Although the focus in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series is on the teams, no one rider can be said to be more key to the overall success of Drops than Rebecca Durrell, who followed in the footsteps of riders like Hannah Barnes and Eileen Roe by claiming the prize of leading individual rider.

Durrell, who has been racing with Drops for the past two seasons, has been at the forefront of the action in the Series for the past two seasons, finally taking her first race win at the final round in Stevenage, to crown a memorable 2017 Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

“It was a really close race throughout with so many different teams showing themselves at the front,” said Rebecca Durrell speaking afterwards.

“We knew from last year that, apart from the break that took Alice away [Alice Barnes won from an early solo break] the race should pretty much stay together.  We knew Katie Archibald would be strong but that we could play that to our strengths.  Team OnForm were, excuse the pun, on fire tonight and in a way that helped us as they created the gaps that others had to chase down and so use their energy in doing so.  But when it finally came down to the bunch sprint I was very fortunate that Lucy Shaw gave me the best lead out I could have hoped for.  I know I wouldn’t have won the sprint without her being there for me tonight.  And she did that coming back from a bad fall at the Lincoln so it was 50/50 whether she’d actually ride tonight.”

Durrell had featured prominently throughout the 2017 Series, outsprinting Archibald for second place in Motherwell at Round Seven and also finishing runner up at the Wembley Park presented by Jurys Inn round.

The Drops rider finished all eight rounds in the top 10, with five of those finishes in the top four, but throughout the Series had downplayed the individual honours in favour of her team’s target of the overall title.

“We won the first round with Alice at Redditch and led the team competition from then onwards and so for me to win tonight, my first ever Matrix win, is fantastic.  To be honest, it’s been a bit frustrating to have 2nds, 3rds and other placings and I’d stated thinking ‘when is the win going to come?’ So I’d started putting pressure on myself but I knew it was lurking there but I just couldn’t get it.  So tonight I just thought ‘I’ll concentrate on the team competition, work with the girls and enjoy it’.  And I think that’s when you really perform at your best.

“I’m really, really chuffed.  The pressure was always going to be on for the team in the last round, even if it’s just from within ourselves.  I knew I’d already won the Individual overall before the start of tonight’s race but I’d deliberately not said anything about that as that would have been even more pressure.  So now we’re just all relieved.

“Last year didn’t finish as we’d hoped as we missed out on the team win in just the last few hundred yards.  We did talk about that at bit in preparing for this race and we were all very honest in recognising mistakes we made and that perhaps last year we went into the race a bit too confident and so perhaps took some unnecessarily risks.  So this year we thought we’d ease it back a little bit, play a bit of a safe game but still be up there at the front of the race, getting in the mix of things.  But, it worked!”

You can view a post-race interview with Rebecca Durrell and her Drops teammate Annasley Park, who finished runner-up in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, by click on the below video.