Lucy Garner sprints with the best in Drentse 8


Lucy Garner gave a glimpse of her potential as she mixed it with the stars of women's cycling at yesterday's Drentse 8 one-day race in the Netherlands.

In only her second UCI-ranked race as a professional, Garner sprinted to eighth as current road world champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Women Cycling Team) took the victory. The women she succeeded in the rainbow jersey - Wiggle-Honda's Giorgia Bronzini - came second.

"It was a really hard race - there were crashes and punctures throughout, but the team had faith in me as sprinter so I'm glad I got the result," she told Cycling Weekly.

"The top 10 were all pretty close - only two or three bike lengths separated the first top 10. To see my name up there with all the others is a good feeling. It's also a big step for me"

Despite her relative inexperience, Garner said her Argos-Shimano team were keen to see how she fared against the world's best in a bunch kick.

"The plan was that if the race was together come the finish the girls were going to work for me to see how I compare to the others," she said. "I was really excited, unsurprisingly. I didn't know what to expect.

"Unfortunately Willeke [Knol] crashed and Esra [Tromp] punctured near the finish, which left just Kelly [Markus] and I left for sprint. Somehow I managed to stay out of danger and find the right wheels and was able to contest it."

Unexpected surprise

The 18-year-old admitted that she hadn't quite released the quality of riders she was up against until she saw a replay of the finish afterwards.

Garner said: "It was only after I watched it back that I realised I was argy bargy with best in the world."

Having made a name for herself with two brilliant sprint victories in the Junior World Championship Road Races in 2010 and 2011, Garner said that top-level racing is far more intense.

"In junior racing you kick really hard for sprint. The women are already racing at a high pace before the finish, so that's the biggest change," she said.

"Before the finish, I was going pretty hard and so I had to push hard to try sprint on top of that. But I think I rode sensibly before the finish and did not waste any energy."

Garner's next race will be the Novilon Euregio Cup, again in the Netherlands, on Sunday.


Drentse 8, Dwingeloo-Dwingello, 141.2km

1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Women Cycling Team in 3-26-50

2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda

3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS

4. Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO

5. Elen Cecchini (Ita) Faren

6. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-Lululemon

7. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products - UCK

8. Lucy Garner (Gbr) Argos-Shimano

9. Megan Guarnier (USA) Rabo Women Cycling Team

10. Alexandrea Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo all at st.

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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.