Winner in 2019, former World madison Champion Emily would have been proud of the sprint made by Josie on Sunday when in an almost blanket finish contested by five riders spread across the finish straight she took the win in the narrowest of margins from Madelaine Leech (CAMS-Basso) and Eluned King (Le Col-Wahoo) to scoop the £1,000 first prize and the coveted Dame Laura Kenny Trophy.
One lap earlier on the first passage of the finish line in Melton’s Sherrard Street, King had achieved some compensation for missing out in the final sprint by winning the prestigious Melton town sprint to take home the massive and unique pork pie sponsored by Dickinson & Morris.
From the 127 starters just 33 riders remained in the leading group after 105km of gruelling local roads and farm tracks which once again formed the route of Britain’s most unique and arduous Women’s road race of the year.
In all only 57 riders receiving a finishing place after a race of attrition race which saw no single or group of riders able to break clear of the ever- attentive pack for more than a few metres.
With King also the winner of the £100 prize on offer for the Heart of Owston sprint award sponsored by manor farm feeds, and also taking the Queen of the Bergs competition over three categorised climbs at Burrough-on-the-Hill, Cold Overton and Cuckoo Hill, the day proved rewarding for the principle podium attendees.
CAMS-Basso took a keenly contested Team competition placing three riders in the top 13 finishers.
Awards were presented by Dame Laura Kenny, five times Olympic and seven times World Champion, assisted by the Mayor Melton Councillor Alan Hewson.
In the Junior Men’s race earlier in the day over the same course, against all previous prediction by many that last year’s third placed finisher, on form Josh Tarling (Wales Racing Academy) would win, a badly timed puncture for Tarling on the final Special sector at Sawgate Lane, saw him have to chase back into the race on the finishing circuit back to Melton.
That effort obviously took its toll and at the line it was the Backstedt Bike Performance pairing of Dylan Hicks and Euan Williams who took out the first two places with Tarling left to repeat his third place riders of 12 months ago.
Both races once again formed part of British Cycling’s National Road Race Series for their respective
Additional support for both events was provided by Melton BID, Schwalbe UK, Bioracer UK, Moores Estate Agents, Pearce’s Jewellers, A&R Signs, Brentingby Gin and Dickinson & Morris.