The 3rd edition of the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire stepped up from the previous two and delivered another exciting and tactically brilliant race. Going to the start line we knew the class of Boels Dolmans would be the wheels to look out for and we also expected a strong showing from British talent, Dani King, as well as the Sunweb team getting behind Coryn Rivera.

The race was a huge opportunity for our team to check our level against the best in the world and we were led by Jen George and EJay Harris who both had UCI experience under their belts in 2016.

For Beth Crumpton it was her second successive Tour de Yorkshire with UCI Cyclo-cross events filling much of her racing since the previous edition, whilst for Chanel Mason, Neah Evans and Laura Cameron it was their first UCI road race experience.

Throughout the race the masterclass of Boels Dolmans was a privilege to witness and learn from, with their team creating victory through team work and not a group of individuals in the same colour kit. There were exceptional British performances from other riders too, most notably Dani King, who was so very close to having a podium finish.

For those that witnessed the finish in Harrogate, it was spine tingling to see a Yorkshirewoman lead the race home. For the team, to be a part of such a special win for the class act that is Lizzie Deignan was a race no one will ever forget.

Despite their relative inexperience, the team rode a superb race, deciding afterwards they should have been in the early break but hindsight is always great and when a team returns from a race with as many lessons learned as this team did, the future is very exciting. The reality for Storey Racing is the riders are all very physically capable, they are committed to work as a unit and as they gain tactical understanding as that unit they will get themselves further forward. The positive vibe around the team dinner table after the race was hugely inspiring.

The final team classification saw Storey Racing in 8th of the 18 teams on the start, the highest ranked non-professional team, a success everyone is excited to build on. Barney Storey, Sports Director, summed up the effort of the team, “I was very impressed with the way the team rode today. Always aware of where their team mates were and very much looking for opportunities. Chanel was active very early and made a late attempt to bridge across to the chasing group too. To see us finishing in the top half of the team classification is a very promising sign.”

“The race itself was superbly organised and is one of the best and most secure we have competed in. It’s exciting to hear the organisers will be seeking British Cycling permission to increase the event to 2 days next year, it is such a positive step for women in the UK.”

As part of the weekend, the team decided to keep everyone together for an extra day and do a team appearance at the now famous Cafe Ventoux in Leicestershire. Home to the only Boardman Bikes Experience Centre, this destination cycle cafe hosts brands such as Veloforte and Le Col which are also used by the team and is known for it’s positive vibe and superb cycling provision.

The Cafe hosts the team on around 3 occasions each year, giving cycling fans the chance to meet elite racing cyclists, have a ride and ask questions. This weekends event was the biggest event of it’s kind at the Cafe with around 50 riders joining the team for a recovery ride in the rolling lanes near to the Cafe. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event, hearing about stories from the race and finding out about the plans for the future. For the team riders it was a relaxing opportunity to meet social cyclists and enjoy pedalling without the pressure of a race the following day.

The riders in attendance split in to ability groups and team riders made sure they rode with everyone. Speaking after the ride, Dame Sarah Storey said, “Today was a privilege to see so many riders coming to see us and enjoy a leisurely ride, the team appreciate the support from cycling fans and meeting so many today was a real boost for them. We’d all like to thank Brian and his staff at Cafe Ventoux for doing such a great job of hosting the ride and ensuring everyone had such a brilliant time.”

Details of the next ride will be available in the coming months.