MATCH REPORT: Pinnacle of Women’s Team racing in Ipswich
Sunday saw the second round of the Supertrax Women’s League and it didn’t disappoint, spectators witnessed some fantastic team racing from all three teams.
A depleted South West & Wales side with only six riders had to compete against a full strength North & Scotland/South East & East team and the Midlands, as always, strong throughout, even though they were missing Lucy Whitehead.
It was a close match all the way through, just a few points separating each team. With the luck on their side, the South West & Wales managed to pull a couple of 6-4s out of the bag against their rivals to draw with N&S/SE&E, with the Midlands trailing by just 2 points behind.
Macie Schmidt rode to another maximum for the South West and Wales and received strong back up from Lauren Hookway and Krissy Mines. Ipswich rider Gemma Hill top scored for the N&S/SE&E, while two of the North’s young racers Emily Burgess and Niamh Morton also impressed.
Lizzie Rigley continued her good form; top scoring for the Midlands team, while Michelle Whitehead chipped in with some wins.
GB woman’s manager, Geoff Gamage, commented it was the best women’s team racing he’d ever seen.
After a fantastic team event, the individual events of elite class and intermediate class saw some fantastic racing. Lauren Hookway managed to take the win in the A final with one of her lighting gates off grid 4 in the elite class.
Hookway battled it out with Lizzie Rigley who claimed second, while returning Lauren Jacobs took third ahead of Michelle Whitehead.
Round one winner, Macie Schmidt, was left ruing an opening heat tapes exclusion, which meant she missed out on the A final by a single point. She won the B final to still claim 14 GP points, but has surrendered her early lead to closest rival, Lauren Hookway.
The Intermediates were no exception to the quality racing, with A&T’s Emily Burgess taking the win in the A final, and voted as Geoff Gamage’s “rider of the day”. Round one winner, Maddie Saunders secured second place, with team mate Bethany Briggs taking third ahead of Gemma Hill.
Women’s League manager, Peter Clarke said: “I can’t wait to see what the next round has to offer.”
North & Scotland/South East & East 90
Laura Watson 14, Emily Burgess 15, Charlie Jane Herbert 10, Gemma Hill 18, Niamh Morton 15, Chloe Pearce 7, Lauren Jacobs 8, Lily Gedge 3
South West & Wales 90
Lauren Hookway 20, Alice Neighbour 11, Macie Schmidt 24, Bethany Briggs 6, Krissy Mines 17, Maddie Saunders 12
Michelle Whitehead 17, Georgia Burt 8, Lizzie Rigely 20, Jenna Whitehead 8, Chloe Whitehead 13, Sophie Middleton 14, Honey Whitehead 8
Elite Class Individual (GP points shown)
Lauren Hookway 25, Lizzie Rigley 20, Lauren Jacobs 18, Michelle Whitehead 16
Macie Schmidt 14, Krissy Mines 13, Niamh Morton 12, Chloe Pearce 11
Chloe Whitehead 9, Laura Watson 8, Lily Gedge 7
Intermediate Class Individual
Emily Burgess 25, Maddie Saunders 20, Bethany Briggs 18, Gemma Hill 16
Georgia Burt 14, Honey Whitehead 13, Jenna Whitehead 12, Sophie Middleton 11
Megan Burt 9, Alice Unwin 8
Women’s League cover photo from round one by Graham Robins.