Jeffers Takes Glorious National Title

Emma Jeffers sealed her first elite national title at the 2024 Lloyds Bank National Circuit Championships, with a commanding performance in front of a bumper crowd in Darlington.

Riders battled it out over a race of 55 minutes plus five laps on the tight and technical town centre circuit, with the coveted national champion’s jersey up for grabs for the winners.

The tight Darlington circuit saw riders jostling for position from the off and within the first 10 minutes, the formidable duo of Sophie Lewis (DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK) and Emma Jeffers (Liv AlUla Jayco) established the first break of the race.

The pair were soon brought back, before Jenny Holl (Loughborough Lightning) then struck out on her own, but was also reeled back.

Quick to sense an opportunity, Lewis then made the first meaningful move of the race, building up an eight-second lead on the hesitant bunch behind. With Lewis eventually caught, a cagey race ensued, with no rider able to escape.

With the 45-minute mark approaching, Monica Greenwood (Team Coop-Hitec Products) spearheaded a group of three riders to get away, including Esther Wong (Shibden Apex RT) and Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women breakthrough star Lucy Lee (DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK).

With 50 minutes up, the bunch was all back together as the riders approached the line, and with five laps to go Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo) and Amy Gornall (Pro-Noctis – 200º Coffee – Hargreaves Contracting Ltd) looked to seize the initiative.

Despite their best efforts, the riders entered the final lap of the race all together, with many of the favourites well placed. With the finish line in sight Eilidh Shaw (Alba Development Road Team) found herself with a gap, but 19-year-old Jeffers was winding up for a huge final burst behind her. She passed Shaw with relative ease, crossing the line with her arms in the air and sealing her first ever national title.

Isabel Darvill (Doltcini – O’Shea) was the strongest of the trailing bunch to take an impressive third place finish, with Greenwood fourth and Alice Colling (Shibden Apex RT) fifth.

Speaking afterwards, Jeffers was clearly over the moon with the result. “It feels amazing. Honestly it means everything, especially in the crit, as that’s what made me fall in love with cycling. It’s really nice. I loved the course and the fans made it even better. I’m lost for words, I can’t believe it!”

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