UCI Continental rider returns to racing on Manchester streets in Tour Series after long-COVID

The 2022 Tour Series reached its climax at the end of May as the Grand Final took place on the streets of Manchester city centre.

For one rider, Charlotte Broughton of AWOL O’Shea, the seven rounds were an opportunity to examine form and progression.

The 24-year-old British rider had 12 weeks off the bike recovering from long-COVID at the end of 2021.

A broken hand in her first race back and recurring lung infections also took their toll.

Limited race-days prior to the first round in Guisborough on 2 May saw her gradually add top-end power to the endurance training which were all reset after her illness.

Three top-10 finishes in this year’s Tour Series races were ample measurement that the intensity of criterium racing saw her returning ‘probably stronger than [she’s] ever been.’

Broughton did not complete the Grand Final’s circuits, withdrawing just after half-way, struggling with hayfever and asthma.

The women’s individual classification in Manchester was won by Emma Jeffers, a 17-year-old riding for Jadan-Vive le Velo.

Never outside the top five in any race she rode in the series, each win was made more memorable with sprints delivered whilst riding on junior gears.

The Chorley rider added a ‘home’ victory here to a win captured in Stirling on 12 May.

Jeffers carried this form forward to a fifth-placed finish in the National Junior Road Race Championships in North Yorkshire on 29 May.

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