CANYON//SRAM Racing have added another two national champion jerseys to their roster today when Hannah Barnes and Mieke Kröger both won their respective road races. It caps off the week of national championships where the team has collected four titles. Barnes won ahead of sister Alice Barnes (DRP) and Lucy Garner (WHT). While in Germany Kröger went to the line solo ahead of Lisa Brennauer and Jenny Hofmann.
Following the race, Barnes was ecstatic with the win. “I’m really happy. It’s really special and I’m proud to wear the jersey. I feel now that I’m really close to being back at my top form after my injury last year.”
In the 106km British championships in Stockton-On-Tees, a group of thirteen riders went away on the main climb, 40km into the race. “We worked well together and at one stage had a gap of 1:20. But then there was some cat and mouse and the gap was reduced to 30 seconds. Dani King and Nikki Harris tried to get away but when there are thirteen of you then it’s a bit easier to keep it in control and we were never caught by the peloton.”
“On the final finish circuits I attacked with 5km to go. Mostly it was out of frustration because there wasn’t really anyone doing anything at that point and they gave me a gap so I tried it. I also wanted to test my legs.” Barnes was confident in the breakaway that she was the fastest. “It was mine to lose. With me being in that bunch then I thought that I had a really good chance if it would be kept to a sprint. Harris led the group into the final sprint, Alice (Barnes) went early and I used her and then came around. It’s my first elite road title and I was really happy when I crossed the line.”
In Erfurt at the German championships Kröger took a solo win that delighted her team mates Trixi Worrack and Lisa Brennauer. “When I was solo in the last kilometres in the radio Lisa was yelling ‘Go go go’, and then Ronny (Lauke) was saying ‘come on Mieke go go’ and then immediately Trixi ‘go go go Mieke!’ They were cheering so much I think they forgot to concentrate on the sprint for second! It was a nice feeling and I feel that my win was the help of Trixi and Lisa.”
Before the race Director Sportif Ronny Lauke predicted that Brennauer and Worrack would be marked targets. “We expected that and as soon as the race started we saw it unfold. Before the race we planned to have Mieke try to go solo, to save Lisa for a bunch sprint, and for Trixi her best chance would be from a small group. Often in teams riders don’t expect that they have to ride for the ‘rookie’ and offer her a chance to win. For this reason to support Mieke it’s really very cool.”
Kröger said “It was a flat circuit and rather uninteresting but we were able to play some tactics. Fortunately there was some wind and with two laps to go, as one attack came back we started an echelon on a long straight. It created a breakaway and we had three riders in this. As soon as the gas came off, I got away with Romy Kasper (DLT).”
“We worked together until the gap was 30 seconds and then because Trixi and Lisa were in the chase group I could sit on the wheel.” With the chase group reducing the gap Kröger attacked on a small rise with 3km remaining. “I knew I had to attack, but I probably would have left it until even later. But I heard Trixi in the radio and I just went then. It was the right moment.”
Kröger powered to the line to take the win solo while Brennauer won the bunch sprint for second place. The 22 year old has added her first national road race title after winning the time trial in 2015 and now focuses on the track where she will represent Germany in the teams pursuit at the Rio Olympics.
“I don’t know if I have realised the win yet. It’s really cool. I knew that they can’t drop me on this course, because it’s so unbelievably flat, and so we all had a chance to win the title. The race developed and there was an opportunity and it was mine to take. I’m happy,” said Kröger.
The wins of Barnes and Kröger add to the collection of national jerseys CANYON//SRAM Racing have won this week after Worrack won her second German time trial title and Elena Cecchini won the Italian road race for the third consecutive year.
The team will next race the Giro Rosa, a ten day stage race starting on Friday 1 July.