Track League. She displayed strong performances all evening which ultimately culminated in a 3rd place in the Points race. An excellent result!

The weekend also saw a busy race schedule for the rest of the ladies. 

Saturday 28th March Sarah Cramoysan rode the Highfield Kitchen Spring Shield on a closed circuit in Middlesborough. Regardless of the less than ideal blustery winds she placed 7th! Then on Sunday Sarah was back out again competing in a 47 mile womens 2,3,4 category event at Capenwray. Harsh weather conditions tested Sarahs mental and physical ability on a course that did not suit her strength. But never the less she pushed on and finished proudly in 25th place. Great work Sarah!

A week later and the ladies were back out in force again. The Buxton CC Mountain Time Trial (The second round of the Classic Time Trial) presented poor weather conditions and as such competitors had to race with caution. The 11 mile circuit saw four Carnac Planet X Ladies start and finish with Lou Collins taking 7th (beating European, World Olympic Champion Joanna Rowell MBE), Nicola Soden taking 17th , Iona Sewell taking 18th and Sandra Mackay who was suffering from a minor injury, taking 21st place. Yet again proving their true abilities.

Meanwhile, on Friday Sarah Cramoysan and Lauryn Dawber both competed in the 3rd round of the Yorkshire Day at the Races, which is held on a closed road circuit at York. Both of them rode fiercely amongst the E 1,2,3,4 category event regardless of the wet conditions with Lauryn taking 2nd place and Sarah in 10th place. Fantastic results!

Easter weekend then came to a close with Sarah Cramoysan and Lou Collins taking part in the EMMRL Road Race Championships – a 45 mile course based at Castle Bythem. Lou keeping true to form obtained an excellent 5th place in a very strong category.

And finishing off the last few weeks nicely was the Tour of the Reservoir on the 11th and 12th April. Sarah Cramoysan, Nicola Soden and Lou Collins each took part in the 2 stage race. And yet again adverse weather conditions took their toll causing several compettitors to be pulled out of the race to keep warm and dry, whilst the leaders competed to the end. Nicola and Lou fortunately were able to complete the race and finished in 23rd and 34th place! A tough event amongst strong compettitors, so great work girls!

So what's next for Planet X Team Carnac Ladies? Well this Sunday 26th April is the Cheshire Classic Womens Road Race - part of Bristish Cycling's National Series -  where our ladies Iona Sewell, Sandra Mackay and Nicola Soden will be pushing themselves once again in the 92km race. The event will see compettitors from categories E 1,2,3 come together to fight for the £3000 prize fund and amongst them will be Olympic gold medallists Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness Vulpine), Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness Vulpine), Joanna Rowsell (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International), multi-paralympic gold medalist Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) and 2014’s winner, and current World & European gold medalist, Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) . Wow...that will be some competition.

So we wish the ladies the best of luck and if you wish to attend and show your support for the ladies then you can find further details here.

23 April 2015

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