It was sunny side up for Woking's sixth Tour Series and Community Races
12 June 2014
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The glorious sunny June weather set the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable Tour Series day in Woking Town Centre on Tuesday 10 June.
For the sixth year running, thousands of local residents, cycling enthusiasts and visitors to the town witnessed another afternoon of two-wheeled fun in the Celebrate Woking Community Races as well as experiencing another epic night of professional racing, which will go down in the Tour Series' history.
Celebrate Woking Community Races
Kicking off the Tour Series day's events was the Celebrate Woking Community Races where participants had the opportunity to race like the professionals on the purpose-built circuit and the winners were awarded their medals by the local sponsors - Woking Shopping, Woking Advertiser, Balfour Beatty, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Mayer Brown - on the official Tour Series podium.
Hundreds of schoolchildren, cheered on by their parents, family members and friends, took part in a series of inter-school races. The most successful school with the most wins across the races was St John the Baptist School from Kingfield, closely followed by Greenfields School from Woking.
The closely contested Schools' Races were followed up by the highly competitive Team Race. Eleven teams, made up of four cyclists, tested their mettle by completing three laps of the 1.4km circuit - the first team with three cyclists over the line first were crowned the winners. Leading this year's pack was Woking Cycling Club, followed by a team of teachers from St John the Baptist School and Foxhills men's team.
Talking about the event, Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: "For the sixth year running, Woking has demonstrated that it can host another high-profile event which attracts a large and varied crowd.
"Again, I was delighted to see the much-loved Community Races return to the streets of Woking. The races offer an exciting opportunity for local schoolchildren and people to experience the professional circuit in front of the cheering crowd."
Women's Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series Final
Eileen Roe clinched the 2014 Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series title in style, winning the final race in Woking to head compatriot and best friend Charline Joiner at the top of the standings.
Roe outsprinted Redditch winner Amy Roberts and Grace Garner on the long drag to the Woking finish line to ensure she finished 13 points clear of Joiner at the top of the standings. Joiner could only come in sixth, despite the best efforts of her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team, who worked tirelessly for her in the front group.
Roe, who has held the Series lead since her victory in Round Two in Peterborough, now moves on to the Commonwealth Games, where she will represent Team Scotland in Glasgow this summer, alongside Joiner.
In a fast race, averaging 39 kilometres per hour, the front group was consistently whittled down until only a dozen or so riders remained. Most notable for her aggressive riding was Tamiko Butler, riding for local Surrey squad WyndyMilla Reynolds, who enjoyed noisy partisan support in Woking.
Men's Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Pearl Izumi Tour Series Yorkshire favourite and previous Tour Series 2009 champion in Woking, Dean Downing, made his final appearance in the Series. Snatching Downing's last chance to claim a Tour Series victory was Madison Genesis rider, 24-year old Tom Stewart, who clinched an impressive first victory in the Series.
Madison Genesis rider Stewart was to the fore throughout, first partnering NFTO rider Adam Blythe in a two-up move before being part of the race winning break, from which he flew with teammates Tobyn Horton and Andy Tennant keeping a watching brief that would ensure team victory too.
With a handful of laps remaining Stewart went clear from the small leading group, building an advantage he'd hold until the line.
Dean Downing (five time winner at Exeter and Woking in 2009, Exeter and Peterborough in 2010 and Colchester in 2011, plus the Series title with, the then, Rapha Condor Sharp team in 2011), leaves behind a legion of fans at venues impressed by his showmanship and results over the past six editions of the Series.
Watch the highlights!
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be repeated on ITV4 today [12 June] at 12.50pm. All of the highlights programmes are also available to view online and catch-up via the ITV Player.