Frieston’s Katie Colclough admits she was blown away as hordes of fans roared the pro cyclist down the home straight on The Mall in London during the inaugural Prudential RideLondon Women’s Grand Prix on Saturday.
And while it may have been double Olympic champion Laura Trott who claimed the crown in the pro-criterium race, just inches ahead of rival Hannah Barnes, Katie was adamant she would never forget the experience after helping Specialized-lululemon team-mate Loren Rowney claim third place on the podium.
Former European under-23 team pursuit champion Katie was part of a 90-plus strong field who thrilled fans as they raced a 1.3-mile loop around St James Park, as part of Britain’s biggest ever festival of cycling in the capital.
The 45-minute race saw the lead change hand multiple times as leading teams Wiggle Honda – including Olympic stars Trott, Dani King and Jo Rowsell – battled against Australian outfit Orica-AIS and the Barnes-led MG-Maxifuel squad.
Twenty-three-year-old Katie said she was thrilled to see Prudential RideLondon building on the London 2012 Olympics legacy of cycling in the UK. She said: “It was a pretty aggressive race, there was no hanging around, and there was always something happening. You could hear the crowd constantly and it was really impressive.
“Since the Olympics cycling has had a complete turnaround, it’s completely different. You can really see that the level of racing has really improved and there are a lot more racers in the top pool now.”
Katie finished 36 seconds down on winner Trott in 40th position after helping Aussie star Rowney into position to strike over the final 300-metre sprint. But neither Rowney or IG London Nocture winner Barnes could see off the challenge of Trott, who added the title to her multiple Olympic, World and European victories of the past 12 months.
l Prudential RideLondon took place on August 3 and 4. If you are inspired to ride, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk