Of course, none of this would faze Alice as she battled through the weather, going solo with 30km to go to claim her first national title, and, her first-ever road race win. Evidently, hours of riding in the Peak District in all weathers worked wonders in preparing for a Scottish summer race. She spoke to British Cycling about her race-winning move.
“I really didn’t plan it, I mean it probably was the best thing to do at the time with the conditions, to be out front was definitely better than it was in the bunch.
“I didn’t really think it was possible and the time kept going out and the kilometres kept coming down, and all I could do was just keep plugging at it.”
Early breakaways in the day from domestic teams were brought back, with the leading group of WorldTour riders and our team stretching out the peloton multiple times. The initial team plan was to ride aggressively after the two longer laps, and push on over the main climb. Alongside Alice, April and Lizzie rode on the offensive, with micro-surges after the pace increased at 50km to go and the group whittled down to a select 15 until Alice surged away with 30km to go.
With Alice off the front and all team riders in the condensed group of 15, other teams had no choice but to chase the move themselves. Lizzie Holden did a fantastic job of patrolling the chasing group which included Anna Henderson of Team Jumbo-Visma and last year’s national champion Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM). Lizzie finished the day in fourth place, just off the podium.
Despite the attacks from the chasing group, Alice’s gap stretched out to 90 seconds and she rode her way into the U23 and Elite national champion stripes, with dad Jonny there to celebrate with her at the finish line.
Alice won’t be resting on her laurels after Sunday’s excitement, as she is heading to the Lotto Belgium Tour with the team. Beginning on 28 June, three stages await the riders with one ITT prologue, a flatter stage and a punchier stage where the GC will undoubtedly play out.