Following on from a great tour in Brittany last week, FBUK– Schwinn travelled to Limoges in France for a 3 day UCI 2.2 tour. Having spent the week at a lovely house in France, team spirits were very high entering the first stage, a 4.6km time trial around a tight and hilly course.
With the current European champion in the race and several past world champions, the race was going to be a tough test for what was a new team formation for FBUK– Schwinn. Recent signings Sophie Ruderman and Melissa Flagothier were in the team for the race meaning Yolandi du Toit and Gabby Day were rested from the event.
Starting towards the end of the race, Helen Wyman put in the teams fastest time, finishing 10th on the stage. This result backed up her excellent form against the clock, following her 4th in the TT last week. Behind her, Line Ramsrud also put in a fantastic ride to finish 33rd.
The send stage was 5 laps of a 23.5km circuit around a large lake in Vassiviere. With the race pace now being controlled by the Colnago team, there was little for FBUK– Schwinn do on the stage other than maintain the high GC position of Helen, allowing the team to enter the 3rd and final day in good position. The race came to a sprint and Cath Hare gained 20th place, while Helen finished safely in the bunch in 25th place.
With temperatures reaching 40 degrees, the third day was always going to be touch. Seven King of the Mountains points throughout the stage were a tough test on a course which included 3 significant hills in each of the 7 laps.
Again, Colnago set the early pace and with the team of European Champion Marianne Vos also trying to set up a stage win, the pace was very high. Despite a good effort from 7 riders to escape the field, the peleton caught them with 40km to go. Cath Hare, Team FBUK – Schwinn put in a great effort to help the chase and maintain the teams good GC position.
The final moves of the race came with around 10km to go, when over the final climb 2 moves slipped off the front of the peleton. Helen managed to get in the second group and took 9th place on the stage and secured 11th overall.
It was another great team performance by FBUK – Schwinn and with 2 UCI World Cups in the next week there are more strong tests for the team to come…
Team orders and ready for the off
Line Ramsrud before the start
Emma S 56th
Emma S 72nd
Emma S 50th
Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) 1st
Emma S 52nd
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