World Junior Road Race Champion Lucy Garner gave her rainbow jersey a good airing when she won the National Junior Road Race Championships at Brynmawr in South Wales on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Leicester-based rider with the Node 4-Giordana team edged ahead of a trio of riders from rivals Scott Contessa Epic to take the victory.
Second last year behind Hannah Barnes, Garner was clearly delighted to go one better in 2012, while Scott Contessa trio Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts and Molly Weaver had to settle for second, third and fourth just as they had trailed Garner in the 2011 title race.
Race numbers was boosted by the inclusion of senior women as well as the juniors gunning for the national title, but even with that addition breakaway attempts were few and far between with any escapes short-lived.
The decisive move came in the final four kilometres, with the climb to the finish in Brynmawr tearing the bunch apart.
Elinor Barker was first to dig in and attack the climb, and she was joined by Abergavenny RC senior Kimberley Ashton who attacked early in the climb and continued on to cross the line first.
Barker was caught halfway up, by her team-mate Roberts and Garner, but it was the World champion who edged ahead to take the win by just one second, while Barker had to settle for the Welsh title.
“It was hard out there,” said Garner afterwards as she traded the rainbow jersey for the red, white and blue shirt of national champion. “The last finishing climb was a bit of a drag but I just tried to follow the wheels and save as much energy as possible.
“Elinor Barker tried quite hard to get away at the bottom and I had to make sure that I followed the wheels – it was hard though!”
National Junior Women’s Road Race Championships
1. Lucy Garner (Node 4-Giordana) 2:09:57
2. Elinor Barker (Scott Contessa Epic) @ 1sec
3. Amy Roberts (Scott Contessa Epic) @ same time
4. Molly Weaver (Scott Contessa Epic) @ 9sec
5. Sky Draper BC Private Member @10sec
6. Ellie Gilham VC St Raphael @ 11sec
Welsh Junior Championship
1. Elinor Barker (Scott Contessa Epic) 2:09:58
2. Amy Roberts (Scott Contessa Epic) @ same time
3. Rebecca Hunt (Scott Contessa Epic) @ 13sec
4. Amy Hill (Abergavenny RC) @1:00