A CLOSED roads circuit would be the perfect next step for a race that attracts the top flight of women's cycling, according to Sunday's champion.

Dame Sarah Storey, who broke away and held her solo lead for the final three laps of the 12-lap race, said local support for the Cheshire Classic could be key to its development.

"I think that because the locals know the race so well it won't be long before we can have a completely closed circuit," she said.

"All the local people turn out to watch now and shout and cheer and have a real knowledge of the race."

She added: "This race gets better and better every year – when I started in 2006 my dad was one of about four people stood in the daffodils on the hill.

"Now it's getting closer to the whole community being involved and a closed race is definitely something the riders would enjoy."

This was the second time Storey, team captain of Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, has won the Cheshire Classic, organised by Northwich's Weaver Valley Cycling Club.

The first was in 2012 with Molly Weaver hot on her tail, making Sunday's triumph in the fast-paced race all the sweeter for the Paralympic gold medallist.

"I can't believe I did it on my own," Storey said at the finish line, while sharing a winners' cuddle with her one-year-old daughter Louisa.

"I've only been back in training for a week after being on holiday.

"I didn't have attacking speed but do have the diesel so I used that to good effect.

"I've always dreamed about winning this race by myself – in 2012 I was with Molly Weaver, who's now a pro in Europe.

"I come for a potter around here fairly frequently so I know the course like the back of my hand.

"It was great to have the opportunity to win – my main role was to look after everyone else in the team but I did that and won and the team supported me."

The field of 80 riders raced 92km in Weaverham and Acton Bridge on Sunday, including 12 ascents of The Cliff.

Storey was more than a minute faster than the peloton, led by Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott, from Matrix Fitness, who rode in at second place.

The race, part of British Cycling's National Series, was sponsored by Delamere Dairy, Wates Construction, Taylor Wimpey, Your Sports Therapist and Advanced Medical Solutions, and had a total prize fund of £3,000.


1. Dame Sarah Storey – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International

2. Laura Trott – Matrix Fitness

3. Alice Barnes – Betch.NL-Superior-Brentjens MTB

4. Emily Kay – Team USN

5. Katie Curtis – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International

6. Louise Mahe – IKON – Mazda

7. Charline Joiner – Team WNT

8. Laura Greenhalgh – Les Filles Racing Team

9. Henrietta Colborne – Bonito Squadra Corse

9. Emily Nelson – Team USN

11. Nicola Juniper – Team Giordana- Triton



Advanced Medical Solutions Team Prize – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International

Delamere Dairy Intermediate Sprint – Joanna Rowsell

Your Sports Therapist Aggressive Rider – Dame Sarah Storey