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Eileen Roe overcomes mid-race crash to take Second in Jupiter London Nocturne

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Eileen Roe overcame a mid-race crash to take second place in the Jupiter London Nocturne, around the British capital’s iconic Smithfield Market, last night. Despite damage to her bike, the British Criterium Champion won the sprint from a small group at the end of the half-hour race, behind a winning solo attack from track World Champion, and fellow Scot, Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International). Nikki Juniper (Giordana-Triton) took third place, while Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore was fifth in her first competitive race in more than a year.

“I’m pretty happy with that,” Roe said. “Obviously we were going for the win, but as soon as Katie Archibald’s off the front you’re never going to pull her back unless everybody in the break is dedicated to that one purpose.

Roe actually found herself brought down twice on the technical city circuit – once before the race had even begun – but managed to recover enough to make it up to the winning move. In the end, however, the Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International team

“There were a lot of crashes in the women’s race; and they were very silly crashes,” Roe explained. “The bunch was very nervous. I had a spill on the neutralised lap, because there was a crash in front of me, and I ended up in the barriers. Then coming up the finishing straight a girl tried to come in between me and the barriers, and there was just no room; then her handlebars hit my hip and that was it. It was a fast crash because we were coming down the finishing straight, but I think I landed on top of her! I scraped my knee, but my bike was damaged more than I was. My tub [tubular tyre] was damaged, and my gears weren’t working either, so that wasn’t great.”

“I wasn’t there when Katie Archibald attacked, but I made it across,” Roe added. “She went again – it was actually really clever because [her teammate] Katie Curtis went, then Katie Archibald went, so they’d obviously planned it. Obviously when you give her a couple of bike lengths you’re not going to get it back.

“I was pretty nervous in the sprint, because I wasn’t getting my last five sprockets, and my gears were jumping as well. I think I prefer it in the opposite direction, because it’s a more technical finish.”

Despite not having raced competitively since the Tour of Chongming Island stage race in May 2014, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Gilmore relished the challenge of the London Nocturne, and the opportunity to physically support one of the team’s riders in the event.

“I’ve been training with our Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore for the last three weeks, and I found myself feeling quite fit,” Gilmore explained. “Amy Roberts is still out, suffering from her broken collarbone, and Dany King and Anna Christian are committed to other events this weekend. Then we have the team in America, so I thought why not put myself in there, have a bit of fun and support Eileen.

“Katie Archibald is in a class of her own, obviously she was the one to watch, but Eileen is still the best crit rider there is here. She rode a hard, but smart race, and a really good strong sprint.”

Although Gilmore sprinted to fifth place, in the same group as Roe and Juniper, the former Commonwealth Champion stressed that this does not mark a resumption of her own professional career.

“It was unreal! I loved it!” she exclaimed. “I felt good, but I haven’t really got the aggression to fight for position that I used to have. I was absolutely loving the corners; I’m lucky it was a technical course, because when they put the hammer down in the straights it was really tough. But I could float through the corners, and that gave me a bit of a rest.

“I don’t have any desire to race professionally again,” she emphasised. “I just wanted to have some fun and, with the girls being over in American and Eileen being isolated, I though ‘why not?’”

Photo Credit: ©Crankphoto

1. Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
2. Eileen Roe (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Nikki Juniper (Giordana-Triton)

5. Rochelle Gilmore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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