|GB Manager’s Report|
Ceris Gilfillan finished an excellent third in a race which had much in common with
Paris-Roubaix – rain, mud and stretches of ancient forest pave up to 3.5km long.
The field of over 150 was made up of most of the top European teams, including Rabobank,
Farm Frite and Acca Due with riders such as Hanka Kupfernagel (current world #2),
Leontien van Moersel, Diana Ziliute (current World Champion) and Marion Clignet.
The race was the usual process of selection until 19 riders were left at the front.
On the 5.4 km finishing circuit, Ceris bridged a gap alone to join Madeleine Lindberg
(Farm Frite) and Marielle van Scheppingen (Rabobank). These two riders refused to
co-operate because of the rivalry between their two teams and Ceris spent the final
eight kilometres on the front to preserve their slim lead and ensure her place on
the podium. With 200 metres to go, Ceris had a small gap but this was nullified
on the line. The other team members, Sue Carter, Emma Davies, Megan Hughes, Louise
Jones and Sara Symington suffered a number of punctures and crashes but Emma finished
26th, Sue 43rd and Megan 47th all @ 5:59. There were 51 finishers.
I almost forgot to mention that the race was won by Madeleine Lindberg (Farm Frite)
and Marielle van Scheppingen (Rabobank) was second. Ceris finished in the same time.
The GB team rides Fleche Wallonne (second round of the women’s World Cup series)
on 12th April where Caroline Alexander, injury permitting, will add strength following
her 8th place last year and the excellent start she has had to her 2000 season.
Note Ceris Gilfillan rides for the GB Women’s Team, which is part of the Lottery
sponsored cycling World Class Performance Plan. Ceris was born on 3rd January 1980.
To date, her best performances were third (bronze) and fourth respectively in last
year’s European Under 23 Time Trial and Road Race championships.