2023 Owen Blower Memorial road race results
Lucy Lee of DAS-Handsling wins the ’23 Owen Blower Memorial road race.
The Owen Blower Memorial race is named after a local cycling legend. Owen was a regular competitor winning the coveted BBAR in 1958 and broke the 12-hour TT record with a distance of 271.809 miles. After a break from cycling, he returned to racing as a vet, again breaking records and inspiring others. Previously it had been run as a two-day stage race, but this edition was a one-day race held over seven laps of the Six Hill circuit near Loughborough. Winner Lucy Lee of DAS-Handsling was kind enough to give us her version of events.
The Owen Blower Memorial in Lucy’s words
Sunday’s Owen Blower Memorial road race was my 6th National B race this year and having been quite suceessful at this level I had a lot of confidence going into it. Racing in general has been mixed this year. I’ve been collecting good results in the UK, but with this being my first year a UCI level I’m still trying to find my feet in the bigger races.
I haven’t ridden this race before but had done enough research into the course and previous editions that I felt well prepared. The 15km lap was fast, with a short steep hill before a plateau to the finish.
With just Katie Scott and myself representing DAS-Handsling and three elite teams sending full squads to the race we were definitely outnumbered. We expected the other teams to race aggressively and knew that being conservative and following moves was our best option for a result. We wanted to win the race and also take the queen of the mountain prize (A set of fancy hair straighteners!) so when a break of ten formed on the second lap we were pleased to both make the cut. All the big teams were represented and the group worked well to gain a five minute lead. I felt strong on the queen of the mountain and led Katie out each lap where she won maximum points.
Going into the final climb we decided that I would sit in the wheels and wait for the sprint. Katie did a great job chasing down a late attack allowing me to hide behind other teams up the final climb before sprinting to win ahead of Ellen McDermott and Frankie Hall.
It was a great day out, lovely weather and extremely well organised. Thanks go to the organisers for putting on a women’s race on such a good course.
All photos courtesy of Bob McGregor