Joss Lowden (Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur) stormed to victory in the opening round of the Merlin Cycles Classic Time Trial Series near Broxton in Cheshire on Good Friday.
The 33-year-old who lives in nearby Stone showed the benefit of having raced competitively abroad recently to finish as fastest female by more than four minutes.
Her time of 46-40 was 4-09 quicker than Francesca Hall (Loughborough Lightning), while Espoir Abi Smith (Team Breeze) was third, another 1-19 behind.
“It was great to get out on a beautiful morning, it’s always a privilege to race on mornings like that,” said Lowden, who lives with men’s favourite Dan Bigham who was cheering her on despite being a non-starter in the men’s event with a back injury.
“I was quite lucky that I was able to get over to Belgium and the Netherlands and race recently, but it was nice to be back racing in this country and be able to roll out of bed and get to an event close to home.
“I know parts of the course quite well which helped, although I’ve only ridden some sections and not the whole of today’s course.”
Despite chilly temperatures, it was the wind that Lowden flagged up as her biggest concern.
“For such a still day it was quite windy on some sections with strong gusts, especially when lorries went past going the other way,” she added.
“I hadn’t done a full recce of the course, I thought it was longer so misjudged my effort. I was a bit disappointed when I got to the finish and hadn’t really started to suffer!
“It’s always nice to get a win, but very pleasing that it’s by over four minutes. I felt confident going into the event as I’ve got some events under my belt already.
“If I can I’ll ride more of the Series depending on my international racing commitments, as they’re great.”
The D22/1 course starts outside Broxton before heading south on the A41 towards Whitchurch and cutting across to the A49 to head back north. Riders then turn left and cut across back towards the start on the A534 through Bulkeley to the finish.
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